If someone takes the bus to work, and no one is around to count them, do they still matter?
We say yes, but the U.S. Department of Transportation seems to disagree.
Last week, USDOT issued a draft rule that will govern how states and metro areas will have to measure and address congestion, along with freight movement and emissions. These new requirements will help measure what America’s transportation dollars are actually buying us—which is great.
However, the rule as it is currently written would measure success in outdated ways. Using old measures will lead to the continued use of outdated strategies, such as prioritizing fast driving speeds above all other modes of transportation and their associated benefits.
The rule as it is currently written fails to consider people taking transit, carpooling, walking, and biking. It would also penalize communities where people live close to work, or travel shorter distances at slower speeds.
This rule makes driving fast the ultimate goal of a transportation system, regardless of what type of road you’re on. Should driving fast be the priority on main streets where people might be shopping or dining at an outdoor café? Should that be the priority in residential neighborhoods where children might be biking or walking? Of course not.
Success is about a lot more than moving cars fast. Tell USDOT to improve their proposed rule >>
This rule is particularly disappointing in light of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx’s unprecedented effort to improve Americans’ access to economic opportunity through better transportation options. Those are worthy goals, and passing the rule as currently written would be a missed opportunity to achieve them.
Deciding what projects we consider “successful” will influence which transportation projects are selected and built for years to come. Tell USDOT that #WeAllCount and the new rule should reflect that.
P.S.—Want to know more about the new rule? Join us for a free webinar today at 1:00 PM EDT all about it.