The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) proposed changes for high-speed highways. The proposed changes would reduce the number of controlling criteria from 13 to 10. Low-speed (i.e., less than 50 mph) roads would have only two criteria. These changes would make it easier for projects with the National Highway System (NHS) to be "more attuned to local priorities, including incorporating green spaces, transit, and bicycle lanes."
The FHWA changes come from a 2014 report conducted by the National Cooperative Highway Research program. This report found that "although the controlling criteria have significant impact on safety and operations on high-speed roadways, those impacts were not seen on highways with speed limits below 50 mph." As such, highways with speed limits that are less than 50 mph would only have to meet two criteria: design loading structural capacity and design speed. This, only if the FHA changes are implemented.
Public comment is open on the proposed revisions until Dec. 7, 2015. After public comment is closed, FHWA will review all comments and will modify their proposal based on feedback before publishing the final version in the Federal Register.
To learn more about these proposed changes, click here.