To deal with congestion, free-up some ideas

News AASHTO February 08, 2001
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In a presentation to the Federal Highway Administration Management Council, American Association of State & Highway Transportat


In a presentation to the Federal Highway Administration Management Council, American Association of State & Highway Transportation Officials Executive Director John Horsley pointed to new U.S. Census numbers showing a burgeoning population and demand as evidence transportation managers must be open to a new vision.


"The strategy for the last 40 years was to build the highways needed," Horsley said. "What we need now is a vision of how to sustain our mobility for the next 40 years. That vision should be informed by today's political realities, but it should not be artificially constrained by what is currently considered 'politically correct,' such as the highway opponents' mantra that In a presentation to the Federal Highway Administration Management Council, American Association of State & Highway Transportation Officials Executive Director John Horsley pointed to new U.S. Census numbers showing burgeoning population and demand as evidence transportation managers must be open to a new vision.


we 'cannot build our way out of congestion.'"


Citing the United States' population growth in the past decade--by 32 million Americans--Horsley noted several factors transportation leaders need to weigh as they face the challenge of keeping Americans mobile, including:


* Acknowledgment that highway preservation will mean perfecting the art of performing maintenance on in-service roads;


* Maximizing performance through advanced technologies and heightened cooperation;


* Increasing transit ridership to reduce congestion;


* Sustaining viable railroads, including consideration of state or federal support;


* Maintaining high-quality intermodal connections at ports and airports;


* Acknowledgment that new highway capacity will cost more and take longer;


* Insisting on environmental streamlining to curb avoidable construction delays;


* Designing projects inclusively to win community support;


* Coordinating transportation and land-use plans to minimize avoidable sprawl; and


* Looking for innovative solutions for the highest-cost projects.


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