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If you were tuned into the Talks At Google channel on YouTube or read Mashable yesterday, then you know that --as promised last month—Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has launched "Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices," DOT's 30-year outlook on the future of transportation:

"For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on recreating the past.  Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future.  In Washington, in state capitals and in city halls, it is time to sound the alarm bell: the future is calling."

Our side of this framework is a frank assessment of the lay of the land in American transportation and some of the likely challenges we'll face in the future. It's well-sourced from government and industry data, and it's a useful starting point for a discussion of where we might find ourselves in 2045 and what we can do to shape those outcomes. As Secretary Foxx said, "There's a difference between having choices and making choices."

It is not, as the Secretary has said repeatedly, a blueprint for the future handed down from above. Instead, it's an invitation to a conversation, and that invitation is for you...

Screen capture from the Blue Paper

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Cover of F.Y. 2016 Budget HighlightsThe FY 2016 Budget that President Obama proposed today shows what we can do if we invest in America's future and commit to an economy that rewards hard work, generates rising incomes, and allows everyone to share in the prosperity of a growing America.

This proposal lays out a strategy to strengthen our middle class and help America's hard-working families get ahead in a time of relentless economic and technological change.

The President’s Budget provides a total of $94.7 billion in 2016 for the Department of Transportation to make the critical investments we need in infrastructure to promote long-term economic growth, enhance safety and efficiency, and support jobs for the 21st century. It also improves the way federal dollars are spent...

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President Obama and I are both planning for our transportation future; your future. Today, the President will unveil a bold six-year budget proposal. The President's budget lays the foundation for a growing, changing nation. You'll like it; I strongly support it. Much more to come later today, so stay tuned to the Fast Lane.

This afternoon, I will be on the west coast. I’m heading to Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California, to start a conversation about the questions so critical to the future of our transportation system.

Questions like, "In 30 years, how will you travel?" And, "Will America be a country where driverless vehicles mean car crashes are a thing of the past? Or will our infrastructure crumble, and gridlock only get worse?"

Today, DOT is launching Beyond Traffic, a framework that’s been a year in the making and will lay the trends and choices facing American transportation over the next three decades...

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Rumor has it there's a big game this weekend. And while there's plenty of debate about which team will take home the Lombardi Trophy this Sunday evening, one post-game outcome that shouldn’t be in doubt is your safety and the safety of others on the road.

With millions of football fans and non-fans alike preparing to watch Super Bowl XLIX with friends and family, you don't have to be a Super Bowl-caliber coach to recognize that a good game plan involves designating a driver if you intend to drink. As NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind advises, "If you choose to drink, please make the winning decision that could save your life or the lives of others – find a sober driver to take you home."

NHTSA, the National Football League (NFL), and the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition joined forces with local highway safety and law enforcement officials to remind revelers that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. If you're hosting a party, watching the game at a sports bar or restaurant, or attending the game, before you choose to drink, choose a designated sober driver...

Poster adivsing partiers to designate a sober driver

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Last November, I wrote here in the Fast Lane that the Federal Transit Administration has been working hard to establish our new safety authority and develop a framework that will allow us to better protect the nation's transit riders and transit employees.

And earlier this week, we marked another important milestone in that development as George Good, Jr., began his first day as the first full-time safety investigator for our 50-year old agency.

Day-to-day, George will support round-the-clock operations for accident investigations. He will also work closely with the transit industry and other DOT agencies to promote transit safety and develop recommended practices and procedures that can help make a safe mode of transportation even safer. And when safety issues are identified at a transit agency, George will help draft recommendations and advisories to eliminate those risks...

Photo of George Good, Jr.

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The number one mission of the Department of Transportation is to keep the traveling public safe.  And one aspect of that is ensuring that our nation’s transportation network is not used for harm. Human trafficking is harm. It is a crime, and we must all work to prevent it.

Unfortunately, not many Americans understand how serious a problem human trafficking is. But this Administration does. We understand that millions of men, women, and children are victims of this horrific crime. And we are doing what we can to prevent it...

Poster to raise awareness of human trafficking signs

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Earlier today, I went to Capitol Hill to speak with the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Now, as Fast Lane readers know, we're in a new year, with a new Congress. But I went to the Senate to discuss an old issue: America's need for better transportation.

Specifically, as Senators and House members from both sides of the aisle have said, our country needs a multiyear transportation bill with funding growth and policy reforms focused on our nation’s future.

America is in a race. Not just against our global competitors, but against time and against the high standards of innovation and progress our nation has upheld for generations. You don't need to read the data from transportation experts to know that we're slipping behind in that race. You can look around --at our road congestion, at the tens of thousands of bridges that need to be replaced or upgraded, at our cities' legacy transit systems. And when you are behind, you must do more than just keep pace; you must run faster...

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Many Americans are familiar with NHTSA’s work to prevent deaths and injuries on America’s roads. Just last week at the DC Auto Show, for example, Secretary Foxx looked back at more than 50 years of lives saved –more than 600,000—by technology use, and he looked ahead at incorporating new technology to prevent crashes. But you might not know the degree to which we’ve worked to help other countries improve their roadway safety efforts and how their experiences are now informing our own work here in the U.S.

NHTSA’s relationship with the Japanese National Police Agency (NPA) is a prime example of international cooperation delivering safer roads across borders. For fifteen years, NHTSA and the NPA have collaborated through joint meetings to help share experiences and knowledge aimed at improving safety for Americans and Japanese. Past discussion topics have ranged from pedestrian safety and the challenges faced by older drivers to emergency response and traffic speed management. Most recently, our Japanese colleagues share lessons learned from traffic management during the mass evacuation of the 2011 Tohoku tsunami area and how recent driving study data may apply to safety efforts in Japan...

Photo of Mark Rosekind, NHTSA team, and NPA team

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The men and women who assist motorists on our roads perform an extraordinary service. Most of us rarely think of them, but when our vehicle breaks down or a crash occurs, we rely on police and fire departments, emergency medical providers, and towing companies.

But investigating and clearing traffic incidents is dangerous and complicated work.  The number of responder deaths, injuries, and near misses makes that all too clear. That's why the Federal Highway Administration is working to mitigate those dangers and prevent harm to our responders.

And today, we've gathered Traffic Incident Management (TIM) leaders from across the country for a summit where they can share their experiences and ideas for increased responder safety...

Photo montage of traffic incident management

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Those who read Friday's Fast Lane post will recall my challenge to America's mayors to help us help them raise the bar for bicyclist and pedestrian safety.  I went back to the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting the very next day to secure more support from our mayors --this time for our long-term transportation bill, the GROW AMERICA Act

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