T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "safety"

What does the new infrastructure law mean for micromobility?

Three people select citibikes at a docking station

The expansion of grant and formula eligibility in the infrastructure law to include micromobility will give communities and states additional options for providing more transportation options, but those that are doing the most to make their streets safe and convenient stand to gain the most as well.

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The infrastructure law and safety: Will it be able to move the needle?

The new infrastructure law authorizes around $650 billion to fund transportation infrastructure through formula and competitive grant programs, some of which have safety as a core emphasis. Here’s what you need to know about the new money and (modest) policy changes to the safety program, as well as how you can make them work for you.

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Our solutions for congestion are worse than the problem

For decades, transportation agencies have been trying to “solve” congestion by increasing road capacity, even when doing so can obliterate or divide communities, harm local businesses, and make streets more dangerous. Our latest cartoon shows how our “cures” for congestion are often worse than the problem.

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USDOT road safety strategy finally acknowledges the importance of design on speeds and roadway deaths

press release

On the release of the new Roadway Safety Strategy by the U.S. Department of Transportation, T4America director Beth Osborne issued this statement

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USDOT urges states to prioritize repair, safety, and climate with their influx of infrastructure bill cash

road sign that says "changed priorities ahead"

Although state DOTs have always been free to prioritize repair, safety, or improving access for everyone across the entire system, most have traditionally chosen to use that flexibility to build new highways instead. With state DOT coffers soon to be loaded with billions from the new infrastructure bill, USDOT is urging states via a new […]

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From policy to action: Six things USDOT should do yesterday to maximize the potential of the infrastructure deal

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

Because of the shortcomings in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)’s actual policy, an enormous amount of pressure now rests on USDOT and Secretary Buttigieg to deliver on the administration’s promises. But the good news is that there are scores of actions that USDOT can take to deliver positive outcomes for equity, climate, safety, state of repair, and enhancing community connections.

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Step one for repairing a problem: Stop making it worse

An excavator digs a massive hole titled "Dangerous Roads $$$". On the other side of the hole, a man tries to fill the hole with a small pile of dirt (labeled "Safety Improvements $." The comic is labeled "U.S. Approach to Road Safety."

Swap in any pressing issue—climate change, repair, safety—and this new illustration by Jean Wei describes the approach to solving it within the much-debated infrastructure bill, which passed on its own late last Friday. You’ll be hearing a lot of unfettered praise for it today, but we’re far more circumspect.

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Senate Commerce Committee proves that bipartisanship doesn’t have to equal terrible transportation policy

The Senate committee tasked with handling the rail portions of the larger transportation bill managed to produce a bipartisan bill that also makes the expansion of reliable, frequent rail service to more Americans a cornerstone of its approach.

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New House transportation bill goes 3 for 3 on T4America’s core principles

Late last week the House released their new five-year proposal for transportation policy and spending, known as the INVEST in America Act. By focusing on making tangible progress on outcomes like repair, safety, climate change, and access to jobs and services—rather than just asking for more money for more of the status quo—House leaders have again proposed a paradigm shift in how we spend transportation dollars and measure what they accomplish.

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Senate Republicans’ small funding proposal is a roadmap to nowhere

Last week, Senate Republicans released an infrastructure proposal in response to President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. Not only did Republicans cut public transit funding by $7 billion, but they missed the mark on the policy, pumping billions into the existing—and broken—federal transportation program. Here’s our take.

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How the Biden administration can make immediate strides on climate and racial equity

The spread of COVID-19 has sent the United States plummeting into an unprecedented national crisis, but it has also illuminated the path forward. Smart Growth America, along with some of our programs, identified immediate executive actions and long-term policy changes that the incoming Biden administration can implement to eliminate structural inequities and address catastrophic global climate change.

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State safety targets show need for Congress to further prioritize safety

People on bikes waiting at a stop sign to cross a congested intersection

For decades, state departments of transportation have treated pedestrian and cyclists fatalities like weather events: something that increases simply as people drive more, putting these deaths outside of the control of DOTs. But with COVID-19 proving this to be false, it’s past time for state DOTs to implement performance measures to reduce the number of people killed while walking or biking. Here’s our comparison of state safety targets.

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House transportation bill goes big on climate

House transportation leaders introduced legislation to update our national transportation program to address climate, equity, safety and public health. Climate advocates and climate leaders on the Hill should recognize the strides taken with this proposal from Congress and fight to protect those changes in the bill.

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CDC quietly revises their guidance to encourage people to use transit safely

Two weekends ago the CDC quietly revised their guidance for using public transportation after an outpouring of criticism from Transportation for America, NACTO, TransitCenter, the American Public Transportation Association, and others that the CDC was contradicting years of their own public health guidance that encouraging more driving incurs massive public health costs in pollution, respiratory illnesses, obesity, and preventable traffic deaths.

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Connecting people to jobs and services week: How bad metrics lead to even worse decisions

When the top priority of our transportation investments is moving cars as fast as possible, the end product is streets that are wildly unsafe—as chronicled at length last week. But this focus on vehicle speed and throughput is the result of outdated metrics that also utterly fail to produce a transportation system that connects people to what they need every day.

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Safety over speed week: The key to slowing traffic is street design, not speed limits

Today, as “safety over speed” week continues, we’re running a guest post from our friends at Strong Towns that uses some simple pictures to explain how street design is a far more powerful tool for slowing down traffic and prioritizing safety compared to the strategy of lowering speed limits.

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Safety over speed week: Prioritizing safety is intrinsically connected with improving transit service

Nearly every bus transit rider starts and ends their trip with a walk, and decisions made to prioritize vehicle speed over safety often have significant impacts on transit. This excerpt from the new book “Better Buses, Better Cities” helps explain how better bus transit and prioritizing safety over speed are intrinsically related.

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Safety over speed week: Drive like your kid business lives here

Economic slowdowns are generally a bad thing. But slowing down might be good for the economy, so long as we’re slowing vehicle speeds. Streets designed to accommodate (slow) drivers, people walking and biking, and transit riders are better for businesses, save money on health care costs, and can help businesses attract and retain talent.

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Safety over speed week: Slip lanes would never exist if we prioritized safety over speed

A specific design feature on our roadways is the quintessential embodiment of what happens when speed is the #1 priority and safety becomes secondary. Slip lanes, those short turning lanes at intersections that allow vehicles to turn right without slowing down, are incredibly dangerous for people walking. Yet states & cities keep building them. Why?

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Competition: Which street is the most dangerously-designed?

This week, we’ll be taking a deep dive on our second principle for transportation policy: design for safety over speed. Throughout the week, send photos of streets in your area that are designed for speeds far higher than the posted speed limit or where the speed limit is way too high for the context. On Friday (Nov. 8), you’ll have a chance to vote for the worst offender.

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