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MUTCD discussions scheduled for ATSSA’s Convention & Traffic Expo

Take part in chats on nine topics Feb. 16-18

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Join the discussion on various aspects of the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) during week two of ATSSA’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

The discussions are hosted by ATSSA and take place within the Conversation Lounge of the Convention’s online platform. Check out the topics you want to be part of and join the conversation. Participation is free for everyone registered for the Convention.

Sessions run Tuesday through Thursday next week and cover nine topics.

FHWA issues letter to clarify eligibility process for cable barrier systems

Letter from the Office of Safety relates to the 2nd edition of MASH

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued a letter clarifying the process to obtain an eligibility letter for cable barrier systems.

The “open letter” from Michael S. Griffith, director of the Office of Safety Technologies in the Office of Safety, is addressed to members of the “highway safety hardware and roadside design community.”

He notes that the FHWA received questions about the eligibility letter over the past several months.

AASHTO and FHWA issue clarifications on implementing MASH 2016

Q and A released for issues raised since May 2018

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Information is now available that clarifies issues related to implementing the 2016 edition of the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH).

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) publishes MASH and issued the latest updates in a Question-and-Answer format. The latest information is the result of work produced by a joint technical working group of people from state departments of transportation (DOTs), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and accredited crash testing labs, according to a statement included in the release.

Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation

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The Senate today confirmed former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, adding him to the cabinet of President Joe Biden.

Buttigieg campaigned on the need for transportation and infrastructure investment throughout his bid to become the Democrats’ nominee for president. During his hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee last month, he touched on the need for shoring up revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), increased investment in tribal and rural roads, the future of autonomous vehicles and the need for safety to be at the forefront of any new transportation or infrastructure initiative.

The Senate Commerce Committee forwarded his nomination to the full Senate on Wednesday by a 21-3 vote.

The full Senate confirmed Buttigieg’s nomination by a vote of 86-13.

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.

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