Last chance to comment: Proposed USDOT rules would likely harm communities

If you value communities that are enhanced by transit, bikeability, walkability, and ridesharing, you should know that the proposed rules on Performance Measures for the National Highway System, the Interstate Highway System, and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program will undercut policy and funding that support these modes of travel and programs that support them (such as TDM).

The proposed performance measures completely ignore these modes and their users and place value instead on the speed and delay of vehicles. What gets measured is what will ultimately get funding and policy support. If you are an individual or organization who cares about these, you may want to consider commenting. Your voice will count.

The end of the comment period is this Saturday, August 20 at 11:59 p.m.

Submit your comment to the comment page here. Below are easy links to resources to paste in and letters to sign.

Many organizations are voicing concerns and recommendations such as these:

  • Measures should be included that focus on the movement of people, not vehicles alone.
  • It is unfair and ineffective policy to ignore transit, carpooling, biking and walking.
  • Accessibility measures for disadvantaged populations must be included.
  • Reduction of vehicle trips and greenhouse gases are not measured and should be.
  • The thrust of the CMAQ program will be radically altered and will affect funding for TDM agencies.
  • In all, these measures will encourage the building of roads and deemphasize more cost-effective, people-oriented alternatives.

Below are easy ways to sign comment letters provided by the Association for Commuter Transportation and Transportation of America, or to draw talking points from them for your own letter to submit into the USDOT page above.

Association of Commuter Transportation

ACT letter [.docx download] – to submit to the comment page (as an individual or organization)

Transportation for America

T4America letter – sign as an organization or submit the talking points to the comments page

In recent years the USDOT has been a champion of tremendous progress in developing livable, people-oriented communities and providing many modes of transportation that offer accessibility and mobility for all populations. Tragically, these new measures will shift the focus away from multi-modal approaches and lock in vehicle-only metrics for the next 20 years. This Performance Measurement rule is too important to get wrong.  If you agree, add your voice today, and pass this on to your friends.

Photo: A highway in Seattle (Pierce Hanley, Flickr, Creative Commons).

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