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The Everglades in Florida is one of America’s great treasures, a natural wonder that is home to thousands of species of fish and wildlife and Indian tribes who have called these lands home for millennia. It is also one of our most imperiled ecosystems, threatened by loss of water quality, well-intentioned but ecologically damaging water control projects of the past, and invasive species – all further exacerbated by the effects of a changing climate.

In recent decades, the Department of the Interior has worked hand-in-hand with the State of Florida, other federal agencies, tribes, conservation groups, private landowners, and other stakeholders to restore this great treasure.  We established the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area to conserve one of America’s last grassland and longleaf pine savannah landscapes while preserving the traditional way of life cherished by those who live in this area.

Last week, the Department of Transportation announced another important step in this process, approving a $20 million TIGER grant to help construct a 2.6-mile bridge across US-41 – the Tamiami Trail – in Miami Dade County to restore the flow of water through the Everglades.  I commend the strong leadership of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the State of Florida for making this critical restoration effort a priority.

Continue Reading Interior Secretary Jewell: ››
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Today, I’m pleased to announce the sixth round of DOT’s TIGER program. We’re making nearly $600 million in grants and awarding them to 72 transportation projects across 46 states and in DC.

Over the last six years, we’ve awarded more than $4 billion in these TIGER grants, but this round of investment is probably the most crucial ever...

Map of U.S. showing locations of TIGER projects

Continue Reading DOT's TIGER is on the ››
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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

Continue Reading Bicycling, walking should ››
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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

Continue Reading Infrastructure investment ››
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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.

Continue Reading On 9/11, we remember the ››
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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

Continue Reading Do you have the Wright ››
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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.

Continue Reading Connected vehicles promise ››
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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...

Continue Reading FMCSA Conducts Summer ››
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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

Continue Reading YOU are the future of auto ››
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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
Continue Reading Nurse Lan, on time every ››
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