Tanya Snyder provides some background and reports on the Secretary's recent announcement, which, interestingly, was made at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) annual Washington conference.
"For years, the federal government has adopted roadway guidelines [based on AASHTO's Green Book] that fall far short of what’s needed — and what’s possible — to protect cyclists and pedestrians," says Snyder. "By 'playing it safe' and sticking with old-school engineering, U.S. DOT allowed streets to be unsafe for these vulnerable road users."
"In FHWA’s new round of rule-making, DOT will set its own bicycle and pedestrian safety standards for the first time. The agency will 'highlight bicycle and pedestrian safety as a priority,' LaHood said."
"It’s a big step for U.S. DOT to craft its own bicycle and pedestrian safety standards, and it’s especially positive that the move started under a secretary that sees biking and walking as equal to driving in the transportation world," adds Snyder.
“We know that people are cycling more and walking more, and that pedestrian and cycling safety has to be a priority,” he told the audience at AASHTO yesterday. “We must ensure that our streets, bridges and highways are safe whether we’re in a car or on a bike.”