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Forty years of growth made San Bernardino County’s Devore Interchange one of Southern California’s most urgently needed projects. Last week, I visited the interchange, at the junction of Interstates 15 and 215, and saw firsthand how critical it is to the movement of people and freight in this rapidly growing region.

For too long, congestion and gridlock have been the norm for the one million cars and 150,000 commercial trucks that use the interchange weekly. During peak times, it’s not uncommon for traffic to exceed five miles.  Bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions on the interchange undermine the productivity of not only the region—but of the entire nation. 

Image of people talking about relief project in San Bernardino

Continue Reading California finishes ››
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When we began our Smart City efforts, we started with the people it would affect the most: Columbus residents.

We listened to people like Asa Burke, an East High School senior, who has to travel by bus about an hour each way to get to and from school, even though his school is just a 15 minute drive from his home.

We listened to people who utilize our workforce development services to find jobs, and we listened to their needs for reliable transportation including for the first and last miles of their commutes.

Image of columbus city with #Smartcolumbus

Continue Reading #SmartColumbus Fosters ››
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Each year, on May 22, we celebrate National Maritime Day and recognize the dedicated seafaring men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine. All of whom have served our nation since its founding. In ways we could not possibly recount, we owe a great debt to the merchant mariners who have served our nation throughout its history. 

Throughout our history, the merchant marine has consistently gone far beyond the call of duty.  It has proven itself – time and again -- not only as a national asset, but a global asset as well.

Image of US Merchant Marine 1946 

Continue Reading National Maritime Day ››
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When discussing NHTSA’s mission of keeping Americans safe when they drive, ride and walk, the focus largely falls on emerging vehicle safety technologies, such as vehicle automation. But we can never lose sight of the importance of one of the earliest and simplest pieces of vehicle safety equipment: the seat belt. That is why we are again launching NHTSA’s“Click It or Ticket” nationwide mobilization reminds Americans that buckling up saves lives.

Thousands of Americans are alive today because a seat belt saved them during a crash. From 2010 to 2014, seat belts saved an estimated 63,000 lives. Yet almost half of drivers and passengers (49 percent) who were killed in 2014 were unrestrained.

Click it or Ticket image

Continue Reading Click It Or Ticket: Because ››
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Yesterday was an exciting day because it was my first visit as Secretary of Transportation to the great state of Montana and its Indian Country. In Pablo, I was honored to meet with the Tribal Council, officials, and members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes work closely with our Federal Highway Administration’s Tribal Transportation Program and our Federal Transit Administration’s Tribal Transit Program, so I was able to hear directly from the Tribe about their transportation concerns, priorities, and successes.

As you've read here, and probably heard me say, transportation is a community function. If it doesn’t work for the entire community, the system doesn’t work. And that includes Indian Country, which is far too often left out of the conversation.

Wide shot of tribal meeting

Continue Reading Expanding Tribal Community ››
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On any given day, nearly half of all trips in the U.S. are less than two miles long. Because this is National Bike Month, and today is National Bike to Work Day, it is a good time to remember that bicycling is an efficient, fun, healthy, environmentally friendly and economically viable way to get to work. Many USDOT employees will take advantage of this special day to ride to work, in hopes of inspiring others to follow suit.

Although U.S. bike commuter numbers are growing, many potential cyclists are uncomfortable riding on roads with heavy traffic but no dedicated bike facilities. Well-designed interconnected bike networks allow cyclists of all ages and abilities to safely travel to work, school, and other destinations by bike. Bikeways can include on-street bike lanes and separated bike lanes, as well as shared-use paths.

Deputy Secretary Victor Mendez with D.O.T. cyclists
Continue Reading On National Bike Day, Focus ››
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Wow – hard to believe it’s been almost six months since Secretary Foxx announced the Smart City Challenge! Nearly 80 applications from cities around the country, narrowed to seven in March, and now we are all hard at work putting the finishing touches on round II.

Denver is proud to be competing for this unprecedented $50 million grant alongside some of the most forward thinking cities in the country. The stakes are high and the competition is steep.

In reality, though, the USDOT has already chosen the winner: the American people. Secretary Foxx and team have created one massive city think tank to spur the best ideas and most innovative solutions that will undoubtedly alter the nation’s mobility future for decades to come.

Image of 2 bike cyclist

Continue Reading For Denver, Smart City ››
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This week, the Department of Transportation celebrates two separate but related events that highlight the importance of equal opportunity in transportation. 

First, we commemorate National Transportation Week to underscore the critical role that infrastructure plays in our economic and social lives and on Tuesday, we celebrated the 62nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Brown v. Board of Education, requiring equal educational opportunity for our nation’s children.  The fundamental connection between transportation and Brown’s equal opportunity principle underlies the Department’s work today to ensure that all communities and persons have access to opportunity of every kind.       

Although the Brown ruling addressed racial segregation in public education, it was immediately used to dismantle other forms of state-sponsored segregation, such as transportation. The Brown decision was featured prominently in the ruling striking down laws in Montgomery, Alabama that required racial segregation of its buses. 

Image of little girls (brown vs board of education)

Continue Reading Brown v. Board Extends ››
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DOT is determined to keep America’s airlines the safest in the world.  It is with that thought in mind that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration, issued a final rule on May 13, 2016, prohibiting the carriage of battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices (e.g. e-cigarettes, e-cigs, e-cigars, e-pipes, personal vaporizers, electronic nicotine delivery systems) in checked baggage.  This includes prohibiting the charging of such devices and batteries aboard aircraft. 

This final rule does not prohibit airline passengers from transporting other devices containing batteries for personal use (such as laptop computers, cell phones, cameras, etc.), nor does it restrict a passenger from transporting batteries for personal use in carry-on baggage.  It is safe for air travelers to fly with the kinds of batteries used in many portable electronic devices, as long as simple precautions are taken to reduce the risk of fires on aircraft.

E-Cigarette Electronic Cigarette E-Cigs E-Liquid Vaping Cloud Chasing image

Continue Reading Electronic Cigarettes a ››
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May is National Moving Month and it also kicks off peak moving season – May through August. The majority of Americans move during the spring and summer months as the weather is more accommodating than during the winter across much of the country; more homes are sold during the summer months than any other time of year; it’s easier for families with young children to move between school years; and many college students are moving out of (May) or into (August) dormitories and apartments.

Nearly 1 in 9 Americans (36 million people) move each year, with approximately five million moving across state lines. While the majority of interstate household moves happen without incident, for some, the moving process can be a stressful experience. Unfortunately, thousands of consumers become victims of moving fraud at the hands of “rogue” moving companies.

Image of movers walking down stairs of front of home

Continue Reading Before You Move Out of ››
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