Feet First believes in walkable places to improve our quality of life – communities with safe walking conditions, nearby jobs, services, and parks, all connected to each other by frequent and reliable transit. Between the Covid-19 pandemic, an economic downturn, record-breaking wildfires last summer, and renewed calls to challenge racial injustice, there is more work to do than ever to reach that vision.
We know we can’t get there by following the status quo on transportation funding. That’s why Feet First is working in coalition with its statewide partners on the following priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session:
- Grow dedicated funding in the multimodal account in the transportation budget for pedestrian and bike investments, as well as Complete Streets grants with the Transportation Improvement Board. Funding from the multimodal account supports Safe Routes to School and the Pedestrian and Bicycle grant programs, as well as investments in ferries, rail, and transit. As a nominating agency for the Transportation Improvement Board, Feet First supports enhanced funding to the Complete Streets program too. Significant increases in these funding sources will provide local cities and towns more opportunities to build walkable places for all Washingtonians.
- Support policies that address racial inequities in transportation access and funding. Historically our transportation system has overburdened low-income areas and communities of color with unsafe walking conditions, underfunded transit, and the disproportionate effects of vehicle emissions on public health. Feet First is advocating for funding that prioritizes these communities as well as policies that allow pedestrians more freedom of movement on local streets.
- Prioritize maintenance over highway expansion. Highway spending should focus on maintaining what we have, not increasing driving, debt, pollution and global warming. Savings on expansion projects can better support local jurisdictions to take care of their streets, making them safer for all users.
If we have the courage and wisdom to transform transportation policy, we can improve mobility, our economy, our quality of life, our health and our environment. We know people love walkable places – now is the time to renew our commitment to them.
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