This could be the beginning of the end of our "wider, straighter, faster" design paradigm that yields deadlier roads and enables sprawl
Today, December 7, is the final day to submit comments to the FHWA in support of its proposal to simplify the 13 road design criteria that were developed 30 years ago with primarily the car in mind. Please click here to add your name to the list of supporters that Transportation for America is collecting to give to the FHWA. It takes just a minute.
The FHWA proposes removing 11 of the 13 criteria for lower-speed sections of the national highway system. According to the LAB, this proposed rule change will make it far easier for communities with NHS roads to improve those roads in implementing their own complete streets policies and bicycle-friendly goals.
Tell the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) thank you for making it easier for cities and communities to build complete streets that are safer for everyone by sending this letter.
For more background, see below:
COMMENT ON FHWA PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE 11 OF 13 CONTROLLING DESIGN CRITERIA
by Mark Plotz in the National Center for Biking & Walking's 10/21/15 newsletter
Thirty years ago the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) designated 13 controlling criteria for roadway design for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and safe operation of the National Highway System (NHS). State DOTs were also encouraged to adopt these standards and many did so because, well, bureaucracies are conservative and risk-averse. As a result, the 13 Controlling Design Criteria (CDC) became the law of the land, and whenever a designer wished to deviate from them, he/she had to enter into the process of requesting a formal design exemption, the outcome of which was uncertain—other than knowing it would add delay and cost to a project. The effect is that we got one-size-fits-all designs regardless of context or community wishes.
The Federal Highway Administration is revisiting the 13 criteria and is requesting comment on a proposal to eliminate all but 2 (Design Speed and Structural Capacity) for NHS roadways under 50 mph. Under this proposal it will be:
Should the proposed rule change become policy, the percentage of roads affected will be small. That said, the ripple effect could be huge if/when state DOTs follow suit—and why shouldn’t they, as these proposed changes could yield significant cost savings and myriad other benefits.
Be sure to tell FHWA what you think by December 7, 2015. You should write in. This is big.
For more background, see:
12/7/2015 01:27:06 pm
These changes are a must for the growth and future sustainability of all muncipal infrastructures and the health and well being of society
12/7/2015 02:37:19 pm
I just wish in 1974, when I moved to Connecticut after living in Germany and biking EVERYWHERE, I had started a BIKE ADVOCACY GROUP! So GRATEFUL something is FINALLY being done! THANK YOU!!!!!
12/7/2015 03:15:46 pm
The roads we have were built with and are maintained by Gasoline Taxes. The average driver pays hundreds of dollars a year in taxes to enable us to have wide fast straight roads. Bicycles pay no taxes and resist regulation. Wow, Lets make all the roads narrower and slower so the .4% can use their bicycles on sunny days. They tried to do this in Florida and failed. This is 'Agenda 21' stuff.
12/7/2015 10:12:46 pm
This is something that is long overdue. I see people trying to walk or ride bikes often and there isn't any space for them. Let's make the roads a little safer for everyone who is trying to use them. Roads should not be restricted to only cars going fast and straight.
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