Opponents of a repeal to the “Complete Streets” program are stressing the health benefits of safer streets and sidewalks.

“Complete Streets” takes bicyclists and pedestrians into consideration while planning state-funded road projects. Governor Scott Walker has proposed eliminating the program, but Chris Klein, government relations director of the American Heart Association of Wisconsin, advocates its benefits.

“Cardiovascular disease remains the number one killer of Americans. One of the best ways to fight cardiovascular disease is to be physically active,” he said, “That means biking and walking. It’s been proven that people just won’t bike or walk if they don’t feel safe.”

Klein said the “Complete Streets” program makes it easy for everyone to cross the street, ride a bike, and walk safely.

“It’s bicycles and pedestrians. Sometimes it’s not even sidewalks; sometimes it’s a crosswalk; sometimes it’s a walk signal; sometimes it’s basically a connection to school for kids to walk safer to school.”

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates a repeal would save around $190,000 a year.

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