About 250 transportation leaders from the public and private sectors gathered this week in Cambridge, Md. for a summit aimed at identifying a new vision to meet the nation's future transportation needs.
The conference, held May 21-23, was "the culmination of two years of research to document the trends that must be addressed in the future, followed by the gathering of the best ideas of many experts to form the background for our discussions," said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the main sponsor of the conference. "We are pleased to have so many key partners in this effort -- trucking, rail, ports, highway users, transit. We are striving to forge a consensus that will ultimately reshape our nation's transportation system," Horsley said.
Joining AASHTO in the initiative were:
- The American Council of Engineering Companies
- The American Public Transportation Association
- The American Road and Transportation Builders Association
- The American Trucking Associations
- The Associated General Contractors of America
- The Association of American Railroads
During the conference, participants worked on a draft vision statement in each of nine transportation areas, including freight, highways, rail, transit, metropolitan mobility, sustainable transportation, advanced technology and innovation, safety and funding.
AASHTO will use the results of the conference deliberations to produce a transportation vision and strategy for the 21st century.
Results of the conference will be presented to the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission and to Congress. Two members of the commission -- Vice-Chairman Jack Schenendorf and Commissioner Frank McArdle -- attended the Wednesday sessions and addressed the participants.