A forecast that has been buried deep inside the U.S. Department of Transportation website since last May seems to be the first to fully acknowledge that economic growth no longer seems closely tied to driving.
our next DOT Secretary.
(Photo: Anthony Foxx Facebook Page)
News has broken this evening that President Obama will pick Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx as the next US Department of Transportation Secretary. Foxx, 41, would replace Ray LaHood, who Obama appointed in December 2008.
Foxx has been mayor of Charlotte for almost four years and just recently announced he would not seek re-election. He’s a former lawyer who has spent most of his professional life in politics. From what I’ve seen reported so far, it appears Foxx does not have much transportation experience. He’s pushed for highway widening projects, he’s started a streetcar revival in Charlotte and he’s a big proponent of rail transit in general.
I was happy this morning to find a statement from U.S. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood’s office that his war on distracted driving now includes new regulations for automakers. The proposals come as President Obama’s just-released transportation budget includes $330 million to combat the problem.
For the past few years, I’ve been disturbed at the trend to turn cars into one big gadget. Automakers, scared that their vehicles can’t compete with consumers’ growing adoration of smartphones and other devices, now offer all sorts of phone-like conveniences on-board. The result? More distraction, more crashes, more deaths and injuries.
Last week I sat down with Polly Trottenberg, the Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Asst. Sec. Trottenberg was in town to deliver a $17.7 million check for the Sellwood Bridge Project. I caught up with her at Clever Cycles on SE Hawthorne Blvd. We talked about the role of activists, the new era of highway funding, the CRC project, and more.
Below is the transcript of our conversation.[Read more…]
“A regional breakdown showed the greatest drop [12%] in fatalities occurred in the Pacific Northwest states.”
— US DOT
The US Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) projections show that between 2009 and 2010 traffic fatalities dropped to their lowest level in recorded history (PDF of report). The numbers come despite what the US DOT refers to as a “significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove.”
Interestingly, the US DOT press release (full text below) singles out the Pacific Northwest as showing the greatest drop in fatalities — which is also the region where traffic volumes are on a noticeable decline.[Read more…]
This morning the U.S. Department of Transportation released a full list of award announcements for their TIGER II grants. More than 70 projects — split between 42 capital construction projects and 33 planning projects — worth $600 million were funded.
Oregon received three grant awards, two for construction projects and one for planning.
Washington County nabbed $1.5 million for their “Livable Community Plan” (total cost $3.065 million) that will help the region plan for upcoming growth — and will include a biking and walking plan — in Aloha (“unincorporated urban area between Hillsboro and Beaverton”). Here’s more from the USDOT project description:[Read more…]