SECTION 1. WHEREAS, increasing evidence from health research links the increase in childhood and adult obesity and related conditions of ill health to the significant decrease in regular physical activity of people in part due to transportation policies geared heavily toward motor vehicle use; and
WHEREAS, increased childhood and adult obesity will reduce the quality of life for many Massachusetts residents and result in ever increasing costs to deal with the medical complications of obesity, including diabetes, heart ailments and other diseases;
SECTION 2. Chapter 6A of the General Laws is hereby amended by creating section 19B with the following language:-
Section 19B (a) The secretary shall ensure that transportation policies and infrastructure decisions affirmatively include a commitment to promote and/or enhance multiple modes of transportation including pedestrian, bicycle, and forms of public transportation and other transportation-related contributions that increase active lifestyles that improve public health and decrease childhood and adult obesity.
(b) All local, regional and state roadway construction, reconstruction, and maintenance projects receiving state or federal transportation funding shall meet the guiding principle of the state roadway design guidelines, The Project Development and Design Guide, which states that roadways of the Commonwealth must safely accommodate all users of the public right-of-way including: pedestrians, (including people requiring mobility aids); bicyclists; drivers and passengers of transit vehicles, trucks, automobiles and motorcycles. The guidelines further state that designers and decision-makers are encouraged to fully consider these modes of transportation throughout the planning, design, and construction phases of projects.
(c) The secretary shall take actions to include a voting representative from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services on the board of the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization and on other regional planning organizations.
(d) All transportation and parking projects using state funds or requiring review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act will include routine accommodations for non-motorized modes, such as bicycles, including parking and connections.
(e) Any transportation project using state funds or requiring review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act that expands roadway capacity shall include plans and projects to specifically increase non-motor vehicle use in the communities to the same degree that roadway capacity is increased.
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