This week, in San Francisco, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has been holding its annual meeting. And when I spoke with APTA folks on Monday night, I found myself reflecting on the thoughts on opportunity I shared with Fast Lane readers last week.
A strong economy, health, education, housing and job skills are all pillars of opportunity. But they are not the only pillars. There is one more, and that is transportation. It’s time for us –the community of transportation planners, engineers, contractors, and decision-makers– to embrace our role in closing the opportunity gap.
During APTA, DOT took another step toward managing for opportunity. We launched a transit-oriented development initiative focused on revitalizing economically distressed communities...
Today, thousands of students, parents, community leaders, and state and local officials across the United States are walking and bicycling to school for Walk To School Day. More than 4,500 different events are planned to celebrate the benefits of more physical activity and safer transportation environments for our Nation's kids.
Walk to School Day in the U.S. --which started in 1997 with a single school-- is part of an international effort in more than 40 countries to celebrate these benefits and to encourage more families to consider getting out of the car and onto their feet.
After all, walking improves children's health, prepares them for the school day, and helps keep emissions out of the air they breathe...
Many thanks to the Milwaukee Police Department for supporting Walk To School Day (and for this photo)!
What’s your favorite water cooler conversation topic at work? Sports? The latest TV episode? Your kids?
What about safe driving?
As we've all seen in the news, South Carolina is currently experiencing one of its worst natural disasters in the form of massive flooding. Today, Secretary Foxx announced the immediate availability of $5 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration to the South Carolina DOT.
With miles of flood-damaged roads closed, the first step in the state's recovery is getting essential traffic flowing on key routes. The funds announced today will help SCDOT begin immediately repairing the roads and bridges most critical to relief efforts...
Last month here in the Fast Lane, we announced our Beyond Traffic 2045: Reimagining Transportation speaker series. And on September 18, Secretary Foxx and Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Gregory Winfree kicked off this extended look at the future of how America moves.
We've designed this series to inform the ongoing national dialogue on Beyond Traffic, DOT’s 30-year framework for the future. To give you an idea of the series --and to share some of our first speaker's expert insights-- we put together a video below highlighting the series’ first talk by Andrew McAfee. McAfee is co-director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Initiative on the Digital Economy and co-author of The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies.
McAfee’s ideas on finding the right mix of human and technological strengths will have significant implications for what our transportation system will look like in 2045, and we urge you to check out the video below.
Last week, leaders from across the Sunshine State joined Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau for “Beyond Traffic,” a forum and interactive discussion about emerging trends that will affect our policies and decision making and about how those trends will shape the future of our nation’s transportation system.
Over the last year, Orlando has made great strides in our efforts to advance our transportation system. Our regional leaders have worked collaboratively to advance commuter rail, bus rapid transit, bike share, car share and enhancements to our airport to accommodate All Aboard Florida, a rail line that will connect Orlando to Miami. These projects make Orlando more competitive in attracting businesses and a diverse workforce.
While we are proud of the transit advances we have accomplished in Orlando, we can't focus our transit decisions on those things that impact Central Florida alone. This is why it was so critical that the “Beyond Traffic” forum brought together Mayors from across the state, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie, Palm Bay Mayor William Capote, and Director of Miami Dade Transit Alice Bravo to discuss long and short term transportation decisions that go beyond municipal and county boundaries...
It's no secret to Fast Lane readers our transportation maintenance is lagging behind our growing need or that yesterday’s infrastructure will not meet tomorrow’s demand. We’re going to have 70 million more people in the next 30 years, and our ability to get where we need to go and move freight is already constrained.
And while freight grows domestically, we also have the widening of the Panama Canal, which will bring bigger ships and heavier loads into our ports. Despite the tremendous job America's ports do each and every day, meeting the triple challenge of expanding demand, larger vessels, and heavier loads will be no easy lift.
Fortunately, at the Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT) in New Jersey, our Build America Transportation Investment Center (BATIC) is part of a promising model for meeting those challenges. BATIC, which I wrote about here on Tuesday, is helping the PNCT explore financing options and eligibilities for its $230 million infrastructure modernization project...
Last week, our nation hosted Pope Francis. I was fortunate to have a front row seat at his historic speech to the U.S. Congress, and I listened intently as he touched on many topics.
In a city often overheated with clever catchphrases and slogans, Pope Francis explained the challenges faced by "many thousands of men and women who strive each day to do an honest day’s work, to bring home their daily bread, to save money and –one step at a time– to build a better life for their families. These are men and women who are not concerned simply with paying their taxes, but in their own quiet way sustain the life of society."
Although I am not Catholic, his urging to treat others as we would wish to be treated spoke to me with particular force because, throughout my tenure, I have worked to deliver a transportation system even more responsive to those among us who struggle hardest for a shot at the American Dream...
DOT's Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has an important safety mission –to ensure that hazardous materials are transported safely by all modes of transportation, including the nation’s 2.6 million miles of pipeline. And today, we announced proposed regulations to improve the safety of hazardous liquid pipelines. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) will be available for public comment until January 8, 2016.
Nearly 200,000 miles of hazardous liquid pipelines crisscross our country, operating near communities and treasured landscapes and crossing major bodies of water, including rivers. The proposed regulations seek to strengthen the way hazardous liquid pipelines are operated, inspected, and maintained in the United States.
Here are five things we think you should know about PHMSA’s Hazardous Liquids NPRM...
Our job at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is to root out safety-related defects in vehicles and equipment to help keep Americans safe on the road. In 2014 alone, there were 803 vehicle recalls involving 63.9 million vehicles --including two of the largest vehicle recalls in history.
We’ll never stop working to keep unsafe cars, trucks, and related equipment off the roads because it saves lives and prevents injuries. And you can help as well.
If you believe a vehicle or piece of vehicle equipment has a safety defect, file a complaint with NHTSA. As is clear in one recent case, a single complaint can trigger a recall—and possibly save lives...