REPRESENTATIVE DORIS MATSUI (D-CA)
Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA) represents California’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 6th Congressional District encapsulates Sacramento, California. Rep. Matsui is committed to the mutual alliance of federal, state, and local agencies to build transportation infrastructure. She used Sacramento’s regional blueprint plan as a model for the Safe Streets Act of 2015, which proposed a federal Complete Streets policy to ensure America’s roadways are designed with all users in mind, including bicyclists and pedestrians, children, seniors, and the disabled. The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 incorporated some aspects of the Safe Streets Act of 2015. 3
HER ANGLE » COMPLETE & SAFE STREET POLICIES ENCOURAGE INNOVATION & MULTIPLE BENEFITS
According to Rep. Doris Matsui, “When we create policy with all transportation users in mind, we provide more people with the ability to choose sustainable transportation options.” By ensuring America’s streets are safe and by increasing the efficiency of our roads for all users, Congresswoman Matsui believes we can save lives while easing congestion, improving public health, and fighting climate change.
Making sure our laws can facilitate multiple modes of transportation encourages innovation. Low-stress bike and walking networks encourage residents and workers to use their bikes for local trips for both recreation and commuting. In the Sacramento region, for example, Congresswoman Matsui is proud of the electric bike share system introduced in 2018 – the largest electric-assist bike share system in North America at its launch. Ensuring the country’s transportation landscape is ready to accommodate those types of exciting developments is important.
HER ANGLE » COMMUNITIES EMBRACE BIKING & WALKING FOR MANY REASONS, & NEED DATA TO SUPPORT THAT EMBRACE
Rep. Matsui’s policy priorities rely on data, which means her messaging on those priorities does as well. Data help her decide where and why policy changes will be most effective, helping her best explain the need for changes to constituents and colleagues. Effective data analyses can help guide the deployment of new pilot projects in communities, where it is important to test the effectiveness and community readiness for projects and programs that encourage bicycling, walking, and ride sharing as options to replace car trips.
“I’m encouraged by how many communities are embracing bicycling and walking as sustainable and beneficial modes of transportation,” says Rep. Matsui. “But I think we have a lot of work to do when it comes to modernizing our infrastructure around those trends. I’m hopeful that we can work together to get that done at a national level.”
With more people living in urban areas and an increasing array of public transportation options available, ensuring that communities are designed with bicycling and walking in mind can by key. Active transportation is an essential component in the development and implementation of sustainable community strategies, reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and beneficial public health initiatives.
Smart Growth America. “Safe streets provisions in FAST Act represent a huge step forward in the effort to strengthen local communities.” Available at https://smartgrowthamerica.org/safe-streets-provisions-in-fast-act-represent-a-huge-step-forward-in-the-effort-to-strengthen-local-communities/