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Partnerships, investigations leading to worry-free moves

This year alone, more than 35 million Americans will move.  At the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), we're working to ensure that families and their household possessions are protected during every one of those moves. 

Too often, families on the move are preyed upon by unscrupulous carriers.  Too often, they are overcharged when shipping their possessions to a new home. Too often, their treasured memories are held hostage until a high ransom is paid.

That’s why, at FMCSA, we’re cracking down against deceitful companies...

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America's 4th largest city invests in its bicyclists and pedestrians

What does it mean to be multi-modal? For Houston, it means economic opportunity and new construction now...and 7 miles of paths, 10 miles of on-street bikeways, 11 miles of sidewalks, and 6 miles of pedestrian enhancements in the future.

That's thanks to the city's "Regional Bike/Pedestrian Connections to Transit" project, which broke ground today.  I was in Houston for the event and had the pleasure of joining U.S. Representatives Gene Green and Sheila Jackson Lee, Mayor Annise Parker, and other local officials to celebrate this terrific step forward.

Photo of the groundbreaking event for Houston's bike-ped project

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If you're traveling through the Oakland International Airport this holiday season, you can be thankful for an innovative combination of improved safety and environmental protection. Thanks to the Recovery Act, I’m pleased to announce the dedication of a new, 236-foot-tall air traffic control tower at Oakland International.

President Obama is committed to investing in our aviation infrastructure in order to create good-paying jobs and keep our nation competitive in today’s global economy, and our new Oakland tower is a gleaming example of that. An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant of $33.2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) helped pay for construction of the tower, as well as a 14,000-square-foot base building.

Photo of Oakland Control Tower

The state-of-the-art tower at Oakland gives controllers dramatically better views of the airfields--enhancing safety--and it consolidates the controllers who had been using two separate towers for more than 40 years.

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Yesterday, I visited a site that should serve as a reminder, to both Democrats and Republicans, that we can still find common ground. 

The Atlanta metro region enjoys one of the fastest growing populations and economies in the country, which means it also suffers from some of the worst congestion.

To help unjam that traffic, state and local leaders – including leading Republicans like Governor Nathan Deal, and Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson – have worked to build reversible lanes on Atlanta’s Northwest Corridor. And that includes me, a former Democratic Mayor who now serves under a Democratic President.

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If you want to make safety for children in the United States a national priority--and here at DOT, we do--one way of doing so is by holding an event that brings lawmakers from both sides of the aisle together. So, kudos to Safe Kids Worldwide for doing just that on Wednesday at Safe Kids Capitol Day.

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One of the United States Maritime Administration’s top priorities is to recruit, empower and support women in the maritime industry.

We’ve established two different diversity committees at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) to increase the number of female midshipmen and faculty members. It’s also why the Department of Transportation (DOT) has created the Women and Girls Program, which encourages women to pursue transportation careers.

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For more than half a century, seat belts have been commonplace in cars, and they have saved thousands of lives and prevented millions of injuries. Now, thanks to a final rule from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts will be saving lives and preventing injuries in America's motorcoaches, too.

NHTSA's rule requires lap and shoulder seat belts for every passenger and driver seat on newly manufactured motorcoaches and other large buses by November 2016. The rule will improve road safety by reducing the risk of death and serious injury in frontal crashes and lowering the risk of occupant ejection in rollover crashes.

As Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro said, “Buckling up is the most effective way to prevent deaths and injuries in all vehicular crashes, including motorcoaches."

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Cross-posted courtesy Huffington Post.

Nothing gives you a new perspective on life like raising children. Mine have made me look at almost everything in a new light, including technology. As the father of two young kids, I know the invaluable role that technology plays in keeping families close.

It helps keep us close when I'm traveling -- I can call to hear about their day, and I even maintain a running game of Words with Friends with my daughter (she lets me win). But here's what I also know: As much as mobile devices can keep families connected, there is one place where they can disconnect families permanently.

And that's on the road.

Photo of texting driver

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With the U.S. population projected to grow by 90 million people over the next 30 years, and strong evidence that access to affordable transportation plays a significant role in social and economic mobility, we must face this challenge head on. Even in a difficult fiscal and political climate.

But, let's remember one of the key lessons in American history: challenging times can present opportunities to find new allies, a fresh vision, and creative, new approaches to long-standing problems . I am proud to say that this Department is pressing forward in a number of exciting and transformative policy areas. And yesterday, at the launch of Transportation For America's (T4A) new alliance to help revitalize our nation's investment in transportation, I highlighted one of my favorites --Ladders of Opportunity. 

As a former mayor, Transportation Secretary Foxx is especially focused on transportation investments and policies that connect people safely to jobs, education, and health care; that grow local economies and the U.S. economy; and that improve quality of life.

Transportation for America logo

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From the President and Vice President to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, and many others at DOT, the Obama Administration is working to keep the economy--and the freight that fuels it--moving forward. From ports to rail to roads, America needs a coordinated effort to keep our economic arteries flowing as effectively as possible.

Yesterday, as part of that ongoing effort, we proposed designating a series of highways as a Primary Freight Network.

Photo of truck approaching cargo port

Designating these sections of highway will help the States direct their road maintenance and improvement resources where they can have the biggest economic impact. As Administrator Mendez said, "By identifying critical freight highways, we will focus more attention on the routes upon which America’s businesses rely."

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