TEA-21 - Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
Moving Americans into the 21st Century
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This summary is organized in the four issue areas raised during the overview and provided to panelists in advance of the session. The four issues addressed were:
1) What criteria should USDOT use to select projects to receive funding?
2) Should a specific amount of funding be set aside for each of the two program areas (e.g. borders and corridors) or should all projects compete for funding from the entire sum available each year?
3) How should priorities be determined (both nationally and within States)?
4) How should the USDOT leverage the greatest value with the available Federal funds and what role should stakeholders have (e.g. Mexico and Canada, freight operators, etc.)?
Criteria should include:
Mayor Betty Flores, Laredo, Texas
... "Our global competitiveness depends on ability to move goods and services. Border crossings need greater investment and improvement. These are the border cities. They are not where the US ends and Mexico starts. It is where US blends into Mexico... Where international trade is turned into national profit....Expenditures on corridors can increase exponentially but unless borders are receiving the needed infrastructure investments, borders will continue to be choke points, not check points."
Pete Geren, Alliance Airport- Fort Worth
"International trade touches the lives and pocketbooks of all Americans...Biggest and quickest bank for the buck should be #1 priority".
Roger Hord, Vice President, Infrastructure, Greater Houston Partnership
"Congress should be commended for taking decisive action to address transportation infrastructure problems...Corridor and Border program should be considered a launch program to a much bigger program."
Robert Nichols, Commissioner Texas department of Transportation
"Ready to go projects for FY99 should be preference. Put the money into projects, not more studies. Allow applicants to use existing, readily available data to justify project needs. Dont require additional paperwork and data...states have deemed these projects worthy already."
Representative Joe Pickett, State House of Representatives
El Paso, Texas
"Border communities have been ignored. There are more trucks crossing through El Paso each day than registered vehicles in all of El Paso County... What is use of corridors if cant get across the borders? ...Greatest benefit for least amount of effort and funding should be the criteria. In fact, USDOT should reduce the match on projects that have more than local impacts.......Your border is in our community".