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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.

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.

Final rule for pavement marking retroreflectivity published

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) posted the final rule regarding pavement marking retroreflectivity in today’s Federal Register.

The posting states: “The purpose of this final rule is to update the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) to provide standards, guidance, options, and supporting information relating to maintaining minimum levels of retroreflectivity for pavement markings. The MUTCD is incorporated in FHWA regulations and recognized as the national standard for traffic control devices used on all streets, highways, bikeways, and private roads open to public travel.”

The rule notes that it is effective on Sept. 6.

Summer issue of Roadway Safety explores supply chain challenges, innovations

NWZAW member photos and the Memorial’s 20th anniversary also featured

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The Summer issue of Roadway Safety magazine is now online and focuses on work zone awareness efforts nationwide.

From the national event in Virginia to member photos from across the country to expert insights into planning a National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) event, the magazine addresses this key industry safety effort.

Plus, this issue celebrates the 20th anniversary of the National Work Zone Memorial, offers insights about supply chain challenges, and delves into the pitfalls of gas tax suspensions.

Check out three tools to help protect roadway workers on the job and much more in the Summer issue of Roadway Safety magazine, the flagship publication of the American Traffic Safety Services Association.

Apply for ATSSA’s New Products Rollout and Innovation Awards

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Apply by Dec. 1 to participate in ATSSA’s New Products Rollout (NPRO), which will be held during ATSSA’s 53rd Annual Convention & Traffic Expo in Phoenix, Feb. 17-21.

Exhibitors who introduced products after Jan. 1, 2020, are eligible to apply.

Entries accepted for NPRO will be included in the New Products Listing, which showcases the products to the roughly 3,700 roadway safety professionals who attend ATSSA’S Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, including listing on the Convention website and mobile app.

Innovation Awards are chosen from among the products selected for NPRO.

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.”

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.

Roadway Safety Spring Issue and Convention Extra now online

Explore Ohio’s smart mobility corridor and relive highlights of the 2022 Convention in Tampa

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The Spring Issue of Roadway Safety magazine is online now and explores Ohio’s Smart Mobility Corridor along Interstate 33 between Dublin and East Liberty.

This 35-mile stretch of roadway in Northeast Ohio is a living laboratory where multiple organizations are testing automated and connected vehicle technology including ways to protect pedestrians. The project is a partnership between private industry and government entities as well as residents in those communities and has been dubbed “the world’s most connected highway.”

Convention Extra is also online and provides a commemorative of the 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo in Tampa, Fla., and an opportunity to see what you missed if you didn't attend this reunion of the roadway safety industry.

ATSSA urges DOTs to support a standardized form for QPL and APL

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner reached out to the leaders of departments of transportation (DOTs) in all 50 states asking for their support for a standardized form for the Qualified Products List (QPL) and the Approved Products List (APL).

In a letter, Tetschner explains that a standardized form would help roadway safety products get to market faster by streamlining the current burdensome process of making a different application for every DOT across the country.

"If you are not aware, each DOT manages its QPL/APL submittals, reviews and approvals differently and this means each company wishing to see a product added to the list must go through the process 50 times, frequently in different ways with different forms, resulting in a very time-consuming, labor-intensive process,” Tetschner states in the letter. “This burdensome process delays getting new and improved products onto the roadways where they could save lives.”

The letter is signed by the president of each of ATSSA’s Chapters, which represent 1,500 member companies from across the country as well as many public agencies.

ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo reunited thousands of roadway safety advocates

ATSSA travels to Phoenix for the 2023 event set for Feb. 17-21

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ATSSA’s 2022 Convention & Traffic Expo brought together more than 3,200 roadway safety advocates over five days in Tampa, Fla.

They collaborated, networked, learned about the latest innovations and even cheered on their favorite team at the Chairman’s Big Game Watch Party on Sunday evening.

Keynote speaker Scott Moore kept the packed crowd in the Ballroom of the Tampa Convention Center spellbound as he shared leadership and teamwork tips gleaned from his decades leading the elite Navy SEALs on “no fail” missions.

And Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg talked about the USDOT commitment to zero deaths on the nation's roadways while acknowledging that may not be achieved during his tenure but that ATSSA's members are needed to achieve that goal.

It's not too early to start planning now for next  year. The 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo takes place in Phoenix, Feb. 17-21 at the Phoenix Convention Center with the theme of “where roadway safety and Innovation intersect.”

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