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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx Launches the “Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets”

Thursday, January 22, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx launched the “Mayors' Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets,” which invites Mayors and local elected officials to attend a Safer People, Safer Streets Summit and then take significant action over the next year to improve pedestrian and bicycle transportation safety. The Mayors' Challenge will showcase effective local actions to improve safety, empower local leaders to take action, and promote partnerships to advance pedestrian and bicycle safety.

“As a former Mayor, I understand what a difference it can make when a Mayor chooses to prioritize an issue that brings together many community members toward a common goal,” Secretary Foxx said. “This Challenge will help Mayors to use what we know about how to reduce pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries to make a real difference and save lives in their communities.”

While overall highway fatalities have been declining, pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have been on the rise in recent years and now represent nearly 17 percent of total fatalities.  The Mayors' Challenge aims to reduce pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities around a framework of seven Challenge activities that are based on the latest innovations in improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

The initiative will begin in March when Mayors and staff responding to the invitation will convene at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) headquarters for a Mayoral Summit to discuss how to build upon or implement the challenge’s seven activity areas.

The seven Challenge activities are drawn from the recommended actions stated in the 2010 USDOT Policy Statement on Bicycle and Pedestrian Accommodation Regulations and Recommendations. For example, recommended actions in the policy statement include gathering and tracking data on biking and walking in their community and ensuring street designs are appropriate for pedestrian and bicycle safety. Attendees at the Summit will work with USDOT staff to identify new Departmental resources they can use during the Challenge and will network with their peers.

The Mayors' Challenge is a vital piece of Secretary Foxx’s overall pedestrian and bicycle safety initiative. In September, Secretary Foxx announced the launch of the Safer People, Safer Streets initiative and asked USDOT field offices to conduct road safety assessments in every state. In March 2016, cities participating in the Challenge will reconvene for a capstone meeting to share lessons learned, and celebrate their success.

Click here for additional information pertaining to the Mayors' Challenge.

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