American Highway Users Alliance Urges National Traffic Congestion Relief Program
Sep 1, 2001 12:00 PM
At the request of the White House, the American Highway Users Alliance has given President Bush's staff regulatory and legislative proposals to implement a national traffic congestion relief campaign and to measure fuel-saving, environmental, and greenhouse-gas reduction benefits of such a program.
“The United States could gain ground on three front-burner political issues — global climate change, national energy policy, and fuel efficiency standards — by pursuing an aggressive, nationwide congestion relief program,” said William D Fay, Highway Users president and chief executive officer. “While such a program would improve roadway safety and reduce time wasted by motorists and truckers, the vehicles stuck in start-stop traffic also waste fuel and emit more tailpipe pollutants and carbon dioxide. Smoothing traffic flow by identifying and improving chokepoints will continue the nation's clean air progress and dramatically improve the fuel economy of its vast fleet of cars, buses, and trucks.”
Citing safety, environmental, fuel-saving, and time-saving benefits of congestion relief identified in a 1999 report, Unclogging America's Arteries: Prescriptions for Healthier Highways, The Highway Users said a national campaign to improve traffic flow at the worst 167 US bottlenecks should be a key component of legislative and regulatory policies governing:
Global climate change and the Kyoto Protocol — Improvements to the nation's worst traffic bottlenecks would reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 71% at those sites.
National energy policy — Those same bottleneck improvements would save nearly one billion gallons of gasoline and diesel fuel each year for the next 20 years.
Fuel economy standards — Fuel savings associated with congestion relief would improve fuel efficiency without mandating that auto manufacturers build vehicles consumers do not want.
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