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"Clearly Vicious as a Matter of Policy": The Fight Against Federal-Aid
PART FOUR: President Eisenhower Takes Charge (Page 3 of 5)
As 1953 Ends
Overall, 1953 was a year for gathering ideas, for mulling them over, but not for choosing among them. The focus had been on finding ways to improve the Nation's highways. As the outgoing President of AASHO, Michigan's Ziegler, said in his address to the annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 10:
Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our Association during the past year has been our part in bringing about a public realization of the importance of highways to our nation's economic health, progress and culture.256
Representative McGregor, who had chaired the National Highway Study hearings, also addressed AASHO. The need for highway improvement was clear:
Without in any way detracting from the great service performed by our railroads and air lines, I believe sincerely that, should there be any serious disruption in our highway transportation, our economy would be completely paralyzed.
The astounding number of motor vehicles now using our highways startles the imagination, and the dependence which we place on motor vehicles for our everyday livelihood has gone far beyond the conception of the average citizen.
His subcommittee, he said, had conducted "perhaps the most extensive hearings ever conducted on the subject." A mass of information had been accumulated, along with evidence of division on many controversial issues. But the committee also found agreement on a key point:
Nearly every witness spoke at length on the urgent need for an increased rate of highway improvement.
Witnesses had disagreed on the role of the Federal Government, but McGregor summed up his views:
I believe it is an incontrovertible fact that the Federal Government has a great financial responsibility for the provision of an adequate system of highways to serve our country. This responsibility may be predicated on several aspects which I need not explain - national defense, the movement of commerce in interstate traffic, the delivery of our mails, and the private citizen. One of the great contributions wherein Federal interest lies is in providing an adequate road system to permit our people to move freely from place to place thus welding together our 48 States.
He had seen no evidence that would convince him to end the highly successful Federal-aid highway program "to be replaced by some short-lived procedures whose attributes and siren qualities have not been proven beyond the imagined or hoped-for stage." He explained:
The Federal-aid highway program... has been the cornerstone on which the great highway and motor transportation industry of America has been built. With all its faults, it has given us a system of surface transportation unequaled, or even approached, anywhere else in the world.
He believed that the Federal Government should devote the entire revenue from the Federal gasoline tax to the highway system. "The Federal government should not divert highway funds - neither should the individual States." The Nation's highway problem could not be solved by one level of government:
It must be solved by all of these agencies sincerely working together to provide an adequate highway transportation system at the least cost consistent with efficient operation and maintenance.257
Still, there were those who felt the States would be better off going it alone. Republican Governor John S. Fine, in his address welcoming AASHO to the State, supported that view.258 He spoke of the importance of highways:
While we know our roads are not paved in gold, many businessmen as well as citizens are convinced they lead to it.
He pointed out that under the Federal-aid highway program, the Federal Government had contributed less than 18 percent of total construction and reconstruction costs in Pennsylvania from 1930 to 1953. This fact underscored the need for "an immediate mutual reexamination on the part of both federal and state governments - their respective functions in the maintenance of highway construction."
Governor Fine explained that the Governors were in no doubt about the disposition of the Federal gas tax. They had gone on record during the Governors' Conference in August recommending, again, that the Federal Government abandon the Federal claim to taxation on gasoline. He did not dispute the Federal right to participate in country-wide highway planning:
[But] the chief executives of practically every state of the Union agree, because it is the State's primary responsibility to maintain, supervise and construct the highway systems uniting this Nation, they should be allowed to devote the entire revenue from gas taxation solely for this purpose.
The States, Governor Fine was certain, would produce "a balanced state highway construction program... without undue burden upon the taxpayers or the highway users."259
Despite such views, AASHO adopted policies in support of a continued Federal role. The Federal-Aid Policy Statement for 1954 noted that since 1933, AASHO had advocated retirement of the Federal Government from the gasoline tax field. Congress had adopted a contrary view, as was its prerogative under the Constitution:
It is the considered opinion of this association that the Federal financial responsibility in the field of highways should not be evaluated on the source, or method, of deriving revenues which it sees fit to apply in the discharge of its responsibility in the highway field, and that the Congress should legislate on highway matters in the light of its own good judgment and the economic and defense needs of the country.
Having reluctantly accepted continuation of the Federal gas tax, AASHO had no doubt about the future of the BPR. If Congress decided to make funds available for "a mutual and cooperative program," the BPR must continue to exercise its role:
The existing highway system is adequate evidence that meritorious cooperation of Federal and State agencies in highway matters is perhaps the most efficient and productive cooperative arrangement ever to exist between the Federal and State governments.
AASHO recommended a $900-million Federal-aid program, with $250 million for the Interstate System to be apportioned on the basis of each State's population.260
As 1953 came to an end, the Administration still had not formulated a highway policy. Commissioner du Pont, in his presentation to AASHO, explained that he had not yet decided how to reshape the BPR, although he told AASHO that he had made some changes. He did not say so, but he had found that the BPR had been organized around MacDonald, who made all the key decisions, even on personnel matters. The Deputy Commissioners did not share in management responsibilities. Du Pont thought a staff-type organization was superior for his purposes and had taken steps to establish such an organizational structure. As part of this effort, he initiated weekly meetings with the Deputy Commissioners and the new Solicitor, Henry J. Kaltenbach, to formulate policies and decisions.
Du Pont also ended the practice of waiving the mandatory retirement age of 70 for BPR employees. Many of these men, he felt, "should have retired" and, by not doing so, were adversely affecting the promotion of younger men. He was developing plans for a logical promotion and retirement policy.
He had also been concerned about overhead, which he indicated "was increasing by about $400,000 per annum." He had reversed the trend; expenses of operation for FY 1954 would be $400,000 less than in FY 1953. Moreover, the BPR had retained the management firm of Booz, Allen, and Hamilton to review operations. He planned to adopt every possible proposal included in the review.
Of course, he could not predict what BPR's organizational and overhead needs would be until Congress had enacted the next Federal-Aid Highway Act. That brought him to a key issue, as he told AASHO:
And now for the $64 question: What is in store for Public Roads and what will be the Federal highway program? This I cannot answer... Regardless of what may be said at this and subsequent meetings during this convention, the Congress and only the Congress, with Presidential approval or over the veto, can tell the future Federal highway program.261
Eisenhower And The Shaping of Policy
In a radio and television address on January 4, 1954, President Eisenhower hinted at his intention to begin focusing on the Nation's highway problems.
This administration believes that no American - no one group of Americans - can truly prosper unless all Americans prosper... We believe that the slum, the out-dated highway, the poor school system, deficiencies in health protection, the loss of a job, and the fear of poverty in old age - in fact, any real injustice in the business of living - penalizes us all. And this administration is committed to help you prevent them.262
Three days later, he returned to the theme in his State of the Union Address. "Much for which we may be thankful," he said, "has happened during the past year." In particular, the war in Korea had ended. Beyond that:
The nation has just completed the most prosperous year in its history. The damaging effect of inflation on the wages, pensions, salaries and savings on us all has been brought under control. Taxes have begun to go down.
The cost of our government has been reduced and its work proceeds with some 183,000 fewer employees; thus the discouraging trend of modern governments toward their own limitless expansion has in our case been reversed... Segregation in the armed forces and other Federal activities is on the way out.
Amid these and other positive trends, his goal was "the building of a stronger America." He described what he had in mind:
A nation whose every citizen has good reason for bold hope; where effort is rewarded and prosperity is shared; where freedom expands and peace is secure - that is what I mean by a stronger America... We mean to build a better future for this nation.
He outlined the Administration's plans to sustain a strong economy, which included "public-works plans laid well in advance." On the subject of national highways, the President said:
To protect the vital interest of every citizen in a safe and adequate highway system, the Federal Government is continuing its central role in the Federal Aid Highway Program. So that maximum progress can be made to overcome present inadequacies in the Interstate Highway System, we must continue the Federal gasoline tax at two cents per gallon. This will require cancellation of the ½ cent decrease which otherwise will become effective April 1st, and will maintain revenues so that an expanded highway program can be undertaken.
When the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations completes its study of the present system of financing highway construction, I shall promptly submit it for consideration by the Congress and the governors of the states.263
Hearst Newspapers, which had campaigned aggressively for national highway improvement, reacted positively to the President's message. A January 9 article began:
The understanding of the highway problem demonstrated by President Eisenhower in his State of the Union message is regarded by the good roads movement as an order to step on the gas and get going.
The article quoted several members of Congress, including Chairman McGregor, who said:
Now that we know where we're going, it's up to us to get the money. We have got to face it. It is going to take an awful lot of money, but it has to be done.
Senator Edward Martin (R-Pa.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Works, acknowledged that he thought the Federal Government ought to get out of the gas tax business, but added that he would support the President's recommendations. "We shouldn't forget the rural roads, but the interstate system demands our first consideration. It must be put into top condition."
The President continued his highway comments in his annual budget message, submitted on January 21. "Efficient transportation and communication services," he said, "are essential to the national economy and the national security." Referring to the presidential commission, he noted that an intensive reappraisal of Federal responsibilities was underway:
The general principles guiding this reappraisal are that the national interest will usually be served best by a privately owned and operated industry, which is supported by a minimum of Federal funds or Federal basic facilities and services operated at the lowest feasible cost and financed, where possible, by charges levied on the users of the services.
Regardless of general principles, the President reported that expenditures for Federal-aid highway projects in 1955 would be the highest in history:
Emphasis in the selection of new projects will be given to the national system of interstate highways, which comprises the most important routes for interstate commerce and national defense... We should give increased attention to eliminating the existing inadequacies of the national system of interstate highways. Pending development and review of detailed proposals for extension of the Federal-aid highway program, I am including under proposed legislation the 575-million-dollar level of the existing authorization.264
On January 28, the President submitted his annual economic report to the Congress. The military and economic situation gave the American people a "great opportunity" for "a sustained improvement of national living standards." The government must play a role in making this opportunity a reality:
It is Government's responsibility in a free society to create an environment in which individual enterprise can work constructively to serve the ends of economic progress; to encourage thrift; and to extend and strengthen economic ties with the rest of the world.
Funding for public works was among the weapons available to the Federal Government for maintaining economic stability. He predicted an increase in expenditures by State and local governments, which faced "a vast backlog of needed schools, highways, hospitals, and sewer, water and other facilities." But the Federal Government had a role to play, too. Strengthening the highway system was among the steps the Federal Government could take to "stimulate the expansive power of individual enterprise."265
The President raised the issue again at his news conference of February 10, 1954. His opening statement discussed his request that the Federal Government retain the half-cent of the gas tax that was scheduled to expire. His plan was to use the revenue "to push the good roads program throughout the United States." He added:
In the past, not all of this money has been put out on road construction in matching funds with the States. We hope to do it with all of it, and if we are successful, it will increase the Federal participation, I think, by some $225 million on a matching basis with the States.
(Although the temporary half-cent tax enacted in 1951 was to end on April 1, 1954, the Excise Tax Reduction Act of 1954 extended the tax for a year. President Eisenhower signed the legislation on March 31, 1954.)
The President returned to the subject of the Nation's highway needs on February 17, 1954, when he addressed the 2,500 delegates to the White House Conference on Highway Safety, organized after the President met with industry officials the previous July. He considered safety to be essentially a local or community issue, but "when any particular activity in the United States takes 38,000 American lives in one year, it becomes a national problem of the first importance." He explained:
I was struck by a statistic that seemed to me shocking. In the last 50 years, the automobile has killed more people in the United States than we have had fatalities in all our wars: on all the battlefields of all the wars of the United States since its founding 177 years ago.
He acknowledged that this was a problem that "by its nature has no easy solution." He did not intend to get into the technicalities because "you know much more than I do." However, he felt that the key was public opinion. If, he said, "we can mobilize a sufficient public opinion, this problem, like all of those to which free men fall heir can be solved."
Looking to the future, he saw a continuing problem:
The same list of statistics that I saw said that in 1975 - I don't know why I should be bothered about that year, except I have grandchildren - there are going to be 80 million automobiles on our streets and roads and highways.
Now, the Federal Government is going to do its part in helping to build more highways and many other facilities to take care of those cars. But 80 million cars on our highways! I wonder how people will get to highway conferences to consider the control of highway traffic. It is going to be a job.266
But that figure does mean this: we don't want to try to stop that many automobiles coming... we want them. They mean progress for our country. They mean greater convenience for a greater number of people, greater happiness, and greater standards of living.267
Even as President Eisenhower was beginning to focus on highways, Congress was turning its attention to the biennial need for a Federal-aid highway act. At ARBA's annual conference, held in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the leadership of the House Committee on Public Works made clear that they were ready to advance the legislation. Chairman George A. Dondero (R-Mi.) said he was not in favor of radical change:
It has been proposed that the Government repeal the Federal tax of two cents a gallon on gas, and that the Bureau of Public Roads be abolished. To do either or both would, in my opinion, be a tragic mistake... To abolish the Bureau would result in chaos and confusion. There would be no coordinating agency to integrate the highway programs of the several States.
He added a comment that was carried across the Nation by press and radio: "I believe the American people would applaud the suggestion that we reduce foreign aid a billion dollars and spend it on the highways of the United States."268
Chairman McGregor of the Subcommittee on Roads also rejected a reduction in the Federal role and elimination of the gas tax. The problem of the gas tax, he thought, was that only about 50 percent of the revenue was being used for highway purposes. He seconded Chairman Dondero's view: "Let's stop sending our excise tax money to foreign countries and use it to build roads, and for other worthy purposes here at home."
As for the Federal-aid highway program, which he said had helped create the world's greatest road network, he rejected the idea of abandoning it:
This success has been achieved through a State-Federal partnership which has preserved completely the sovereignty of each State and, at the same time, has provided for Federal participation in meeting Constitutional obligations and needs... In a Nation as big and growing as rapidly as America, continuation of this long-range, large-scale highway program is essential to the well-being of our country and its citizenry.
Representative Fallon shared the view of the Republican leadership. "The Federal-aid highway program [is] vital to the national welfare and economy." He added, "There has never been, to this day, any favoritism or partisan politics involved in Federal assistance to the States in highway matters."
Urban expressways, he believed, should receive a high priority:
We must realize that if our motor vehicle transportation is strangled in the congestion of our urban centers, in a larger sense we may be strangling our whole economy. It would be very poor government, on any level, that would pinch pennies for streets and roads, and particularly urban transportation, and thus paralyze the most effective gear in our economic machine.
Commissioner du Pont also addressed ARBA. He stated that he had come to the BPR with no preconceived ideas of reorganization:
I had only the conviction that changes would be made in the interest of economy, efficiency, and maximum cooperation and latitude in dealing with each State consistent with our responsibility as directed by Congress.
The division of responsibility between the Federal and State governments was an issue to be decided by the Administration and the Congress. That was not the BPR's job. But he made clear that any thought that the Nation could not solve its problem of inadequate highways is "juvenile, pessimistic, and unrealistic."
Given the extensive hearings in 1953, the hearings on the pending Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 were brief - 3 days in the House and 6 in the Senate. Most witnesses endorsed the need for urban highways, with the Interstate System as the best approach for providing them. Only rural road advocates were concerned about the emphasis on the Interstate System. Witnesses also advocated the gas tax as the best way to finance the expanded program. As Seely noted, "Even truckers renounced their previously vociferous opposition to federal gas taxes and endorsed the... plan."269
The bill that emerged from the House Public Works Committee addressed the variety of needs by increasing funds for all of them. The bill authorized $200 million a year for the Interstate System on a 60-40 Federal-State matching basis and increased funding for primary, secondary, and urban roads in FY's 1956 and 1957. It gave increased weight to population as an apportionment factor for the Interstate System, but also made Interstate funding contingent on continuation of the 2-cent gas tax. This implicit endorsement of linkage between gas tax revenue and Interstate construction expenditures was part of the bill the House approved on March 8 without amendment.
As the Senate began its consideration, opponents of provisions in the House bill attempted to gain an advantage. One unexpected opponent of at least one aspect of the bill was the President's Bureau of the Budget, which objected to an increased Federal share for Interstate projects. The objection was based on the concern that a 60-40 matching share would result in less highway construction than if the matching ratio were 50-50.
When the Senate bill reached the floor on April 7, it passed with little controversy. It proposed to authorize funds for each of the programs, including $159 million for the Interstate System at the same matching ratio, 60-40, as the House bill. It did not affect taxes.
House-Senate conferees compromised on funding, with $175 million set aside for the Interstate program at a 60-40 matching ratio and $700 million for the remaining programs. Congress approved the bill on April 14 and sent it to the President.
On May 6 at the White House, surrounded by the Members of Congress who had crafted the bill, the President signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. The President was, he said, gratified that this legislation would allow the Nation to increase the pace of efforts to make up highway deficiencies:
In recent years the nation has accumulated tremendous highway needs which are becoming increasingly acute. Our highways badly need modernization and expansion to accommodate today's vastly increased motor traffic... This legislation is one effective forward step in meeting these accumulated needs.
He was pleased, too, that it retained the Federal-State partnership, with the States having primary responsibility for highway construction:
At the same time, it recognizes the responsible relationship of the Federal Government to the development of a sound, nationwide highway system.
Although the $2 billion authorized by the new law was the largest 2-year sum ever provided for the Federal-aid highway program, he added that, "the needs are so great that continued efforts to modernize and improve our obsolescent highway system are mandatory."
He took time to mention one other important point:
The public will welcome, I am sure, the fact that funds equivalent to revenue from Federal gasoline taxes will now be used entirely for the improvement of the nation's highways.270
Although FY 1956 would not begin until July 1, 1955, Secretary Weeks apportioned $875 million in FY 1956 funds on July 1, 1954, 6 months ahead of the usual time of apportionment (by December 31) to accelerate highway improvement. The speed up in starting time, he said, would favorably affect the economy. He predicted that thanks to the President's program:
[All] across the country we are going to have the greatest surge in highway construction in the history of America. That means better roads, safer driving, fewer traffic jams, stronger national defense, more jobs and stimulation of business along the improved and expanded highways.271
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 was widely hailed. It appeared to set the Nation on course to build the National System of Interstate Highways. However, the amount of funding authorized was small compared with the need; regular authorizations would be needed beyond the 2 years covered by the Act; and the funding came from a temporary source.
In short, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 lacked some of the key elements of the future Interstate Highway Program. Two features were in place, namely a designated system of major highways and a design standard suitable for safe, efficient travel at high speeds. Two other critical elements were missing: a Federal commitment to complete construction of the network within a specified time frame and a permanent funding mechanism for doing so.
Some participants in enactment of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 thought they were getting the Interstate Highway Program underway, but President Eisenhower understood the limitations of the legislation. Even as he hailed the legislation in public, he was running out of patience with the pace of highway planning within his Administration. He wanted the Interstate System program in place to provide stimulus during economic downturns. As biographer Stephen E. Ambrose explained, Eisenhower told his staff that he did not want to "get tagged like Hoover did, unjustly, of not doing anything to help in economic bad times."272 Moreover, the defense benefits were clear to him in the Cold War atmosphere of the times.
Within the Administration, officials were divided on financing. Under Secretary Murray favored State-financed toll roads. Commissioner du Pont supported 100-percent Federal funding for the Interstate System. Meanwhile, BPR officials were promoting creation of an Under Secretary of Commerce for Highways to promote development of a national highway system.273
The President's frustration became clear 2 days before Congress completed work on the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. He held a meeting on April 12 to begin reorganizing his Administration's process for making a decision on highway financing. He directed his chief assistant, former New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams, and Arthur F. Burns of the Council of Economic Advisors to work with other officials to find a way to accelerate the highway program. According to notes of the meeting, he made clear what he wanted. As summarized by Rose:
Eisenhower himself was seeking a "`dramatic' plan to get 50 billion dollars worth of self-liquidating highways under construction." In terms of construction priorities, he thought the federal government ought to devote greater attention to the Interstate system, to roads from airports into downtown areas, and to access roads near defense installations. While he would condone federal loan guarantees, an expanded road program could not be allowed to upset the federal budget.
Based on this pep talk, his staff understood what he wanted, but remained divided on how to accomplish it. Rose found that each participant in the meeting "chose to interpret Eisenhower's instructions differently."274
One participant was a West Point classmate of the President's, General John H. Bragdon (U.S. Army, retired), who headed the Public Works Planning Unit in the Council of Economic Advisors. The day of the meeting with the President, General Bragdon had lunch with Commissioner du Pont. According to the General's memorandum for the record that same day, he found that the Commissioner believed the Federal Government had a peculiar interest in the Interstate System, which would accomplish three purposes, "namely, defense; affords maximum contribution to product distribution; and is the central core of the entire highway system." The Commissioner considered toll roads "a necessary evil." General Bragdon summarized the Commissioner's views on toll roads:
Mr. du Pont felt that many of these toll roads, instead of being self-liquidating are really self-perpetuating and that as soon as they build up a surplus, they at once extend their system and/or remain in the maintenance business; that they tend to build up small autonomous empires of many employees; that often their economy was fallacious in that if one adds the cost of the toll per mile to the usual transportation cost of operation and maintenance, there would result a ridiculously high cost per mile, often of the magnitude of around 20 cents.
Du Pont did not think the Interstate System could receive the priority it deserved under the present Federal-aid program. General Bragdon reported that du Pont favored the "radical" solution of creating a national highway authority to build the Interstate System with revenue from 1 cent of the Federal gasoline tax. The authority would issue Federal bonds, purchase existing toll facilities for inclusion in the toll-free network, and construct circumferential routes around large cities as well as access highways to their center. The Commissioner also favored an end to Federal-aid for the secondary and primary systems, with gasoline taxes reduced accordingly.275
Two days later, General Bragdon met with the BPR's Herbert Fairbank, the Deputy Commissioner for Research. Fairbank had conceived, directed, and analyzed the state highway traffic surveys in the mid-1930s and had been the primary drafter of the key reports to Congress on the subject, Toll Roads and Free Roads (1939), Interregional Highways (1944), and Highway Needs of the National Defense (1949). Like du Pont, Fairbank informed General Bragdon that toll roads were uneconomical on a long-term basis. However, toll financing had the advantage of permitting construction to be completed in a short span, rather than piecemeal - section by section - as was the case with Federal-aid roads built on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Fairbank said he supported the Interstate System and believed that the legislation that would authorize it, at a cost of about $15 billion over 15 years, should permit the purchase of toll roads. General Bragdon summarized Fairbank's views on funding the Interstate System:
Believes an hypothecation of gas taxes could take care of the financing of a national defense highway [sic]; national toll highways not necessary; federal highway bonds based on sinking funds from gas taxes but with full faith to credit guarantees. This would allow one-half percent less interest rate.276
("Hypothecation" means "to pledge without delivery of title or possession.")
Despite the cautions suggested by du Pont and Fairbank, General Bragdon would become the chief advocate within the Administration for a toll superhighway network. He favored creation of a National Highway Authority, composed of the Secretaries of Commerce, Defense, and the Treasury, to assume responsibility for Federal road construction. The General believed highway construction was a national responsibility, despite the President's statement that he favored a continued State role.277
In contrast with General Bragdon, Sherman Adams favored a more traditional approach that, not surprisingly in view of his former position as a Governor, retained a strong role for the States. As Rose explained:
He too figured that executives of a national road authority would finance construction, allowing a small subsidy for toll roads not fully solvent. But Adams entertained few plans for revising federal road-building arrangements.278
He asked New York's Robert Moses and Bertram Tallamy to suggest a plan for financing the road program. Rose summarized their report to Adams:
Around May 1, they turned in a report which adhered to the outlines of Adams' views, created a device to raise funds for their own use, and insured local and state authority in the highway construction field. The secretary of the treasury would head a Continental Highway Finance Corporation with the secretaries of defense and commerce serving alongside him as a board of directors. They would look after financial matters. Daily operations would remain under the direction of bureau and state road engineers.279
Moses and Tallamy also called for a moratorium on highway legislation until 1955, by which time a report on traffic conditions and finance, authorized by the 1954 Act, could be prepared.
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- Ziegler, Charles M., "President's Address," American Highways, January 1954, p. 4.
- McGregor, J. Harry, "Our Highway Transportation," American Highways, January 1954, p. 10, 32-33
- Governor Fine, Pennsylvania's 100th Governor, served from 1951 to 1955.
- Fine, Governor John S., "Address," American Highways, January 1954, p. 6, 29-30.
- Johnson, A. E. (President of AASHO), "1954 Federal-aid Policy Statement of the American Association of State Highway Officials," American Highways, January 1954, p. 14.
- Du Pont, F. V., "What's Going On In Public Roads," American Highways, January 1954, p. 11.
- Eisenhower, President Dwight D., "Radio and Television Address to the American People on the Administration's Purposes and Accomplishments," Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1954, January 4, 1954, p. 3.
- "Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union," Public Papers, January 7, 1954, p. 18.
- "Annual Budget Message to the Congress: Fiscal year 1955," Public Papers, January 21, 1954, p. 176.
- "Annual Message Transmitting the Economic Report to the Congress," Public Papers, January 28, 1954, p. 215-218.
- Total motor vehicle registrations in 1975 totaled 133 million vehicles, including 107 million automobiles. Highway Statistics - Summary to 1985, FHWA (HPM-10/6-87(4M)P), 1985, p. 25.
- "Remarks to the White House Conference on Highway Safety," Public Papers, February 17, 1954, p. 258. For information on President Eisenhower and highway safety, see Weingroff, Richard F., President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Federal Role in Highway Safety, FHWA, 2003, at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/safetypr.cfm.
- Quotes and account of the ARBA conference from "ARBA Annual Meeting a Significant Event," Road Builders' News, January-February 1954, p. 5.
- Seely, p. 212.
- "Statement by the President Upon Signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954," Public Papers, May 6, 1954, p. 459-460.
- "Secretary Weeks Orders Speed-Up in Apportioning New F-A Funds," Road Builders' News, American Road Builders' Association, May-June 1954, p. 3.
- Ambrose, Stephen E., Eisenhower: The President, A Touchstone Book, Simon and Schuster, 1985, p. 158.
- Rose, p. 70.
- Rose, p. 71. President Eisenhower did not have a Chief of Staff, but former Governor Adams served a similar function.
- Bragdon, General J. S., "Discussion with Mr. Francis V. du Pont, Commissioner, Bureau of Public Roads," Memorandum for the Record, April 12, 1954. Dwight Eisenhower Library.
- Bragdon, General J. S., "Conference with Mr. Fairbank of Public Roads and Mr. Newcomb," Memorandum, April 14, 1954. Dwight Eisenhower Library.
- Of all those involved in highway affairs under President Eisenhower, General Bragdon was the least effective. He was involved in the debates through the last weeks of the President's second term, but as Professor Gary T. Schwartz, in his study of Interstate highway legislation, explained: "Bragdon was handicapped by an ineptness at bureaucratic maneuverings. Beginning with his inability to establish a good working relationship with Sherman Adams, Bragdon's entire White House career was marked by frustrations and failures." Schwartz, Professor Gary T., "Urban Interstates and the Interstate System," Southern California Law Review, March 1976, p. 432.
- Rose, p. 71-72.
- Rose, p. 72.