Recently, members of Congress joined in sending a bipartisan letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood urging DOT to create separate performance measures for
motorized and nonmotorized road users.
Under the new surface transportation law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century(MAP-21), DOT is required to develop performance measures for roadway safety while also
providing funding to states for the Highway Safety Improvement Program.
These performance measures do not include specific reporting requirements for
biking and walking. The congressional letter urges LaHood to take this
opportunity to set performance standards for bicyclists and pedestrians.
The lawmakers noted that “while there was a drop in roadway
fatalities for occupants of motorized vehicles from 2010–2011, the percentage
of bicycle roadway deaths increased 9 percent and pedestrian deaths rose 3 percent
in the same time period. By creating specific metrics for bicycle and
pedestrian safety, states can have flexibility in choosing the best methods for
The letter was signed by 69 members of Congress, including nine
Republicans, of which two are House Committee on Transportation and
Infrastructure subcommittee chairmen: Highways and Transit Chairman Tom Petri
(WI); and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Chairman John Duncan (TN). This
bipartisan effort may signal a renewed effort of Congress to come together on transportation
issues—particularly transportation safety policy.
AS DOT continues to work on drafting MAP-21 performance
measures, Secretary LaHood has announced plans for two bicycle safety summits this month—one in Tampa on April 11 and one in Minneapolis on April 29. LaHood
stated, “We're going to learn from communities what works and what doesn't
work. And once we figure out what the best practices are, we're going to team
up with the bicycling community to help ensure that when cities, towns, states,
and counties think about creating new bike infrastructure, they'll have the
tools to implement those practices and keep all users of our roads as
safe as possible.”
ASLA applauds the lawmakers and Secretary LaHood for taking
steps to develop safety standards for all transportation modes and encourages
the adoption of a national Complete Streets policy that would ensure that the safety and use of everyone is taken into account at
the outset of transportation projects.
Please click here for the Minneapolis summit.
information on ASLA Transportation Planning and Design legislative issues,
visit ASLA.org/advocacy or contact Roxanne Blackwell, Director of Federal