Rep. Lewis Files Legislation to Promote Healthy Communities
State Representative Jason Lewis has filed new legislation on Beacon Hill that is designed to support efforts by cities and towns to make streets more pedestrian and bicycle-friendly and promote healthy communities.
An Act relative to active streets and healthy communities creates an Active Streets Certification Program to encourage cities and towns across Massachusetts to routinely include complete streets design elements in local road projects. By providing accommodations for all transportation modes, including walking and cycling, this program will promote increased physical activity and wellness. Municipalities would be eligible to be certified as Active Streets communities after adopting certain complete streets policies and procedures. Once certified, they would be eligible to receive additional Chapter 90 transportation funding from the state.
“This new program would support the efforts of our communities to encourage alternative forms of transportation, particularly walking and biking, that improve health and the quality of life in our neighborhoods and downtown business districts,” said Rep. Lewis. “I’m hopeful that this initiative will be incorporated as part of the major transportation legislation that the legislature will be taking up in the coming months.”
This legislation was developed in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the regional planning agency for the greater Boston area which promotes smart growth and regional collaboration.
The bill has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Transportation for review and consideration. Representative Lewis welcomes feedback on this bill, and all other legislation that has been filed in the General Court this session. He can be reached at Jason.Lewis@mahouse.gov or (617) 722-2017.