Bipartisan Romney bill aims to reduce nation’s traffic congestion issues

U.S. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) this week sponsored the bipartisan Smart Intersections Act, which would improve traffic signals and roadway efficiency throughout the country.

“Traffic congestion has increasingly become a problem which needs addressing in Utah’s cities and in many metropolitan areas around our country,” Sen. Romney said. “Our bill proposes a multifaceted solution to reducing traffic congestion and improving the safety and effectiveness of our roads, while also reducing fuel costs and air pollution.” 

If enacted, S. 1984, which is cosponsored by three Democrats, including lead original cosponsor U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), would establish a Smart Technology Traffic Signals Grant Program for state, local or tribal governments to improve the functioning of traffic signals.

Program grants would be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation and could be used to improve the active management of traffic signals; implement strategies, activities and projects that support active management of traffic signal operations; replace outdated traffic signals; and pay the costs of temporary staffing hours dedicated to updating traffic signal technology for local governments with a population less than 500,000, according to a bill summary provided by Sen. Romney’s office.

“As we continue to have discussions on improving our country’s infrastructure, I will work to ensure that our legislation be included in any deal that is agreed upon,” added Sen. Romney.

Among other provisions, S. 1984 would direct the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study on the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by improving the efficiency of traffic systems, the summary says.

The bill is supported by the American Traffic Safety Services Association, the National League of Cities, the Wasatch Front Regional Council, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Association of Regional Councils, and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.