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The annual "Pro Bike, Pro Walk, Pro Place" Conference held this week in Pittsburgh was founded on the belief that greater access to walking and bicycling creates healthier individuals, more cohesive neighborhoods, and more vibrant communities. Here at DOT, we believe those are three pretty valuable goals, but like the transportation professionals gathered in Pittsburgh this week, we also know that access won't do a lick of good unless it's safe access.

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make it clear: even as automobile travel has never been safer, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths are on the rise. I went to Pittsburgh this week to let folks know that I think this is a problem, and that this Department is putting together the most innovative, forward-leaning, biking-walking safety initiative ever...

Photo ofSecretary Foxx at Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place 2014

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We all know the “road to prosperity” is a metaphor, but what if it were an actual road?

The fact is, investing in transportation creates value, and that means it’s a worthwhile investment—for public funds, yes, but also for the private sector. So, with public investments in our nation’s important transportation assets steadily declining, we need to find better ways to partner with private investors to help rebuild America...

Photo of backed up traffic on Tappan Zee Bridge

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On this anniversary of September 11, 2001, we honor those whose action in response to tragedy inspired what has become a National Day of Service.

We at DOT hope that the two video reflections here will serve as a reminder that when we all do our part--to help strangers as well as neighbors--our nation will not falter.

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With high schools and colleges back in session, and term projects under discussion, now is a good time for science and engineering students to begin thinking about solutions to transportation challenges.

Last week, we featured a blog post from NHTSA on an auto safety technology challenge. Today we've got something a little less grounded: the Secretary's annual Recognizing Innovation in Aviation & Aerospace Science and Engineering (RAISE) Award.  Through this program –now in its third year– we hope to identify and help develop the next generation of leaders in aviation and aerospace...

Photo of students working in aerospace lab

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Regular readers of the Fast Lane blog know that at DOT, safety is our top priority.  But when most folks think about safety, they think about the traditional tools that protect people as they travel – seatbelts, airbags, steel.  It may come as a surprise that DOT is leading the effort on a new frontier for safety, one that will keep people safe by preventing accidents before they even happen.

That's why I'm so excited about connected vehicles, cars that are able to talk to or see each other, even when the driver can’t.

Early studies indicate that Vehicle to Vehicle Communication (V2V) has the potential to help drivers avoid 70 to 80 percent of vehicle crashes involving unimpaired drivers.

Photo of a test V-2-V vehicle on the road

V2V has very promising potential, and the researchers and engineers from around the globe who have come together this week at the ITS World Congress in Detroit are just the community to help us realize that potential.

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As summertime draws to a close, I want to share with you some of the great work that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety investigators and our law enforcement partners did these past few months to protect the public from riding unsafe buses during their vacations.

If you visited our National Parks in Wyoming, Idaho, and South Dakota this summer, you might have noticed these men and women diligently at work inspecting buses and trucks. Indeed, federal and state inspectors executed a 12-week truck and bus inspection blitz throughout the Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore National Parks.

Photo of the inspection team at Grand Teton National Park

Working together with the Highway Patrols of each state and with the assistance of National Park Service rangers, these highly trained investigators examined the overall vehicle maintenance of the many motorcoaches transporting visitors to the parks as well as large trucks passing through the area...

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At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we’re proud of our nearly five-decade record of reducing deaths and injuries from automotive crashes on America’s highways. Since 1970, highway fatalities have declined by 36 percent, and they have fallen by 22 percent just in the last decade. But even with this progress, more than 30,000 people lose their lives each year on our roadways. That's 30,000 too many.

Still, I'm confident our ability to change things for the better will only continue to grow. That’s because, for every automotive safety challenge, there are talented young people in schools across the nation putting their imagination and expertise to work on innovative vehicle technology.

And their talent will again be on display next year as part of the Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition (SSTDC)...

Photo collage of past S.S.T.D.C. winners

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I hope Fast Lane readers recall my post last month after spending some time with UPS driver Jay Valentin; experiencing our road network through his eyes was a tremendously valuable morning for me. So valuable, in fact, that I wanted to do something similar alongside someone who relies on public transit so I could get a ground-level sense of her experience. And yesterday, I got that opportunity when I joined Lan-Anh Thi Phan in her Takoma Park, MD, home and accompanied her on her morning commute.

Lan is a nurse --a patient care manager in the Oncology Ward of MedStar Washington Hospital Center here in the nation’s capital. Lan and the nurses she helps oversee provide care for patients battling cancer. And her reliance on public transit to get to this important job makes it clear: When we or our loved ones depend on dedicated caregivers like Lan Phan, we also depend on a safe, efficient transportation network to get them to work so they can deliver that care...

Photo of Secretary Foxx and Lan riding the 63 Metrobus
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For many, the days after Labor Day mean a return to pre-summer levels of activity. But here in DOT's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), we never slowed down, working hard throughout the summer on several veteran-oriented Boots to Business: Reboot events in conjunction with the Small Business Administration.

We think America's veterans are natural entrepreneurs who can make a real impact on transportation. They are disciplined, goal-oriented self-starters who are accustomed to accountability. They also know the value of being decisive but flexible. With unemployment among our veterans outpacing the national average, training in entrepreneurship just makes sense.

Leveraging the talents of some of our 22.5 million veterans will promote self-employment, strengthen our transportation industry, and help stimulate our economy.

Photo of servicemen and women with American flag

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the Great Lakes region to help celebrate two new public transportation projects helping people in two states get where they’re going faster and with greater convenience than ever before.

Without federal participation, many projects like the Grand Rapids Silver Line and the Cleveland Cedar-University Rapid Station simply wouldn't get built. That's why the GROW AMERICA proposal Secretary Foxx sent to Congress last spring includes four years of support for transit projects in communities across the nation...

Photo of Grand Rapids Silver Line B.R.T. vehicle and station

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