New bill would finally rewrite the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for vulnerable road user safety

A new bill could slash red tape that’s strangling America's ability to design safe streets for vulnerable road users, by re-thinking the fundamentals of one of our most controversial road design manuals.

The federal government could slash red tape that’s strangling local governments' ability to design communities safe for vulnerable road users under a new bill that hopes to rein in one of America’s most controversial road design manuals.

Last week, Sen. John Fetterman (D–Penn.) quietly introduced the Building Safer Streets Act, which would require the Federal Highway Administration and US DOT to institute a slate of reforms aimed at building safer roadway infrastructure, while ensuring that small communities can access the federal funds they need to make those changes.

There’s a lot packed into the slim bill’s seven pages, including changes to the Safe Streets and Roads for All program which would guarantee that 10 percent of funds are set aside for communities under 250,000 residents. It would also finally close the loophole that allows roughly one-third of states to keep their federal safety funding if they set roadway fatality “targets” higher than the number of deaths they recorded in previous years, and prevent the Federal Highway Administration from giving states points on grant applications for projects that raise speed limits on non-freeway roads.

The bulk of the legislation, though, gets deep into the weeds of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices, a once-obscure 800+ page manual whose revision prompted a flood of 25,000 comments from safe streets advocates concerned that its upcoming revision wouldn’t adequately center the needs of people outside cars. And with pedestrian deaths already setting records, Fetterman says those changes are long overdue.

“The bottom line is that we are facing a street safety crisis in America — and in Pennsylvania. The thousands of lives we lose due to unsafe streets is unacceptable, and it’s long past time we in Washington do something about it,” Fetterman said in a statement. “I’m proud to introduce this bill to provide communities—especially our smaller towns—with the resources and guidance they need to make their streets safer.”

Read the full article here for more details about how the MUTCD makes roads more dangerous, according to Streetsblog, and how Fetterman's bill could help.


Source: Streetsblog


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