I try to keep what I post here to be about local bicycle events, places to ride, things to do, and things to see, but…sometimes…to make sure we can continue to enjoy those things we have to stand up and say “Hey, wait a minute! That isn’t what is going to be best for everyone.” When those times come; I will post ways you as an individual can stand on the soap box to let someone know you count and you matter. This is one of those times!
For the first time ever, the U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed new requirements for how states and metro areas will have to measure traffic congestion.
These new requirements will help us all understand what federal transportation dollars actually accomplish—an absolutely worthwhile goal. However, as it’s currently written the proposal would measure success in outdated ways, prioritizing fast driving speeds above things like economic growth, safety, equity, and opportunity.
Focusing on delay is simply the wrong measure for addressing congestion. The rule as currently written fails to take into consideration people carpooling, taking transit, walking, or biking. Any traffic congestion measure should lead us to solutions that increase access to opportunity for everyone — regardless of how they travel each day.
This rule also treats highways the same as main streets — and that could do real harm to our most economically vibrant places. In the heart of a small town or along avenues where people are shopping, dining, walking, and enjoying an evening out, high driving speeds are not a recipe for success.
Tell USDOT to improve this rule: Sign the petition from Smart Growth America.