U.S. DOT to Develop Its Own Bike and Pedestrian Safety Standards

In news that's sure to please active transportation advocates, outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced his agency will ditch AASHTO's outdated guidelines and develop its own standards for bicycle and pedestrian safety.
ictsan / Flickr

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.”

Full Story:  U.S. DOT to Challenge AASHTO Supremacy on Bike/Ped Safety Standards

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET