States Diverting Federal Road Safety Funds

Despite a nationwide rise in traffic fatalities, almost half of U.S. states have transferred federal road safety dollars to other projects.

June 24, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Pedestrian Safety

VDB Photos / Shutterstock

According to an article by Daniel C. Vock in Route Fifty, “nearly half of state transportation departments have diverted money from Washington specifically designated to making highways safer,” prompting concerns among some members of Congress. “U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, an Oregon Democrat who chairs the House committee on transportation and infrastructure, expressed his frustration over the common practice at a recent hearing. DeFazio said it was ‘very disturbing’ that, in the five years leading up to September 2021, 23 states transferred money out of the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program for other uses.” It should be noted that states are legally allowed to transfer up to half of the funding to other transportation-related uses. 

“At a time when traffic fatalities remain at unacceptable levels and have increased substantially in every state over the last two years, we believe that the authorized amounts for HSIP should be the absolute minimum dedicated to safety improvements and transfers out should not be acceptable,” said Peter True, a spokesperson for the Democrats on the committee. Among the 23 states that moved safety funding to other uses are Wisconsin (48 percent), New Jersey (44.4 percent), and Maryland (41.3 percent).

Vock notes that “Several states added money to their program instead. In fact, both South Dakota and California more than doubled their allocation. Other states that diverted more money to the program were North Dakota, Georgia, Arkansas, Alaska, Montana, Washington and Virginia.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 in Route Fifty

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

Kids

Opinion: Aging Population, Declining Fertility Requires Long-Term Investments

Faced with the dire consequences of a one-two punch of aging populations and declining birthrates, one writer has suggestions for how policy can help ensure a better future.

August 9, 2022 - Financial Times

People gather on a street with no cars during the L.E.A.F. Festival of Flowers in the Meatpacking District of New York City.

The Tide Has Turned Against Open Streets

Once a promising development for advocates pushing for a less car-centric future in cities, the open streets movement has ceded significant ground to cars since the height of the pandemic.

August 14, 2022 - The New York Times

Row of manufactured homes on an asphalt street

Protecting America’s Manufactured Housing

Governments at all levels are finally waking up to the benefits of protecting and encouraging the production of factory-built homes, which offer an affordable, efficient form of housing that many Americans depend on.

12 minutes ago - Governing

Jacksonville Skyway monorail train passing on elevated rail in front of downtown buildings

Jacksonville To Replace Monorail With Autonomous Shuttles

The city’s aging monorail system will be repurposed as part of an expanded 10-mile shuttle system.

1 hour ago - Smart Cities Dive

Virginia

Richmond Weighing How to End Parking Requirements

A series of town hall meetings will allow the public a chance to give feedback about zoning changes in Richmond, Virginia that would include the end of parking requirements.

2 hours ago - WTVR

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.