Alliance urges highway congestion relief
Jul 1, 2002 12:00 PM
The American Highway Users Alliance has urged the United States Congress to take action to relieve the traffic congestion that chokes highways, slows commerce, and jeopardizes safety.
“As a nation, we have failed to build the roads we need to meet either our population or economic needs,” said Michael J Toohey, alliance chairman. He testified at a hearing on congestion held by the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Toohey said that during the past 30 years, the number of licensed drivers in America has grown 63%, the number of vehicle miles traveled has climbed 132%, but total road mileage has risen just 6%.
He suggested that Congress consider a balanced approach to relieving congestion that combines additional highway capacity with various transit improvements, new technologies, and other efficiency options. Toohey also said the Congestion Mitigation/Air Quality (CMAQ) program within TEA 21 should be amended to include highway construction projects that will reduce congestion, and he encouraged efforts to streamline the environmental review process for highway projects.
Toohey also urged Congress to protect the Highway Trust Fund to ensure reliability and predictability of highway investments. He encouraged Congress to shift ethanol tax receipts into this fund, compensate the fund for revenues lost to the gasohol subsidy, and stem fuel tax evasion.
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