Until this Sunday, USDOT is taking online public comment on how the new transportation law, MAP-21, should be implemented. USDOT is using a sort of voting system to gauge support for specific ideas. (This effort is focused on freight and performance measures – how states should measure safety, road/bridge conditions, congestion, etc.)
T4 has highlighted a number of good ones; but we want to call out 3 of them:
- A Real Way to Measure Performance – States should measure highway performance using actual travel time, not the “Travel Time Index” which is commonly used today and rewards places with little congestion at rush hour, even if commute times are long (i.e. sprawl). Using actual travel time will reward smart growth planning (where there may be congestion, but people don’t have to drive very long in it). See the attached “What is Transportation Performance” fact sheet for a good explanation of this.
- Separate national bike & ped fatality & injury measures – States should have separate pedestrian/bike fatality and injury goals (instead of using only total traffic fatalies/injuries in their safety metrics) — this will make it easier for state DOTs to justify using their federal highway safety funding (HSIP) on bike/ped projects.
- Reporting: Clearer standards, better and more accessible data – USDOT should require a number of changes that will make it easier for the public/advocates/decision-makers to track how states spend their money.
Again, this Sunday is the deadline, but it takes less than 5 minutes to register and vote up these and other good comments. USDOT will use this input as it prepares to write guidance to state transportation departments as they implement the new transportation law.
Thank you for speaking out and preserving funds for bike and pedestrian programs.