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Is there any holiday that’s more fun than Halloween? My son doesn’t think so. Let’s see...he gets to dress up, act silly, and eat candy! Hard to top that.

But whether you’re a kid out trick-or-treating or a kid at heart attending a costume party, we should all recognize that several factors combine on Halloween that could ruin a good time:

  • Halloween arrives just as the days get shorter, and it signals that nights will soon fall even earlier thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time.
  • The holiday also means more pedestrians on the road—and many are excited young children who don’t always walk as safely as they should.
  • Even scarier, Halloween falling on a weekend night means more adults enjoying parties. Often, that involves alcohol—and then getting behind the wheel.

Halloween can unleash a witch’s brew of roadway dangers...

Photo of trick-or-treaters

Continue Reading Stay Safe this Halloween: ››
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Today in Throwback Thursday-land, we're dialing up a Fast Lane post from September 6, 2013.

Writing about a TIGER grant for Lee County, Florida, road and trail improvements to save the lives of pedestrians and bicyclists, Secretary Foxx says, "We want to be a partner with Lee County in improving the safety and vitality of the community."

That's exactly what the TIGER program--created by the Recovery Act that President Obama signed within less than a month of taking office--has allowed us to do.

And if Congress passes the Obama Administration's GROW AMERICA Act, we'll be able to continue supporting state and local efforts like those in Lee County. Efforts that boost safety, create jobs, and increase affordable transportation options for America's middle class.

Lee County TIGER Award an Investment in Safety

Thanks in part to DOT's TIGER program, Lee County, Florida, is on the brink of transformation...

Continue Reading Throwback Thursday: Lee ››
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When our transportation system is not as efficient as it needs to be, we don't just calculate the cost in congestion on our roadways. We must also measure it by our inability to get essential supplies to our armed forces overseas. The ability to move the food, equipment, and supplies our forces need to do their jobs and safely return home is a critical requirement for our nation’s transportation system.

When our transportation system is stronger, our military is stronger.

That's why the Department of Transportation works closely with the U.S. Transportation Command to ensure that America can meet its strategic deployment requirements and sustain our military. And yesterday, at the Fall Meeting of the National Defense Transportation Association and USTRANSCOM, it was clear that we must continue to do so...

Photo from wheelhouse of military vessel in busy port
Photo credit USTRANSCOM.
Continue Reading When our transportation is ››
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Eastern North Carolina struggles with persistent poverty.  The region was hit hard by the recession.

But what I saw during my visits with Congressman G.K. Butterfield to the towns of Kinston and Mount Olive really impressed me.  Eastern North Carolina is bouncing back.  And they’re doing it by rebuilding their economy around transportation.

Federal investments in passenger rail and transit are benefiting the region. In fact, in other cities like Los Angeles and Salt Lake City and Pittsburgh, passengers are riding trains that, in a sense, are powered by Mount Olive company, IMPulse...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at ImPulse
Photo courtesy U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield!
Continue Reading Eastern North Carolina ››
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If you're interested in transportation, one of the more exciting conferences that's come down the pike lately is this week's Transforming Access, Mobility, and Delivery in Cities forum in New York City. This meeting seeks to turn research on 21st century urban transportation into action that can make a practical difference for the people living in our cities.

I couldn't be happier to join a group of committed people who are putting their shoulders into the door of opportunity and holding it open just a little wider so more people can step through. Because 'access' means opportunity, and increasing accesss and connecting more people to more opportunity is exactly what we're trying to do at DOT...

Photo of Secretary Foxx at Transforming Access conference; courtesy Don Chen
Continue Reading Want 21st Century ››
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When Congress passed the current surface transportation law, MAP-21, they authorized a new role for the Federal Transit Administration: transit safety oversight. Since then, we have enthusiastically embraced that new safety mission and have committed to ensuring that safety will be the FTA's highest priority. We serve the public in a new way, and we take that seriously.

That new safety oversight authority must have the proper foundation, and we have called on the best and brightest to help lay that foundation. Today I had the opportunity to take part in the latest Transit Advisory Committee on Safety meeting.  TRACS, as it is called, informs and assists the Federal Transit Administration in strengthening our transit safety program.

TRACS was organized in December 2009 to provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Department on all aspects of transit safety. TRACS members consist of a cross-section of public transportation safety experts from bus and rail transit agencies, state safety oversight agencies, academia, and labor unions...

Photo of Metro transit bus in Minneapolis

Continue Reading On TRACS toward transit ››
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Last week I had the pleasure of participating in the dedication ceremony for the Englewood Flyover, a project funded largely by a $126 million High Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program grant.

It’s a perfect example of the type of important projects that can be advanced with predictable, dedicated funding for rail...

Photo of passenger train passing over freight train via Englewood flyover

Continue Reading Englewood Flyover to reduce ››
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Today, we’re launching a web page that collects and shares information from the agencies whose jurisdictions relate to passenger ships and the millions of Americans who enjoy cruise vacations each year.

Recently, DOT has received a host of inquiries from cruise ship passengers about their upcoming travels. Although we are always keen to serve the public, our Department doesn’t have oversight authority in this area. We don’t handle issues like cruise ship safety, security, or customer satisfaction. Those are generally handled by other agencies.

On the other hand, whether cruise ship issues are in our job description or not, we at DOT are committed to providing the traveling public with as much information as possible. We want you to make informed decisions about your travel –and to be sure that you know your rights before, during, and after a trip...

Photo of a cruise ship

Continue Reading New website shares ››
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Cross-posted from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director's Blog.

Today we released the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey Government-wide results. The results illustrate a snapshot in time of employee opinions on topics ranging from work environments to job satisfaction. It is one of the most valuable tools that OPM provides to agencies because it helps leaders understand how employees feel about their jobs, their ability to advance, their training opportunities and their sense of empowerment in the workplace.

Graph from O.P.M. showing employee engagement by state

The survey allows employees to comfortably share their opinions and it makes it possible for agency leadership to make changes based on real data about their employees’ honest and crucial feedback. We’ve seen government-wide how powerful the changes that come from analyzing FEVS results can be. For example, agency leaders can understand telework patterns or gauge the level of supervisors’ commitment to a workforce representative of all segments of society.

Earlier this year, OPM also gave the agencies an interactive dashboard that helps them more easily drill down into their FEVS results. We are working with the Chief Human Capital Officers Council and the National Council on Federal Labor-Management Relations to identify and share best practices from agencies that have achieved long-lasting change.

With this year’s survey, we are highlighting the work of three agencies that have improved their rankings in recent years by making good use of their analyses of the FEVS results: OPM, the Department of Transportation and the Securities and Exchange Commission...

Continue Reading FEVS Highlights Employee ››
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Each year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) partners with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to conduct “Operation Safe Driver,” a high-profile traffic safety education and law enforcement campaign across North America.  

On Monday, we helped kick-off this year’s week-long campaign in Denver, Colorado, where we shared a simple message: Nearly all crashes are preventable, and safety is a shared responsibility among all motorists. 

Whether you are a seasoned driver, a young person with a gleaming new driver’s license, a motorcycle rider, a bicyclist, or pedestrian, always follow the rules of the road.  Be courteous and stay alert –never allow yourself to become distracted– and be sure to take extra precautions when sharing the road with large trucks and buses...

Photo of Operation Safe Driver team

Continue Reading Operation Safe Driver, Teen ››
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