What has alarmed members of the U.S. Senate, the League of American Bicyclists, the Association for Commuter Transportation and flies in the face of goals set by the American Heart Association, FHWA’s own Safe Route to School programs and a host of others? A proposed rule on National Performance Management Measures, known as Docket # FHWA-2013-0054, that is moving through FHWA and USDOT. The move to national performance goals and measures are cornerstones of the groundbreaking FAST Act and MAP-21. They are designed to be valuable tools for state departments of transportation (DOTs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) for accountability and planning and especially the most beneficial use of transportation funds. But this new rule is focused on addressing congestion by moving traffic, not people. To borrow the words from members of the U.S. Senate in a letter to Transportation Secretary Fox: “If we focus, as this proposed rule does, on keeping traffic moving at high speeds at all times of day on all types of roads and streets, then the result is easy to predict: States and MPOs will prioritize investments to increase average speeds for cars, at the expense of goals to provide safe, reliable, environmentally-sensitive, multimodal transportation options for all users of the transportation system, despite those goals being stated in federal statute.” As this administration moves to wrap up its business before the next is ushered in, we should all keep an eye on this proposed new rule. Here are some suggested sites: www.regulations.gov/…/docket?D=FHWA-2013-0054, actweb.org/…/, bikeleague.org/…/draft-performance-measures, newsroom.heart.org/…/tivity-following-cdc-study, saferoutesinfo.org/…/srts_brief_MPO_final.pdf.
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