10K Comments for Bicyclist Safety
Your comments and visits are making a difference on Capitol Hill. At the National Bike Summit this March and throughout the spring, you’ve helped to push the U.S. Department of Transportation to create a national goal to reduce bicyclist fatalities. If you’ve haven’t added your voice to this important campaign, please take action today!
In 2012, Congress asked the USDOT to set national goals to guide federal, state and local investments in our transportation system. After meeting with USDOT and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials, we knew they were unlikely to include a specific non-motorized performance measure — or goal to reduce bike/ped deaths. On March 11 we were proved right: FHWA issued a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” that acknowledged our request — but chose not to include one.
But the story doesn’t end there. The FHWA opened the public comment period in mid-March and, since then, they’ve received more than 9,950 comments. Thanks to our members and supporters, more than 9,700 call on FHWA to create a non-motorized safety performance measure. (Just for comparison: The open Federal Register notice for comments on whether we should be able to make cell phone calls during flights has just 3,000 comments — and that’s been on national news and is being pushed by a lot of powerful interest groups!)
And members of Congress are taking note. Last month, the Senate Environment and Public Works committee included the non-motorized performance measure in it’s draft transportation bill. Both the House and Senate Transportation Appropriations bills include a call for US DOT/FHWA to create a non-motorized performance measure, too. That’s a strong push from Congress in support of our goal!
Still, we can’t let up now. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the coalition of state departments of transportation, have asked for, and have been granted, an extension of the deadline until June 30. State DOTs are divided on this issue, but several have weighed in against the performance measures in general, so we’re expecting some push back. We don’t want the final surge to be negative, so let’s keep the comments coming.