Here are a trio of resources for improving roads. These are good tools for connecting communities together around caring for safer roads. Now’s the time for responsible action.
Safer People, Safer Streets: Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Initiative by the USDOT
Everyday Counts initiative by the FHWA Center for Innovation
FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act), America’s five year transportation bill
In December 2015 Congress passed Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), a five year bill that increases funding for bicycle and pedestrian safety education, awareness, and enforcement. The FAST Act allocates additional funding for the purpose of decreasing pedestrian and bicycle fatalities and injuries that result from crashes involving a motor vehicle to States where the annual combined pedestrian and bicycle fatalities exceed 15 percent of the total annual crash fatalities in the State. Of 20 States eligible for this additional funding, 6 are in the Southwest U.S., AZ, CA, UT, NV, NM, and TX. Funding may be used for “training of law enforcement officials on State laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety; enforcement mobilizations and campaigns designed to enforce State traffic laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety; and public education and awareness programs designed to inform motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists of State traffic laws applicable to pedestrian and bicycle safety.”
The road diet program in Everyday Counts helps reconfigure roadways to encourage or accommodate a wider array of transportation modes. It simplifies operation and helps to calm traffic, making it a more inviting place for everyone. Crashes are reduced by 19 to 47 percent.
The Safer People, Safer Streets initiative has a family of programs including the Mayors’ Challenge, Road Safety Assessments, and Road Safety for Transit Patrons. I’ve participated in two Road Safety Assessments in New Mexico and hope to do more and apply our knowledge.
There is also a Focused Approach To Safety program where eligible States may receive “technical assistance such as data analysis and action plan development from initiation to implementation; training and associated materials in a variety of formats, including classroom-based workshops or online webinars; support for a wide range of analysis tools and countermeasures”. New Mexico is a focus State for pedestrian and bicycle safety.
Looking forward to keeping you updated as we work with these programs.