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This morning, I was not about to let a little weather keep me from greeting the bicyclists who braved the rain on my first Bike To Work Day since becoming Transportation Secretary!

So I headed to Freedom Plaza, and was amazed to see that bike commuters were really coming out for this event despite the downpour. That's a tribute to their love of commuting by bicycle and also to the growing significance of Bike To Work Day as an annual celebration of bicycling as transportation.

Photo of Secretary Foxx at Bike To Work Day event
Photos courtesy Matt Kroneberger, Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments

And it is something worth celebrating. In fact, over the last decade, commuting by bicycle is up more than 60 percent...

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America’s growing population will require our nation’s freight network to haul 4 billion more tons of international freight annually by 2050, roughly the weight of 40,000 Washington Monuments. Since over 90 percent of imported cargo by volume already moves through our nation's ports today, a good portion of that 4 billion tons will be transported on American waterways and through our ports and intermodal hubs. So our infrastructure must be ready.

That’s why I was especially proud to help break ground yesterday on an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) at the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) in Florida. By increasing the efficiency and speed of container transfer between vessels and trains, the new ICTF will help JAXPORT support America’s future freight requirements and create long-term economic opportunities for the Jacksonville region in the form of good paying jobs.

Photo of golden spike ceremony at JAXPORT; photo courtesy JAXPORT

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This morning, Secretary Foxx blogged about the opening of Denver's revitalized Union Station, a model for the nation of multimodal mobility and of innovative financing. It's hard to think of a better project to kick-off a week that features two key celebrations: National Transportation Week and Infrastructure Week.

N.T.W. logoOn May 16, 1957, Congress approved the third Friday of May each year as National Defense Transportation Day. And in 1962, Congress updated the request to include the whole week as National Transportation Week to provide an opportunity to celebrate the community of transportation professionals who keep our country moving.

Infrastructure Week 2014 is led by a diverse partnership of organizations including the U.S. Council on Competitiveness, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO, the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, Building America’s Future, 1776, the Organization for International Investment, the Value of Water Coalition, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

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Yesterday, in a post about energy transportation safety, I wrote that in the near future, we're going to have to move more energy. Well, the reality is that we’re going to have to move more everything --more people and more goods. In fact, by 2050, we’ll have to move almost twice the amount of freight we currently do.

And whether we are ready to do that safely and efficiently is more of an open question now than it ever has been, mostly because we have struggled to maintain transportation funding levels in recent years.

Earlier this week, I sent a letter to all the state departments of transportation. It warned them that, if action isn’t taken, the Highway Trust Fund could become insolvent as soon as August. And if that happens, it will be nearly impossible for communities to keep their infrastructure in good shape.

Photo of functionally obsolete bridge

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As Secretary Foxx has said many times, the only way we’re going to fix America’s transportation infrastructure is if everyone puts their ideas on the table and has an honest discussion about how we can find common ground and forge a path forward.

That’s why, one week ago, Secretary Foxx submitted the Department’s surface transportation proposal GROW AMERICA to Congress, and that’s why America’s maritime industry came together yesterday in Washington, D.C., to chart a sustainable marine transportation system course for the future...

The Maritime Administration's web banner

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Last Tuesday, it was a privilege to be able to send Congress the GROW AMERICA transportation bill, our comprehensive plan to create millions of good new jobs building the transportation system America will need to remain competitive in today’s economy. And it was an honor to cap the day by addressing the National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) annual citizen advocacy event, "NARP Day on the Hill."

NARP members know as well I do that America will be home to 100 million more people by 2050, so we need to make sure we give people as many transportation options as possible – including rail.

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Today, I’m sending a legislative proposal to Congress that is designed to bring transportation ideas to the table.

Already, we’ve seen both parties make significant progress towards a bipartisan agreement on a multi-year bill that extends opportunity for workers and businesses alike. We believe our bill will help continue that progress.

The GROW AMERICA bill is based on the proposal the President announced in February. It ensures the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and also advances a number of common-sense bipartisan reforms...

Photo collage of various modes of transportation

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Happy Earth Day, everyone! At DOT, we're working every day to better protect our planet – and I know Fast Lane readers are, too. 

America's transportation system accounts for 1/3 of our greenhouse gas emissions, more than 1/2 of our nitrogen oxide emissions, and almost 3/4 of our oil consumption. Greening that system is central to our nation’s efforts to increase sustainability and reduce climate change.

That’s why DOT is so focused on building more efficient, sustainable transportation. We're building marine highways that can cut greenhouse gas emissions; investing in a NextGen air traffic control system to lower aviation fuel consumption; building more capacity in our rail systems, which can be a more sustainable way to move both people and freight; and we’re helping drivers save money and lower their carbon footprint, too...

Photo of woman waiting for a bus

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Yesterday’s leg of my “Invest in America, Commit to the Future” bus tour ended with a visit to the site of the I-49 North Segment K project currently under way in Shreveport, Louisiana.

A 19-mile segment opened last year, and construction workers are now completing the final mile of a 10-mile segment of the project, which is slated to open in May. 

It’s a remarkable effort, one eight years in the making.  And it’s going to make a huge difference – not just in the lives of the folks who live near there, but folks throughout the nation. 

Photo of Secretary Foxx at the I-49 North project event

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I started day four of my “Invest in America, Commit to the Future” bus tour by participating in a roundtable discussion with Congressman Bennie Thompson and local officials at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi.  It was a great opportunity to hear firsthand about the challenges facing the region and the need to create ladders of opportunity to connect folks to jobs, schools, and a better quality of life.

Photo of Secretary Foxx speaking at the roundtable meeting at Tougaloo College

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