ATSSA Blog

ATSSA joins groups petitioning Bhatt to rescind IIJA policy memo

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ATSSA joined 17 organizations today in asking Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt to rescind the “Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America” memorandum that was issued Dec. 16, 2021.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noted they supported the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021 and that it was a “carefully negotiated and balanced package of policy reforms and targeted national investments” to make the lives of Americans better.

The issue leading to the request for the policy to be rescinded was that the Dec. 16 memo “elicited significant confusion within the transportation community.” Further, the letter states that the memo was “intended to serve as an overarching policy framework that prioritizes IIJA resources towards certain projects, which was inconsistent with what was laid out under the legislation President Biden signed into law the month before.”

ATSSA congratulates Graves on being named chair of T&I Committee

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ATSSA congratulates Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on being chosen to chair the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee in the 118th Congress.

“ATSSA members have counted Chairman Graves as a roadway safety leader throughout his tenure on the T&I Committee and we look forward to his continued emphasis on this critical issue now that he is chair,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “We are eager to work with him and his committee staff in the months and years ahead to ensure that roadway safety remains the top priority for Congress and the Biden administration.”

Graves’ selection was announced by the committee today. He confirmed his priority for roadway safety and infrastructure in his comments included with the announcement.

ATSSA joins nine groups reaffirming support for rapid deployment of V2X technologies

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ATSSA joined nine groups in releasing a statement today reaffirming support for the rapid, widespread deployment of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies to further improve safety on American roads.

V2X allows communication between vehicles, infrastructure and other road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists and provides drivers with crucial warnings necessary to improve safety.

"We believe that 2023 will be a pivotal year for V2X deployment. Transportation stakeholders have aligned behind one V2X technology, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), clearing the way for a unified, nationwide approach to the deployment of this tool," the statement says.

ATSSA congratulates Bhatt on FHWA confirmation

Transportation veteran confirmed as FHWA leader

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Shailen Bhatt, who led state transportation departments in Colorado and Delaware, was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Bhatt’s confirmation by the full Senate on Thursday follows bipartisan support on Nov. 29 by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

As head of the FHWA, Bhatt will oversee implementation of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed into law in November 2021.

Election outcomes take shape one week later

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One week after Election Day, we finally have a good idea of what the next two years will look like on Capitol Hill.

While long thought that this year’s midterm elections would bring a “red wave” across the country, in the end Democrats were able to hold their ground in several swing states and remain in control of the Senate, while narrowly losing the House of Representatives to Republicans.

Even with the Senate race in Georgia headed to a run-off next month, Democrats know they will be in control of the Senate at least until 2024. They currently control 50 votes, plus Vice President Kamala Harris would provide a 51st vote in the event the Senate stays 50-50 as it was prior to the election.

ATSSA asks Buttigieg to delay new Buy America requirements

ATSSA president also asks for exemption of some temporary products

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg making three requests regarding changes to the Buy America requirements included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“In a recent survey of ATSSA members regarding the new Buy America requirements for federally-funded infrastructure projects, there is considerable concern about the impact that these new policies will have on roadway safety,” Tetschner wrote. “Knowing of your strong commitment to reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on this nation’s roadways, it is important for you to consider the serious effect the new Buy America requirements will have not only on the roadway safety industry but the public as well.”

Tetschner also noted his concern regarding the "looming deadline" for implementation of the new Buy America requirements.

ONLINE NOW: Phoenix offers a glimpse into the AV future

Fall issue of Roadway Safety magazine includes supplement on Worker Protection

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When ATSSA members arrive in Phoenix for the 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo in February they will find themselves in a city that’s made a name for itself as a pioneer in the testing of autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies. The region has embraced the technology and seen multiple pilots for grocery delivery as well as a driverless taxi service.

The Fall issue of Roadway Safety magazine—available online now—details these efforts in Arizona and reveals a resource for members to remove the fear factor from contract negotiations, offers members’ take on the value of in-person advocacy and explains how ATSSA’s ITS Team keeps pace with innovation.

An entire supplement is devoted to roadway worker protection and spells out efforts underway to improve worker safety from multiple perspectives.

Both issues are online now.

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.

ATSSA supports Bhatt’s nomination for FHWA administrator

Statement notes history of expertise and passion for transportation safety

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On behalf of ATSSA,  President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter to Chair Tom Carper and Ranking Member Shelley Capito of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works strongly supporting the presidential nomination of the Honorable Shailen Bhatt to serve as Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
 
“Mr. Bhatt has demonstrated a long history of expertise, passion and dedication to the transportation safety community. He has highlighted these qualities throughout his career in the transportation sector, and we are excited by his nomination,” Tetschner stated in his letter. “Mr. Bhatt’s commitment to the safety of the traveling public is unquestionable, and he will be a dynamic leader of the FHWA as they continue their work on advancing roadway safety.”

 

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.

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