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AASHTO hosting webinars on results of study on converting MASH to performance-based spec

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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is hosting two June webinars to review the results of a study commissioned to explore the possibility of converting the Manual on Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 to a performance-based specification.

AASHTO hired the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to do a scoping study to assess the effort, timeline and needs required if the change was undertaken. Results of the study will be presented at two webinars, which will include time for questions. Registration is now open.

Senate EPW Committee passes safety-focused highway bill

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The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee today unanimously passed the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act of 2021 (STRA), its proposal to reauthorize the expiring highway program.

The proposed legislation, which was crafted in a bipartisan manner, funds surface transportation programs at $304 billion over five years, which is a 34% increase over current funding levels. This funding includes historic funding levels for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP), $16.8 billion over the five-year period, which is a nearly $2 billion increase over current funding levels.

ATSSA worked hard to ensure that funding levels for HSIP were as high as possible and then continued to work to insert additional safety provisions and funding in other programs throughout the legislation. Now our team will work to ensure these advocacy successes remain in the package as it winds its way through Congress this summer.

Senate EPW Committee’s $304B transportation proposal offers win for industry

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The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee proposal for a five-year, $304 billion surface transportation bill is a massive win for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) totaling $16.8 billion.

The bipartisan Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act (STRA) released Saturday by the EPW Committee represents a 34% increase over current spending levels.

The legislation represents a bipartisan effort in the Senate to pass a long-term highway reauthorization before the current extension of the law expires Oct. 1. The EPW Committee is expected to consider amendments and vote on the proposal on Wednesday.

ATSSA endorses bipartisan Senate bill aimed at improving rural road safety

Senators Kelly and Burr just introduced the legislation on Capitol Hill

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (May 20, 2021) – Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) today introduced legislation known as the “High Risk Rural Roads Safety Act of 2021.” The bipartisan proposal would increase funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and create a $750 million HSIP set-aside directed solely for safety projects on high-risk rural roads, with $150 million of that directed to tribal lands.

The American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) endorsed the bill that would ensure safety becomes a priority for locally owned rural roads in order to address the significant safety challenges in rural America.

House Republicans release transportation reauthorization proposal

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Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), today released their version of a transportation reauthorization ahead of likely Committee action in early June. The language, which is narrower in scope than the House-passed transportation bill last year, would spend $400 billion over five years on federal-aid highway projects, an increase of 32% over current funding levels.

Dubbed the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology & Efficient Review Act 2.0 (STARTER Act 2.0), the legislation includes increases to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

MASH scoping study discussed during AASHTO Virtual Spring Meeting 2021

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During AASHTO's 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting on Monday, the Council on Highways and Streets (CHS) gathered to provide updates from various stakeholders. The discussion included an update on the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) scoping study to determine the feasibility and potential next steps to convert MASH into a set of performance specifications.

Joyce Taylor from the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), who serves as design vice chair with AASHTO, gave an update on the MASH scoping study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). She discussed the challenges related to current testing procedures and the gray areas within the existing manual that lead to a lack of consistency, as testing may be conducted differently by facilities.

The scoping study, conducted by TTI and sponsored by AASHTO, was completed in April.

ATSSA submits 120 comments for feedback to proposed MUTCD

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ATSSA today submitted 120 comments to the Federal Register on the Proposed Rule for the National Standards for the Traffic Control Devices: Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) for Streets and Highways revision. 

The 23 pages of comments were compiled over the past few months and are the product of input received from ATSSA’s technical committees, MUTCD Chat Lounges during February’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Device (NCUTCD) committee meetings and other conferences attended by ATSSA. The input was produced after sorting through nearly 2,000 comments to the 700-page MUTCD. 

“A huge thank you goes out to our members for leading the charge as this was a herculean effort,” ATSSA Director of Innovation & Technical Services Eric Perry said.

Join in efforts to unite behind infrastructure needs

Infrastructure Week kicks off on Monday

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Infrastructure is in the news nearly daily and is a hot topic in the nation’s capital as Congress and the president propose ideas to address infrastructure needs.

Infrastructure Week kicks off on Monday and focuses on meeting the nation’s needs for roads and bridges as well as safe travel for pedestrians and bicyclists.

“Infrastructure is critical to roadway safety,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “This week provides one more reminder of the importance of coming together to provide safe travel for all roadway users. In a nation where division is all too common these days, infrastructure unites us.”