Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Participating in U.S. Department of Transportation’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization Event

I look forward to participating in a panel discussion held by the U.S. Department of Transportation in Washington, D.C., on the reauthorization of the federal surface transportation program.

The July 14 meeting is part of a series of sessions across the country designed to bring together federal, state and local officials, as well as transportation providers, users, and other stakeholders, to discuss the upcoming surface transportation reauthorization.

On the panel, I will represent the National Association of Counties (NACO), where I serves as vice-chair for transit. The discussion is entitled “The Needs of State, Local and Tribal Governments” and will focus on the surface transportation program’s importance to local governments, particularly as it affects planning, programming and the ability of counties to respond to transportation needs. We need all hands on deck to move our transportation agenda forward, so I’m glad to be a part of these important conversations.

Several projects planned for Montgomery County by the Maryland Department of Transportation cannot proceed to construction due to a current lack of federal funding. They include the Purple Line; the Corridor Cities Transitway; the widening of the western portion of the Beltway (I-495) over the American Legion Bridge; and the addition of reversible high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on I-270. This year, the County Council decided to use local dollars to fund one such project—a $60 million segment of the Montrose Parkway.

I will present NACO’s view that congestion in metropolitan areas is the single most important issue in American transportation today. On behalf of the organization, I will advocate for federal funding for projects such as those in Montgomery County and also for a congestion management program and streamlined processes.

1 comment:

Tina Slater said...

Congestion in metropolitan areas IS a big issue. As the region and country continue to grow, we have to decide whether we want to lay out more and more ribbons of highway lanes (gee --- we could have 14-lane or 16-lane highways and then the cars could move!!! Actually, I don't care for this "solution" at all!)-- or in the same space taken by 3 or 4 single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) cars, we could have a bus/light rail vehicle that holds 80 to 120 passengers. Which way will move more people?