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USDOT offering webinar on applying for SMART Grants

Register now for Sept. 29 webinar; applications due Nov. 18

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will hold a Sept. 29 webinar to assist individuals interested in applying for a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant.

Registration is now open for the webinar, which runs from 2:30-4 p.m. ET.

The grants were authorized as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) approved in November. The new grant program offers up to $100 million annually over the next five years. The grants would fund transportation projects that “use data and technology to solve real-world challenges facing communities today,” according to the USDOT announcement.

The SMART Grants Program does not require other funding such as matching or cost sharing, according to USDOT.

Apply by Sept. 15 for FY22 Safe Streets and Roads for All grants

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The deadline for submitting Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant applications is Sept. 15. 

Groups eligible to apply for the grants include metropolitan planning organizations; counties, cities, towns, transit agencies or special districts within a state; federally recognized tribal governments; and multijurisdictional groups comprised of these groups.

Activities that are eligible include developing or updating a comprehensive safety action plan; conducting planning, design and development activities in support of an action plan; and carrying out projects and strategies identified in an action plan. A list of example activities is available.

FHWA hosting webinar on pavement marking retroreflectivity final rule

Advance registration required for the free Sept. 1 event

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is hosting a webinar on “Maintaining Minimum Pavement Marking Retroreflectivity” to discuss the final rule published in the Federal Register on Aug. 5.

The Sept. 1 webinar starts at 12:30 p.m. ET, is free for the public but requires advance registration.

Organizers said the final rule published on Aug. 5 amends the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), adding provisions for minimum maintained levels of pavement marking retroreflectivity in Revision 3 of the 2009 MUTCD.

Midyear Meeting starts Tuesday in Rhode Island

General session will address ongoing supply chain challenges

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ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting kicks off on Tuesday, launching the annual collaboration of industry insiders gathered to address the latest innovations and challenges in the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

This year’s event takes place in Providence, R.I., where Wednesday’s agenda includes a panel discussion on workforce, materials and supply chain issues.

“Construction and transportation industry challenges – potholes on the industry highway” will be moderated by ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. Panelists include Kate Fox Wood, senior director of government relations with the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Jonathan Starks of FTR, who is a longtime member of the freight industry, and Sterling Wiggins with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The 1-hour session starts at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and will focus on the state of affairs across the construction and transportation industries and what the path forward may look like.

Senate passes Inflation Reduction Act; House could vote this week

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The U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act over the weekend, a sprawling bill centered around health care provisions, corporate tax increases and climate provisions, sending the bill to the House, which is expected to approve the legislation later this week.

Within the 775-page bill, ATSSA members will also see a nearly $1.9 billion competitive grant program aimed  at improving walkability, safety and increasing affordable transportation options. 

ATSSA will continue to follow the legislation and provide updates as it moves through Congress.

Join ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting in Rhode Island

Advance roadway safety and beat the heat in New England, Aug. 23-26

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Join roadway safety professionals for ATSSA’s Midyear Meeting to help shape policies and initiatives for the roadway safety infrastructure industry for the coming year.

Network with more than 350 industry professionals from across the country who are gathering in Providence, R.I., to further innovation and infrastructure for roadway safety, Aug. 23-26.

The meeting is tailored to national committee members and friends to learn, network and build leadership skills.

“These meetings are critical to the work of our Association,” said ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner. “We lay the groundwork for many efforts and innovations for advancing roadway safety at our committee and council meetings. We were pleased by last year’s record-breaking attendance of 381 and hope to exceed that this year as we work to develop roadway safety plans that utilize the funding approved in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act.”

ATSSA’s president will be interviewed Friday on Road Dog News

Stacy Tetschner to discuss roadway safety issues at 2 p.m. ET on SiriusXM

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Tune in to Road Dog News at 2 p.m. ET on Friday to hear ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner.

Tetschner will be discussing roadway safety issues on the Road Dog Trucking radio station.

The program airs on SiriusXM Channel 146. Road Dog News is hosted by Dan Ronan. Ronan is an associate news editor for Transport Topics as well as a part-time news anchor for Road Dog News.

TRIP report analyzes causes of traffic fatality spike and solutions

ATSSA Board Chair Johnson emphasizes collaboration to address trend

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Traffic fatalities in the U.S. rose 19% from 2019-2021, far surpassing U.S. vehicle travel for that period, according to a report released this morning by TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit.

The report, Addressing America’s Traffic Safety Crisis: Examining the Causes of Increasing U.S. Traffic Fatalities and Identifying Solutions to Improve Road User Safety,” takes a closer look at data from the past two years.

“America faces a roadway safety crisis, with motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists fatalities in 2021 reaching their highest level in nearly two decades. The tremendous toll of fatalities and serious injuries that occur on the nation’s roadways are a significant economic and, more critically, personal burden on Americans,” the report notes in its conclusion. “The causes of the recent surge in traffic fatalities in the U.S. appear largely to be the result of the public taking greater risks on the nation’s roadways, including speeding, impaired driving and reduced safety belt use.”

VDOT starts variable speed limits on northbound I-95

Read ATSSA’s analysis of variable speed zones in Roadway Safety magazine

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The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) takes the first step in activating its variable speed zone along Interstate 95 in the Fredericksburg region today.

New LED signs that can display variable speed limits will be illuminated for the first several days with the 65-70 mph limit to give drivers time to adjust to the presence of the signs, VDOT announced. The system will be fully activated on June 22, at which point speed limits could be anywhere between 35 mph and 70 mph.

ATSSA examined variable speed zones in the Winter 2022 issue of Roadway Safety magazine in an article that analyzed their use in multiple states. The article, “Do They Improve Safety?” reviewed details of how the new VDOT variable speed zone will work and how the zones have been used elsewhere in Virginia and in regions across the country.

ATSSA honors Capito as Roadway Safety Champion

Award recognizes West Virginia Senator’s leadership on safety policies

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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. (June 15, 2022) – ATSSA honored Sen. Shelley Moore Capito with the Roadway Safety Champion award during the Association’s Legislative Briefing & Fly-In held this week in the nation’s capital.

ATSSA Board Member Tim McNelis, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner, ATSSA Board Chair Jeff Johnson and ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith presented the award to Capito in her Capitol Hill office.

Capito, a Republican and the junior senator from West Virginia, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2015. Before that, she served for 14 years in the House of Representatives, representing West Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.

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