FHWA’s Pollack expresses support for roadway safety at ATSSA Legislative Briefing & Fly-In

ATSSA members gathering online this week for annual advocacy event

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack joined ATSSA members today for day one of the Association’s two-day Legislative Briefing & Fly-In being held online this week.

Pollack stressed the importance of roadway safety and referenced next week’s National Work Zone Awareness Week as she engaged in a conversation with ATSSA Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith and responded to member questions.

She said climate issues are a key component of the Biden administration’s infrastructure proposal but said safety is integral to achieving climate goals. Specifically, she mentioned that encouraging people to walk, bike and use mass transit won’t happen if people are concerned about their safety.

Smith introduced her to Andrea Pair, recipient of a Roadway Worker Memorial Scholarship. Those scholarships, awarded annually by The ATSS Foundation, are available for the dependents of people killed or permanently disabled as a result of a work zone incident.

Pollack shared ATSSA’s and The Foundation’s hope that one day such scholarships won’t be needed because the nation has achieved the goal of zero deaths on the country’s roadways.

She also weighed in on the review process for changes to the Manual for Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) and said “there’s got to be a faster way” to get new innovations evaluated and implemented.

More than 100 ATSSA members registered for the Legislative Briefing & Fly-In, which is organized by ATSSA’s Government Relations Team and is a member benefit. This is the second time ATSSA has held the Legislative Briefing & Fly-In in an online format due to the pandemic.

Members are scheduled to take part in more than 60 meetings with members of Congress and legislative staffers on Thursday. Fly-In participants represent a record-breaking 29 jurisdictions -- 28 states and Washington, D.C.

The Legislative Briefing & Fly-In provides ATSSA members training in how to effectively present their roadway safety infrastructure priorities to policymakers.

Today’s session also included participation from Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), ranking member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, committee member Rep. Greg Stanton (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas), who serves on the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee.

The legislators provided insights on federal transportation and infrastructure proposals and answered member questions.

Stanton, pictured above, expressed support for investing in rural and tribal roads. Gonzales said he supported funding roads, bridges, ports and broadband and said if Congress approves an investment in “traditional infrastructure,” the nation will see an immediate economic impact.

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