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Buttigieg nomination for transportation secretary passes committee vote

UPDATE: Full Senate expected to consider the nomination Tuesday at noon.

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UPDATE Jan. 28: The full Senate is expected to consider Buttigieg's nomination Tuesday at noon. 

The Senate Commerce Committee voted 21-3 today to confirm the nomination of former South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg to serve as Secretary of Transportation in the Biden administration.

The nomination now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) said he looked forward to working with Buttigieg.

Understanding People: It's Easier Than You Think

Education Session Highlights – ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo

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No matter what you do, you have to interact with people at some level. Whether these people are managers, co-workers, customers, or clients, they complicate what you do.

Would you like to understand human behavior at a whole new level, so you can clearly see what’s driving their behavior and how best to address them?  

Learn that and more during Kim Giles 's education session at ATSSA's 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo. She's leading one of nearly 50 education sessions during the online event Feb. 8-12 and 16-18.

ATSSA urges governors to include roadway workers in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine plan

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to the nation’s governors asking them to include roadway construction personnel and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination plan as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure be included in Phase 1b. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers are also included in this phase.

Roadway infrastructure industry personnel were deemed essential critical infrastructure workers last spring by the Department of Homeland Security. 

'But I don’t wanna: Closing the gap between training and behavior'

Education Session Highlights – ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo

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Influencing your employees and team members is one of the most important and challenging parts of being a leader, but it’s essential if you’re going to create safe and productive workplaces. Unfortunately, employees don’t always listen to or follow through on your guidance. Sometimes that’s because they really don’t know what they need to do. But it might also be that they’re unclear on what action to take and when. Or maybe there are obstacles in their way. However, the real reason might be deeper than that. Maybe the person you’re trying to influence thinks they know better than you or maybe they don’t like being told what to do. 

Often the inclination is to address all problems as knowledge problems which means providing your employees more information on what to do and when. But if it’s a deeper motivation, that isn’t going to help. It might even backfire. Even the best-intentioned leaders can unknowingly make the situation worse by using communication styles that trigger more resistance.

“But I Don’t Wanna” is one of nearly 50 education sessions offered at ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, held online Feb. 8-12 and 16-18.

Legislation introduced to find alternative Highway Trust Fund revenues

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Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) has introduced H.R.383, the Road User Charge Advancement Act of 2021, legislation that would build on the Surface Transportation Systems Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program included in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bill was originally introduced during the last Congress and included in the Moving Forward Act. If it secures passage this Congress, it would nearly double current funding to $35 million annually for STSFA.

The STSFA program incentivizes states to find alternative funding solutions for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), as a reliance on revenues from the current gas tax becomes a less feasible method of keeping the HTF solvent. The federal gas tax has lost nearly 71% of its purchasing power since its most recent rate increase in 1993 due to inflation and the increase in fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel vehicles.  Failure to develop new sources of revenue could see the HTF experience a $190 billion shortfall in the next decade.

Be Like SALT™: A Well-Seasoned Approach to Leadership

Education Session Highlights – ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo

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What has been holding you back from becoming the leader you are meant to be? If you could overcome that challenge, what would your life look like? Would it lead to a promotion, better job, pay raise?

Would it enable you to have more quality time with those you love or be a better provider for them? Perhaps you envision giving back to the community by leading a non-profit board, committee or fundraising event. What would it feel like to realize your true potential?

If any of these resonate with you, and you are ready to take the next step, then “Be Like Salt” is for you! This is one of nearly 50 education sessions included in ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, held online Feb. 8-12 and 16-18.

Biden names MassDOT Secretary as FHWA deputy administrator

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President Joe Biden named Stephanie Pollack as deputy administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the departure of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Pollack and named her successor, according to a news release from the governor’s press office today.

Pollack will also serve as acting administrator for FHWA until a permanent administrator is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to the release.

ATSSA joins stakeholders in urging Biden to commit to zero fatalities by 2050

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ATSSA, along with more than 70 other organizations, sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday urging him to commit to reaching a goal of zero roadway fatalities by 2050.

“Reaching zero fatalities has been a longtime priority for ATSSA,” said Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. “Our advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals around the country is consistently urging legislators to make progress towards that goal.”

Industry report lays out COVID-19 relief funding to DOTs by state

Latest package sends nearly $10 billion to DOTs across the country

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The latest COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress included nearly $10 billion in federal funds for transportation as reported here last month. The vast majority of that money--$9.8 billion—will go to state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country.  

Industry publication Construction Dive has now gathered details of the amounts expected to go to each state DOT as well as the DOT for the nation’s capital, and created a chart detailing the allotments. Its report also details how the money will be allotted and indicates that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to distribute the funds within 30 days of the bill’s signing by former President Donald Trump, which took place Dec. 27.

ATSSA unveils Roadway Safety magazine

Flagship publication is redesigned & renamed to highlight ATSSA’s core purpose

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (Jan. 20, 2021) – The American Traffic Safety Services Association today unveiled its new membership magazine, Roadway Safety. The magazine was redesigned and renamed to better reflect the Association’s core purpose, which is to advance roadway safety.

The magazine will be distributed quarterly, with the inaugural issue online today. Supplements will accompany the magazine twice each year. ATSSA sought input from members and internal stakeholders in undertaking a new vision for the publication, previously known as The Signal. The redesign also includes a new direction for content. Articles will focus on industry trends, business issues and roadway safety innovations rather than events, which will be highlighted in other forms of communication such as the ATSSA blog, website and social media channels including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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