A new traffic safety paradigm is changing how planning professionals measure traffic risks and evaluate potential safety strategies. A report covering the approach has been released by the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (VTPI). It recognizes that all vehicle travel imposes risks, so planning decisions that increase vehicle travel tend to increase crashes, and vehicle travel reduction strategies increase traffic safety. It also recognizes that it is infeasible to reduce high-risk driving without providing viable alternatives. This expands the range of potential traffic safety strategies to include multi-modal planning, transportation demand management, and Smart Growth policies. See: The New Traffic Safety Paradigm. (pdf)


Before leaving his post as Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx issued a regulation that could, if implemented, profoundly affect surface transportation: The National Performance Management Measures; Assessing Performance of the National Highway System, Freight Movement on the Interstate System, and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. The regulation made several changes that help broaden the types of travel that states have to consider. First, both the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP) and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) rule now include consideration of reduction in CO2 emissions caused by the highway system. Second, the NHPP measure now considers “person-miles” traveled, rather than just vehicle miles traveled. Third, the CMAQ performance rule includes a measure of how many people travel by modes other than a single-occupancy vehicle.

With the new rule, FHWA is looking to transportation planners on the state level and in major metropolitan areas to consider all types of travel as they attempt to relieve traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. See:


BBC News reports that villagers, including school children, in Hopeman, Scotland, are wearing fluorescent vests and pointing hairdryers at cars to mimic police using speed cameras to deter fast drivers. Some drivers are reaching speeds of up to 60mph as they travel through the area. The resident’s actions have caught the attention of the police, who say they are addressing the situation.


The FHWA and FTA jointly released the “2015 Status of the Nation’s Highways, Bridges and Transit: Conditions and Performance” report to Congress. The report estimates that the backlog of needed highway and transit infrastructure projects has reached $926 billion. The report provides decision makers with an objective appraisal of the physical conditions, operational performance, and financing mechanisms of highways, bridges, and transit systems based on both their current state and their projected future state under a set of alternative future investment scenarios.


Remembering David Burwell – Sarah Campbell

Dear Friends,

On February 1, 2017 our community of transportation policy reform lost a long-time advocate, who coached many of us in understanding the difference between “convinced” and “convincing”. He was not only at the front of the successful rails to trails movement, but he was also one of the founders of the Surface Transportation Policy Project – now Partnership. In his spare time, he worked to bring understanding and conviction to climate policy.

David Burwell was not just a well-meaning intellectual. He was a clear-headed optimist, who by amazing focus (decades) created the transportation reform movement from the embers of citizen protest over interstate freeway construction that crushed urban neighborhoods and rural beauty alike.

As James Coreless (Transportation for America) says, David’s book [1] The End of the Road, put the problem into human perspective; it is a work that continues to inspire younger generations. I will skip over his incredible accomplishments on masterminding the Rails to Trails movement and focus on how I know him best in the larger role of broad transportation reform and the creation of STPP.

Like many in the transportation field, I met David Burwell because he showed up in my office. I was at US DOT during the Carter Administration, when I was privileged to work for Mort Downey, Asst. Secretary of Budget and Programs and Anne Canby, Deputy ASBP. It was heady times and David was looking for sympathetic ears among people who just might be able to do something. Most of you won’t know that the Carter Administration had a really progressive urban policy AND also had a focused delivery system for rural communities. But David knew. And he asked for help in preserving what most Americans hold dear instinctively about their heritage: community, history, clean environment, economic opportunity, and human-scale neighborhoods .

Let’s be clear – David was not a stick-in-mud, status quo kind of person and his extreme optimism encouraged (and prodded) us all to do better.

Eleven or so years later, after occasional shared discussion in urban issues, he showed up on my doorstep with one of many great ideas David was to promote over more than 40 years of advocacy. He and Jessica Tuchman Matthews – then on the Washington Post editorial board and, most recently, head of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – had been working with others concerned about the environmental on how to successfully implement the new Amendments to the Clean Air Act. David had come to ask me to work with them and a growing group of non-profits and public interest associations (cities, MPOs, architects, planners, bicyclists, landscape architects, transit interests and certain urban states) on the reauthorization of the highway and transit legislation due for expiration in 1991. David and the group believed they needed someone who knew the transportation law and protocols, so I got the nod. Whatever they thought, it was essential that a brilliant and dedicated person such as David was clearly in the leadership.

It was wonderful to be part of what this group of 130 organizations accomplished from June 1990 until the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) was enacted in December 1991. I still see this broad-based collaboration as a landmark event in Federal policy, and I know just how much of this result is a credit to the spirit and life of David Burwell. We need him now more than ever.

David was one of the very distinguished alumni of Directors of the STPP that came after me: Grace Crunican, Hank Dittmar, Roy Kienitz, (David), Anne Canby, and Bill Wilkinson. All have made their positive marks in this world of transportation reform, and David remains in our hearts as an inspirational force for STPP’s work.

May God bless his spirit—- and we follow his example.

Sarah Campbell
Founding director and current board member of STPP

See the following for more information on David and his remarkable life:


“THE END OF THE ROAD – A Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Problemsolving”

Co-authors: David G. Burwell and Mary Ann Wilner; Foreword By Senator Henry M.[Scoop] Jackson