As I travel around the country, people often tell me what they think of the way government works. One thing I have heard over and over again is a complaint from cities about regulations requiring them to replace their street signs before they have worn out.
They say it doesn’t make sense to spend precious dollars to replace perfectly good signs. I couldn’t agree more.
Today, the Federal Highway Administration proposed eliminating 46 deadlines mandated by federal traffic control regulations. Instead, in most cases, we want to let cities and states upgrade their signs when the existing signs wear out. It's just common sense.
This is all part of President Obama’s call for an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations. He asked us to identify and change rules that are unnecessary, excessively burdensome or overly costly. Today's proposal demonstrates the value of the President's initiative by saving communities millions of dollars in unnecessary expenses.
The raucous welcome this announcement has received indicates that Administrator Mendez and I are far from alone.
"Boy, that's sure great news," Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan told USA Today. "To me that was just the federal government sticking their noses in where we sure . . . didn't want them. Hopefully, this may save us some money here in Milwaukee and other communities that desperately need the money."
Now, if you're concerned about safety, let's be clear: we are not proposing to remove all of the deadlines required in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices. DOT has retained 12 deadlines for sign upgrades that are critical to public safety.
These include installing “ONE WAY” signs at intersections with divided highways or one-way streets and requiring STOP or YIELD signs to be added at all railroad crossings that don’t have train-activated automatic gates or flashing lights.
With today's proposal, Americans can have it both ways: a federal government that is responsive to the financial pressures on states, counties, cities, and towns, while still fulfilling its responsibility to protect citizens.