AASHTO Provides USDOT with Transportation Equity Data Insight

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials submitted a 32-page letter on July 22 to the U.S. Department of Transportation containing advice for the agency as to how it can best collect transportation equity data. That letter came in response to a USDOT “Request for Information” issued in May.

[Above photo by the Oregon DOT]

An important theme stressed by AASHTO in its letter is that – given the diversity of populations, norms, and expectations throughout the states and the country as a whole – “one size does not fit all.”

This includes “the many different federal agencies” that will be involved if USDOT adopts any “new or expanded transportation equity data collection program, tool, methodology development, or analytical methodology.”

AASHTO noted that, in general, to determine how well USDOT programs are affecting the safety and security of underserved people, “we first have to make sure we are collecting data in those areas that will help state departments of transportation make that determination.”

Armed with the correct data, AASHTO said state DOTs can then see what type of impact they are having.

“Organizations with limited resources can partner with state DOTs or other planning organizations to identify opportunities that support planning in underserved communities,” AASHTO added.

The group noted in its letter that there is an “existing body of knowledge and research” related to transportation accessibility that can be used to measure access to opportunities – such as jobs, schools, healthcare, etc. – and the impact that changes to the land use system and/or the transportation system has on access to opportunities.

The first resource is the “Transport Access Manual: A Guide for Measuring Connection Between People and Places,” which serves as a guide for understanding how to measure the performance of transport and land use configurations. The second resource is the “National Accessibility Evaluation Pooled-Fund Study,” led by the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which is constructing a “measurement of accessibility” to jobs across the entire country.

“Transportation projects are undertaken to provide connectivity — the ability for people or things to physically travel — between locations, or to lower travel times where connectivity already exists,” AASHTO noted. “As long-term infrastructure investments, transportation systems are not built to satisfy individual trips at specific times, but rather to provide capacity that can be used to satisfy a huge variety of potential trips over the system’s lifetime. Accessibility metrics directly reflect this potential by combining network travel times with the locations and value of the many origins and destinations served by a multimodal transportation system.”

AASHTO also expressed in its letter support for establishing a task force with state DOT representation to “provide recommendations to address current and future needs of the transportation workforce, factors and barriers influencing and attracting individuals—including those from underserved communities.”

Video Highlights Michigan DOT Diversity Recruitment Program

The Michigan Department of Transportation recently put together a video reviewing the benefits of its Transportation Diversity Recruitment Program or TDRP, which the agency is using to “educate and inspire” the next generation of transportation professionals.

[Above photo by the Michigan DOT]

“This program, its structure, the fact that it’s been around for eight years and it’s only getting bigger and better, is really incredible,” noted Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II (D) (seen above) in a statement. “As someone who’s benefited from having just thoughtful and conscientious mentors who helped to make me successful, that’s what we want for every young person who’s looking to pursue careers in whatever field.”

https://youtu.be/hzioMpvXzxc
The Michigan DOT said it has been working with students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and colleges throughout Michigan to offer valuable on-the-job training and job shadowing to undergraduate students pursuing degrees in engineering or other transportation-related careers.
The TDRP began with four students eight years ago and has grown to include 59 students this season. The Michigan DOT said this 10-week program allows students to work alongside other on-the-job training program participants, internal staff and external professionals who provide engineering, technical, inspection, and project management services for state road and bridge projects.

The agency also recently created a new executive-level position to help the agency incorporate equity and inclusion in all aspects of its business.

The Michigan DOT’s new position of chief culture, equity, and inclusion officer or CCEIO oversees areas within the Bureau of Transportation Planning, the Office of Organizational Development, the Office of Business Development, the Equal Employment Opportunity Office, and the Office of Economic Development.

The agency noted that it designed this new CCEIO position to help it make “meaningful progress” optimizing its organizational culture, aligning equity and inclusion goals with business outcomes while responding to changes or policies that affect employee and customer populations.

Environmental News Highlights – August 4, 2021

A roundup of headlines curated for state transportation environmental professionals

FEDERAL ACTION

Senate Moves $1.2T Infrastructure Package Forward – AASHTO Journal

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg On Wins, Losses, Future Of Infrastructure Deal – NPR’s All Things Considered


A Look at What the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Would Do – New York Times


Macroeconomic Consequences of the Infrastructure and Budget Reconciliation Plans – Moody’s Analytics (link to PDF)

COVID-19

Boston transportation leaders speak on sharing spaces, investing in communities post-COVID – Boston Herald


Public Transportation’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and how it shapes transit’s future – Community Transportation Association of America (link to PDF)

 

INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

North Dakota uniquely positioned for emerging carbon capture infrastructure revolution KXMA/KXMB/KXMC/KXMD-TV

LaGuardia Airport Terminal First In The World To Achieve LEED v4 Gold Status – Environment and Energy Leader

 

AIR QUALITY

Hybrid Pioneer Toyota Pushes Congress To Slow Down Transition To Electric Cars – Forbes


EVs Growing in Rural Calif. Thanks to Local Partnership – Government Technology

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

Building the future by recruiting a diverse workforce, developing talent – Michigan DOT’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast

What It Looks Like to Reconnect Black Communities Torn Apart by Highways – CityLab

NATURAL RESOURCES

Sound Transit teams with regional agencies for ‘Trees for Rail’ – Progressive Railroading


Keep It Clean, UtahUtah DOT


Forgotten oil and gas wells linger, leaking toxic chemicals – AP

 

CULTURAL RESOURCES

More Art, Fewer Accidents? – The Philadelphia Citizen


National parks are so crowded that Congress is getting involved – Bloomberg

HEALTH AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT/ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

Study Examines Links between Commuting, Air Pollution – AASHTO Journal


MnDOT, Tourism Center asking for input on teleworking project – Minnesota DOT



Moovit Integrates Lime Electric Scooters, Bikes, Mopeds Into Transit Planning App – TechCrunch

Senate’s E-BIKE Act could make electric bikes a lot cheaper – The Verge

Midland City Council approves updated U.S. bike route plan – Midland Daily News

TRB RESOURCES/ANNOUNCEMENTS

Racial Equity Addendum to Critical Issues in Transportation – TRB



Transporting New Energy Options Safely is Key for U.S. Economy – TRB


TRB Webinar: Road Passages and Barriers for Small Terrestrial WildlifeTRB


TRB Webinar: Roadsides as Transportation Assets – Georgia Case Study – TRB

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICES

Port Access Route Study: The Pacific Coast From Washington to California – Coast Guard (Notification of study; request for comments)

National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan; Monitoring Requirements for Use of Dispersants and Other ChemicalsEPA (Final rule)


Proposed Information Collection Request; Comment Request; National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Program (Renewal) – EPA (Notice)

Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit – EPA (Notice; request for public comment)



Membership in the National Parks Overflights Advisory GroupFAA (Solicitation of applications)
Public Meeting/Notice of Availability for Proposed Air Tour Management Plans at Mount Rainier National Park; Death Valley National Park; Everglades National Park; and Olympic National ParkFAA (Public meeting/notice)

Notice of Availability of a Final General Conformity Determination for the California High-Speed Rail System, Bakersfield to Palmdale Section – FRA (Notice)

Notice of Matching Fund Opportunity for Ocean and Coastal Mapping and Request for Partnership Proposals – NOAA (Announcement of matching fund program opportunity, request for proposals, and request for interest by October 29, 2021)


Commercial Leasing for Wind Power Development on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Offshore Morro Bay, California, East and West Extensions – Call for Information and Nominations Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Notice)


Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Kitty Hawk Offshore Wind Project Offshore North Carolina – Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (Notice; request for comments)

Minnesota DOT Issues Fifth Sustainability Report

The Minnesota Department of Transportation released its fifth annual “Sustainability and Public Health Report,” documenting the agency’s progress towards its sustainability and climate goals. Based on data through 2020, the report now also includes additional public health and transportation resilience measures.

[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]

The Minnesota DOT noted that state law directs it to reduce carbon pollution from transportation, prioritize walking, bicycling, and transit – all while meeting a variety of Minnesota energy and environmental goals.

“Transportation remains the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. and Minnesota, which is why MnDOT is committed to doing our part to create a low-carbon future for our state,” said Tim Sexton, assistant commissioner and chief sustainability director, in a statement.

According to the 65-page report, the Minnesota DOT has reduced emissions from its facilities by 39 percent since 2019 – exceeding its 30 percent reduction goal – while reducing water use by 27 percent (exceeding its 15 percent goal) and converting 97 percent of all highway lighting to energy-conserving and longer-lasting light emitting diodes or LEDs.

However, the agency noted in the report it is not on track to meet its 30 percent emission reduction goals for the transportation sector by 2025. The Minnesota DOT added that its report also highlighted the need to include more active transportation options on its projects and achieve its goal of meeting 90 percent of needs for bicycling. Right now, the agency said it is at 62 percent.

The Minnesota DOT also noted in its report that it plans to redouble efforts to reduce non-motorized serious injuries and fatalities, which began trending upwards in 2020 – reflecting national uptick in pedestrian fatalities and injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, pedestrians comprised 17 percent of all traffic fatalities in 2019. Additionally, 6,205 pedestrians died in traffic crashes, which is 44 percent more compared to 2010.

To help address that issue, the agency released its first Statewide Pedestrian System Plan on May 26 – a plan that provides policy and investment guidance to improve places where people walk across and along Minnesota highway – followed by a new statewide pedestrian safety campaign launched in late July called “Let’s Move Safely Together.” 

Minnesota DOT’s efforts are also reflective of a broader push among state departments of transportation to reduce pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

Utah DOT Seeking Public Input on Active Transportation Needs

The Utah Department of Transportation is seeking public feedback through August 28 on the agency’s overall Active Transportation Plan, so it can “better understand” the community’s needs for more bike lanes, trails, multiuse paths, crosswalks, and sidewalks for state roads.

[Above photo by the Utah DOT]

“Community input is essential in making sure we build projects the right way,” Heidi Goedhart, Utah DOT’s active transportation manager, in a statement. “Our emphasis is to build a complete transportation system where people can choose how they travel.”

The agency added that public input will help it develop active transportation plans to provide better access to trails and paths on state routes. Active transportation is human-powered transportation like walking, biking, using a wheelchair, or hand cycling and provides more options for people to access jobs, education, and other services within their communities, the Utah DOT noted.

The agency said state residents could provide feedback in several ways: By visiting its active transportation project website at publicinput.com/udotplanning and responding via a quick survey and/or pin a location on a map; sending an email to planning@utah.gov; or phoning in comments to 385-360-1900. 

Utah DOT’s active transportation efforts are the latest in a series of similar initiatives launched by state departments of transportation across the country.

The Ohio Department of Transportation, for example, recently unveiled a bicycling and pedestrian “framework” to advance statewide development of active transportation over the next five years.

The agency said its new Walk.Bike.Ohio plan – constructed over the last two years based on input from local governments, other state agencies, and the public – seeks to improve mobility, safety, and quality of life as part of “equitable investments” statewide in walking and bicycling infrastructure, maintenance, programs, and policies.

In May, the Washington State Department of Transportation made sections of its new “Washington State Active Transportation Plan, 2020 and Beyond: Part 1” available online as part of its efforts to support more transit, bicycle, and pedestrian options.

That plan assesses the needs for accessible pedestrian and bicyclist facilities, highlights safety concerns and provides the first-ever examination of state right of way and its suitability for active transportation.

In December 2020, the Kansas Department of Transportation began gathering public feedback on the state’s first active transportation plan in 25 years. The agency noted that funding for active transportation investment is included within the state’s 10-year Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, or IKE, signed into law in early April 2020.

Environmental News Highlights – July 28th, 2021

A roundup of headlines curated for state transportation environmental professionals

FEDERAL ACTION

Senate infrastructure bill ‘90%’ done, but hits new roadblock over transit funding – AP

Bipartisan infrastructure bill in the Senate is an island in a sea of partisanship – Washington Post

$47 billion for coastal resilience included in Senate infrastructure bill – WVEC-TV

Majority support key parts of sweeping new infrastructure bill: poll – The Hill

COVID-19

COVID-19 Affecting Transportation in Massachusetts – AASHTO Journal

House passes bill to require TSA plan on improving airport security screenings during pandemic – The Hill

Parking Startups Are Cashing In on America’s Traffic Surge – Businessweek

INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Here Are People Not Blown Away by NJ’s Offshore Wind Power Plans – WCAU-TV

Disputed LaGuardia AirTrain Plan Gets Federal Approval – Patch

After Oregon’s Heat Wave, State’s Leading Environmental Groups Call for Transportation Overhaul – Willamette Week

Pittsburgh Airport’s Microgrid Is A Worthy But Tough To Duplicate Example Of Resiliency – Forbes

Colorado backs off plan to require large employers to encourage reduced car travel Colorado Newsline

Calif.’s Push Toward Electric Cars May Harm Planet Anyway – Los Angeles Times

Iowa has a big opportunity to pave the way for electric vehicles – Des Moines Register (Opinion)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

New actions report unveiled by California Transit Association to impact equity in transit arena – California Transit Association

Some In the Environmental Justice Movement Oppose A Carbon Tax. That’s A Problem For Democrats. – Forbes

How Va. pipeline ruling may reshape environmental justice – E&E News

Building a bridge to equity in transportation planning – Portland Business Journal

NATURAL RESOURCES

North Carolina Department of Transportation collects more than 8 million pounds of roadside litter – WXII-TV

How Cities Can Live Through Climate Change With ‘Managed Retreat’ – Honolulu Civil Beat

CULTURAL RESOURCES

How Philly transformed a trolley station into a garden – WHYY Radio

HEALTH AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT/ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

New study examines commuter characteristics and traffic pollution exposure among commuters George Mason University

N.H. DOT Targets $15 Million Annual Budget For Bike Lanes, Sidewalks And Other Active Transportation – New Hampshire Public Radio

Can Pittsburgh Make ‘Mobility as a Service’ Succeed? – CityLab

TRB RESOURCES/ANNOUNCEMENTS

Racial Equity Addendum to Critical Issues in Transportation – TRB

TRB Webinar: Road Passages and Barriers for Small Terrestrial Wildlife – TRB

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICES

Port Access Route Study: Northern New York Bight; Correction – Coast Guard, (Notice; correction)

Ocean Dumping; Modification of an Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site Offshore Port Everglades, Florida – EPA (Final rule)

Availability of Record of Decision for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed LaGuardia Access Improvement Project at LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York City, Queens County, New YorkFAA (Notice of availability for Record of Decision)

Notice of Limitation on Claims Against Proposed Public Transportation Project – FRA, FTA (Notice)

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Ventilation Plans, Tests, and Examinations in Underground Coal Mines – Mine Safety and Health Administration (Request for public comments)

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Mine Mapping and Records of Opening, Closing, and Reopening of Mines – Mine Safety and Health Administration (Request for public comments)

Notice of Intent To Repatriate Cultural Items: California Department of Transportation, Sacramento, CA – National Park Service (Notice)

 

Environmental News Highlights – July 21, 2021

FEDERAL ACTION

House Appropriations Releases USDOT Funding Bill – AASHTO Journal

Transportation Stakeholders Renew Calls for Congressional Action – Transport Topics

Congress returns to face big to-do list – infrastructure, social spending, debt limit – MarketWatch

Senate Budget Has Funds To Ensure Infrastructure Works As The Climate Changes – NPR

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez: Progressives May Sink Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Without Reconciliation Deal – Democracy Now

COVID-19

Transit systems dangle discounts, new tech as they try to turn the corner on the pandemic – NBC News

Clarence Thomas rejects appeal to halt federal mask mandate on public transportation – Fox News

CDC defends U.S. transit mask mandate as some call for scrapping – Reuters

Transportation Agencies Grapple With Lasting Effects of Telework – Route Fifty

INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

New York Issues $110M to Support Local Transportation – AASHTO Journal

Identifying Communities ‘Most at Risk’ During Evacuations – AASHTO Journal

Senator Collins & Maine DOT Commissioner Van Note Survey Two Planned Infrastructure Projects in Searsport – Senator Susan Collins (Media release)

AIR QUALITY

USDOT, power sector seen as partners in creating infrastructure for net-zero economy – DailyEnergyInsider

“Ambitious” plan to reduce emissions at Pacific Northwest ports open for public comment – KING-TV

Transportation innovations could boost public health – Cornell University (Media release)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

How Local Governments Can Spend Their Federal Funds To Boost Equity – Route Fifty

Congressional plan would reconnect neighborhoods like Philly’s Chinatown, fractured by highwaysPhiladelphia Inquirer

Maine joins debate over how to define environmental justice – Energy News Network

PennDOT Releases Transportation Equity Report, Highlights Efforts to Dismantle Systemic Racism and Inequity in Transportation – PennDOT (Media release)

NATURAL RESOURCES

The Challenges with Enforcing the Clean Water Act and Monitoring Pollution – GAO (Podcast)

EU Plans to Plant Three Billion Trees Under Forestry StrategyBloomberg Green

Company, Wisconsin Airport at Odds Over Proposed Trash Facility; Birds, FAA Certificate Among Concerns – WXPR Radio

A concrete solution to fish passage barriers – WSDOT (Media release)

CULTURAL RESOURCES

Ohio DOT Unveils Quaker Heritage Scenic Byway – AASHTO Journal

In Metcalfe Park, organizers use murals to build community — and slow traffic – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

HEALTH AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT/ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

Pilot Seeks Better Micromobility Safety at Intersections – AASHTO Journal

Will Ohio DOT’s New Walking and Biking Plan Make a Difference? – Columbus Underground

After 5-year wait, bike racks finally being installed in Ventnor and Margate, New Jersey – Downbeach

Drivesmart column: Where do non-traditional ‘vehicles’ fit in on the roads? – Cowichan Valley Citizen (Opinion)

Union County, NJ to be Awarded Grant for Cranford-Elizabeth Rails to Trails Feasibility Study – County of Union (Media release)

TRB RESOURCES/ANNOUNCEMENTS

TRB Webinar: Public Transit as a Climate Solution – TRB

Infrastructure for a Changing Climate – National Academies

Report Outlines How Public Transit Agencies Can Advance Equity – University of Texas at Austin

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICES

Port Access Route Study: Northern New York Bight – Coast Guard (Notice of availability of draft report and public meeting; request for comments)

Removal of the Federal Reformulated Gasoline Program From the Southern Maine Area – EPA (Notification of final action on petition)

Proposed Consent Decree, Clean Air Act Citizen Suit – EPA (Notice of proposed consent decree; request for public comment)

St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, Bicycling – National Park Service (Proposed rule)

Ohio DOT Unveils Five-Year Biking/Pedestrian Plan

The Ohio Department of Transportation has unveiled a bicycling and pedestrian “framework” to advance statewide development of active transportation over the next five years.

[Above photo by the Ohio DOT]

The agency said its new Walk.Bike.Ohio plan – constructed over the last two years based on input from local governments, other state agencies, and the public – seeks to improve mobility, safety, and quality of life as part of “equitable investments” statewide in walking and bicycling infrastructure, maintenance, programs, and policies.

“Nearly one out of every 10 Ohio households does not have access to a motor vehicle, meaning active transportation options like walking and bicycling are necessary to meet basic needs,” said Governor Mike DeWine (R) in a statement.

“When we ensure that walking and biking are safe, convenient, and accessible options – everybody wins,” he added. “The Walk.Bike.Ohio plan puts us on the right path to do that.”

The Ohio DOT noted that recent trends in safety, health, and demographics highlight what the agency called an “urgent need” for safer, accessible, and more convenient options for walking and biking in communities across the state.

In Ohio, people walking and biking make up about 14 percent of all traffic deaths, despite making up just 2.6 percent of trips to work, with “high need” populations and areas of the state experiencing a disproportionate amount – nearly double – of the severe pedestrian and bicycle crashes.

In 2020, the agency there were 164 people killed and 469 people seriously injured while traveling along or across Ohio’s roadways on foot. From 2019 to 2020 alone, pedestrian deaths increased by 30 percent, with the most notable increases occurring at intersections with unmarked crosswalks (up 600 percent), at unmarked, mid-block locations (up 84 percent), and in circumstances involving speed (up 60 percent).

“Although the publication of Walk.Bike.Ohio is a major milestone for Ohio, it is just the beginning of the work necessary to achieve our vision,” said Jack Marchbanks, Ohio DOT’s director.

For example, an economic impact analysis completed as part of this effort found that existing trips by foot or bike could save Ohioans $12.7 billion in transportation and environmental costs over the next 20 years. Furthermore, in walking and biking rates increase by just over 1 percent statewide, an additional $5 billion in cost savings over the next two decades.

In addition to economic benefits, connected active transportation networks can also play a role in improving Ohio’s ranking of 40th in the United States for overall health outcomes and 47th for health behaviors, which include obesity and physical inactivity.

The Ohio DOT active transportation plan is also an “opportunity” to address growing mobility “needs and preferences,” the agency said. In 1983, about 46 percent of 16-year old Americans had a driver’s license, according to the Federal Highway Administration. By 2014, that number had dropped to just over 24 percent. In Ohio, the number of 16- and 17-year old drivers fell from 84,985 in 2016 to 70,678 in 2020.

Additionally, as the share of Ohio’s population over 65 continues to grow, more state residents may rely on or prefer transit and active transportation options, the Ohio DOT noted.

The hope, said the agency, is that its five-year active transportation plan will serve as a “useful tool” for decision-makers at all levels of government in Ohio as they look at ways to make the state more walkable and bike accessible. “The development of Walk.Bike.Ohio has helped us to establish a statewide vision for walking and biking, informed by practitioners and the public,” Caitlin Harley, Ohio DOT’s active transportation manager. “This plan outlines what Ohio DOT will seek to advance over the next five years in order to improve walking and biking as a transportation option in Ohio.”

Minnesota DOT Launches Statewide Pedestrian Safety Campaign

Reducing fatalities among pedestrians and improving safety for all travelers is the focus of a new statewide safety campaign launched by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

[Above photo by the Minnesota DOT]

The theme for this campaign – “Let’s Move Safely Together” – highlights safety tips that remind people to use extra caution when driving and walking. So far this year, the Minnesota DOT said 24 people have died while walking on roads statewide, while 224 people died in vehicle crashes.

The move follows the release of the Minnesota DOT’s first Statewide Pedestrian System Plan in May 2021 – a plan that provides “policy and investment guidance” to improve places where people walk across and along Minnesota highways.

“One life lost on our roadways is too many. When we work as a team and watch out for each other, we can save lives and make progress Toward Zero Deaths,” said Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the agency’s commissioner, in a statement.

“That means drivers need to slow down and stop for people crossing the road,” she added. “When you’re walking, look all ways before crossing and stay alert because people driving may not see you.”

The agency is highlighting aspects of this safety campaign via its Pedestrian Safety Education website as well via social media channels and through television, newspaper, digital, and radio ads across the state now through October.

State departments of transportation across the country are ramping up efforts to address pedestrian safety needs.

For example, while a report issued in March by the Governors Highway Safety Association showed pedestrian fatalities trended up in the first half of 2020, the report also noted how several state-directed efforts are successfully improving pedestrian safety.

GHSA’s annual Spotlight on Highway Safety report found that the U.S. pedestrian fatality rate increased 20 percent in the first six months of 2020 as speeding, distracted, and impaired driving – as well as other dangerous driving behaviors – increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2020 declined in 20 states and Washington D.C. compared with the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, nine states – Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina – witnessed double-digit percentage and numeric declines in pedestrian fatalities in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same six-month period in 2019. GHSA’s report noted that most pedestrians are killed on local roads, in the dark, and away from intersections – suggesting the need for safer road crossings and increased efforts to make pedestrians more visible through improved lighting and other countermeasures.

Environmental News Highlights – July 14, 2021

FEDERAL ACTION

AASHTO Updates Key Surface Transportation Priorities – AASHTO Journal

Bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus backs Senate infrastructure deal, calling for House vote – CBS News

Business groups, unions join together on infrastructure plan – AP

Senate eyes taking up bipartisan infrastructure deal as soon as July 19 – The Hill

The rocky road ahead for the House surface bill – Politico

PHMSA Seeks Ideas to Improve Safe Hazmat Transportation – Transport Topics

COVID-19

Sen. Rand Paul vows to repeal federal mask mandate for passengers on flights – WLKY-TV

NEPA

Tree Thinning, The Federal Government and NEPA – How It All Works – The Good Men Project

INFRASTRUCTURE RESILIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

Caltrans Awards Funds for Sustainable Transportation Projects – AASHTO Journal

Solar Is Dirt-Cheap and About to Get Even More Powerful – Bloomberg Green

Gov. Signs Climate Change Bill to Protect Coastal Communities – WVIT-TV

LAX, Van Nuys Airport To Eliminate Plastic Water Bottles By June 30, 2023 – KCAL-TV

Environmental group sues Gulf, Shell over New Haven oil terminal concerns – New Haven Register

AIR QUALITY

Battery-powered trains could be a climate game changer. Is everyone all aboard? – Los Angeles Times

County plans to lower emissions to comply with Clean Air Act – Austin Monitor

Gov. Burgum wants to get North Dakota carbon neutral by 2030. It’s a tall task. – Grand Forks Herald

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

ATCMTD Grants Include Racial Equity, Environmental Factors – AASHTO Journal

The Gender Divide in Transport Is Starting to Crumble – CityLab

Memphis pipeline canceled after environmental justice feud – E&E News

NATURAL RESOURCES

Some locals say a Bitcoin mining operation is ruining one of the Finger Lakes. Here’s how. – NBC News

California lawmakers approve more than $60 million budget to fund wildlife crossing projectsKGO

In Wildfire Country, It’s Time to Lay Off the Fireworks – CityLab

Hawaii DOT Outlines Actions Taken To Protect Endangered Seabirds At Airports, Harbors – Hawaii Governor’s Office (Media release)

CULTURAL RESOURCES

Brad King: Tearing down some common myths about historic preservation – Muncie Star Press (Opinion)

HEALTH AND HUMAN ENVIRONMENT/ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

GTC announces online bicycling map – Livingston County News

How a trail in rural Oregon became a target of far-right extremism – High Country News

Can ride-sharing technology change local transit? Seattle-area county testing app-based bus system – GeekWire

As infrastructure and transportation bills make their way through Congress, demand for e-bikes soar in the US – Greater Greater Washington

Love Them Or Hate Them, Fort Collins Is Going All-In On E-Scooters And Bikes – KUNC

Montgomery County Department of Transportation Commuter Services Participants Win Three Regional ‘Commuter Connections’ Awards – Montgomery County, MD (Media release)

TRB RESOURCES/ANNOUNCEMENTS

How Technology Can Create a More Sustainable and Resilient Transportation System – ITS America (Webinar announcement)

Webinar: The New Mobilities: Smart Planning for Emerging Transportation Technologies – ENO Center for Transportation

FEDERAL REGISTER NOTICES

Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary Announcement of Public Meetings; Request for Public Comments – Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (Notice)

Frequently Asked Questions on 911 Notifications Following Possible Pipeline Ruptures – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (Notice; draft frequently asked questions)