The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on new national traffic safety goals to be used as performance measures to evaluate states’ administration of the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). Yet, pedestrians–a growing proportion of traffic deaths–are left out of these national safety goals. This is especially disheartening in California, where the pedestrian share of traffic deaths has steadily risen to 22.4%. When combined with bicyclist deaths, active transportation users in California account for nearly a quarter of all traffic fatalities in the state!
The HSIP funds data-driven safety improvement projects on all public roadways for all road users, and under the last federal transportation reauthorization bill (MAP-21), was one of the few programs that saw an increase in funding–an 88% increase to be exact. Without a specific national target or goal for reducing pedestrian and bicyclist deaths and serious injuries on our public roadways, the needs of active transportation users lose visibility and requires advocates to work even harder to ensure that HSIP funds are being targeted to address the growing number of pedestrian and bicyclist deaths in California.
California Walks will continue its engagement in the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) process, which guides the expenditure of HSIP funds, and will advocate for the continuation and inclusion of Challenge Area 8–Making Walking and Street Crossing Safer in California’s SHSP update.
The comment period for this Proposed Rulemaking closes June 9, 2014. Comments may be submitted online here.