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Highway Information Quarterly Newsletter

December 2000

Winter Highway

Office of Highway Policy Information

Highway Statistics 1999
Highway Statistics 1999

The 1999 edition of the Highway Statistics series has been released. This annual report contains analyzed statistical data on motor fuel; motor vehicles, driver licensing; highway-user taxation; State highway finance; highway mileage; Federal aid for highways; highway finance data for municipalities; counties; townships; and other units of local government, as well as selected information from the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey, and comparative international data.

This report, as well as Highway Statistics back to 1992 can be found online at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policy/ohpi/hss/index.htm

If you are currently not on the Highway Statistics mailing list to receive a copy each year, and wish to receive a copy, email to: Millie.Wilson@fhwa.dot.gov or call (202) 366-0160.

Toll Highway Facilities in the United States

In 1999, 30 States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico reported 4,761 miles of highway toll facilities. These facilities account for about 0.1 percent of the 3.96 million total public roads miles in the United States and its Territories. About 2,867 miles of these facilities are Interstate System, another 1,804 miles are other principal arterials, another 53 miles are minor arterials, and the rest are collectors and locals. And, over 73 miles of these facilities are on structures (bridges, tunnels, or causeways). On the average, toll traffic has 4 or more lanes available on 95 percent of these facilities whereas most non-toll public roads generally have only 2 lanes.

State Miles* Lane-Miles* Daily Travel* State Miles* Lane-Miles* Daily Travel*
AL 13.2 49 45,785 MO 1.2 2 15,857
CA 63.8 354 4,681,271 NE 0.6 1 1,054
CO 39.5 158 1,801,556 NV 0.0 0 0
DE 46.3 254 2,632,049 NH 72.3 338 3,067,311
FL 607.7 2,518 18,292,963 NJ 377.0 2,283 32,840,164
GA 8.6 42 630,741 NY 537.0 2,287 20,216,323
IL 280.7 1,415 19,719,110 OH 241.2 1,139 7,235,662
IN 163.7 641 4,489,310 OK 552.2 2,174 4,992,040
IA 1.7 4 9,344 PA 514.3 2,134 15,420,248
KS 228.6 914 3,441,315 RI 1.8 4 31,839
KY 242.9 855 1,830,791 SC 5.4 22 95,327
LA 15.5 62 94,839 TX 115.3 610 7,000,947
ME 110.0 458 3,451,572 VA 62.1 302 2,542,336
MD 44.5 200 2,049,906 WV 87.4 347 2,449,925
MA 141.9 693 7,920,429 PR 151.7 681 7,572,682
MI 5.4 20 71,197 Total 4,733.5 20,961 174,643,893
* About 27.5 miles of toll facilities are missing from the table totals: IL 1.4 miles, LA 1.6 miles, MA 0.5 miles, NV 6.4 miles, NY 13.9 miles, PA 1.6 miles, TX 0.1 miles, VA 1.3 miles, and WV 0.7 miles.
'Source -- 1999 Highway Performance Monitoring System

Traffic on toll facilities accumulated nearly 0.17 billion vehicle miles per day compared to 7.37 billion vehicle miles per day on all public roads or 2.3 percent of total national travel. For more information, contact Paul Svercl at 202-366-5036 or e-mail at paul.svercl@fhwa.dot.gov.

Highway Finance Re-assessment News Briefs

In July 1999, FHWA's Office of Highway Policy Information began a comprehensive reassessment of its highway finance reporting series, including both State and local finance and Federal highway finance reporting (FA-series, SF-series, and LF-series). These data are published annually in the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Highway Statistics publication and have a number of key uses. Current items include:

  1. Task Force meeting: A Task Force to support FHWA in its re-assessment was scheduled to meet November 29 and November 30, 2000 in Washington ,D.C. Representatives from the State data providers as well as data users were scheduled to share perspectives. Revisions in the Highway Finance data series are expected to result in a data program that better meets customer needs and is less burdensome to State data providers. The Task Force is being chaired by an FHWA's Idaho Division Administrator, Mr. Steve Moreno. It is composed of State representatives who serve on various AASHTO Committees, NARC representation, and FHWA staff.

  2. Improved Finance Reporting Format: OHPI is also advancing soft-ware that will improve its own analyses of the State-reported highway finance data and ultimately help States report higher quality data. An improved soft-ware tool for input of Highway finance data was displayed to the States attending the Highway Information Seminar. This tool will be piloted in 2001 for data year 2000.

For more information, contact Tom.Howard@fhwa.dot.gov or call (202) 366-0170.

Travel Patterns of People of Color

The report "Travel Patterns of People of Color" has just been released by the Office of Highway Policy Information. The report is the first compendium on travel in the United States that directly examines race and ethnicity. The primary sources of data, are from various papers using the 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) and the 1990 Census Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). (In this report, People of Color refers to Hispanic, Asian, and African American.)

Interesting Facts: In 1990, 24 percent of the U.S. Population was composed of people of color (Hispanic, Asian, and African American), with this segment of the population projected to grow to 43 percent of the population by 2050. (26 percent of the population will be Hispanic).

This report can be found online at: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/trvpatns.pdf under "Products and Publications".

Motor-Fuel/Attribution Changes Proposed in Policy Announcement and Discussed at Public Workshop

At an October 5 public workshop in Washington, D.C., FHWA presented a number of proposed policy changes regarding the methodology it would use for estimating Highway Trust Fund receipts attributable to the States. This motor-fuel attribution is used as a factor in determining the distribution of Federal-aid highway funds in three large program categories and minimum guarantee funds.

These policy changes and other business-type to FHWA motor-fuel attribution process were announced in the August 17, 2000 Federal Register ( Docket Number 2000-7635). The one day October workshop was held to assist individuals who wished to learn more about the procedures and to discuss them further. In all, about 25 individuals attended the workshop.

The Federal Register Notice and the October 5 public workshop marked important milestones in FHWA's re-assessment of its motor-fuel/HTF attribution process. Recognizing the increasing importance of accurate, timely reporting of motor-fuel data, FHWA, with expert support from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Federation of Tax Administrators initiated a review of the motor-fuel reporting system. In addition to panel meeting with experts in December 1998 and September 1999, FHWA helped three public workshops in association with the re-assessment process in December 1999, January 1999, and February 2000. The attribution process was one of the subjects of a review in a June 2000 General Accounting Office study "Highway Funding: Problems with Highway Trust Fund Data Can Affect State Highway Funds" (Report No. RCED/AIMD-00-141).

The one day workshop concentrated on presenting and discussing the six major policy changes proposed in the Federal Register Notice. These are

Each of these six policy changes were explained in detail by Mr. Ralph Erickson, who gave the background on the issue, the current situation, the improvement proposed, and FHWA's prosed implementation plans. A discussion of these changes was then led by Mr. Tom Howard. Background on each of these changes can be obtained from the Federal Register Notice (http://dmses.dot.gov). Interested parties have until October 30, 2000 to make written comments.

In addition to the six policy changed, there were presentations on other various aspects of the motor-fuel/HTF attribution work. Mr. Erickson and Ms. Marsha Reynolds gave a brief summary of current attribution, motor-fuel reports, and modeling. Mr. Barna Juhasz welcomed the participants and outlined FHWA's efforts to improve its data programs.

A motor-fuel action plan is a significant part of this quality improvement effort. This action plan, developed as a results of issues raised during the re-assessment process includes the following:

During year 2001, FHWA will advance this action plan and consider the comments it receives in the Federal Register process.

A summary of the October 5 meeting is available on the FHWA OHPI website at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/.

2000 NPTS Add-on Program
NPTS/ATS 2000 The Federal Highway Administration is gearing up for the 2000/2001 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS). The survey offers a unique opportunity to State and metropolitan planning areas to purchase samples for use as a household travel survey for their respective areas. The add-on program allows local jurisdictions to purchase additional samples of the NPTS in their locality to use as a basis for trip generation and other travel demand forecasting model inputs or for other transportation planning applications. In addition to the national sample of 25,000 households, three States and eight MPOs have expressed serious interest in purchasing add-on samples-together adding almost 60,000 households to the sample.

Locally collected data is always the best, but many States and MPOs do not have the time and resources to develop, contract, and manage a household travel survey. The add-on project also allows the state or MPO to 'waive the match' and to use SP&R or PL funds. The additional samples, along with the national samples randomly selected from the local area, are compiled, geocoded, edited and weighted to represent the participating region. Local data from the add-on samples can be compared to national data, or other regions of the country. An area can participate in the program with each round of NPTS to update their local data.

Two of the areas purchasing add-ons have been looking at concurrently measuring travel directly using a global positioning system (GPS) unit installed in the sampled household's vehicle. The GPS would directly record the location of the vehicle when the engine was running. The GPS remains in the vehicle over a week, overlapping the one-day of travel collected by use of a travel diary. Such concurrent data collection allows us to measure the number of trips taken versus the number reported, and to calculate the VMT for the travel day and analyze the relation to reported VMT. We should also gain some insight into the daily variation in travel, and better recording of travel times and distances.

For more information on the 2000 NPTS Add-on Survey Program, contact Nancy.McGuckin@fhwa.dot.gov or call 202-366-0160.

Summary of Travel Trends
1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey

The 1995 Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey (NPTS) report entitled Summary of Travel Trends has just been released in hard copy. This report highlights important travel trends from the NPTS in tabular and graphic format, from 1995 back to the first NPTS in 1969. This report provides important information on personal travel of U.S. households with respect to why, how, when, where, and where to, as well as how long, and with whom.

The report begins with a summary of travel and demographic changes from the earlier NPTSs (1969, 1977, 1983, and 1990). Travel change are examined from a household perspective, then from an individual perspective. This report concludes with trip-making statistics of special populations such as women, zero vehicle households, low income households, and the elderly.

Table: Changes in Summary Demographics: 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, and 1995 NPTS


Specific information found in this report includes: persons per household, vehicle per household, drivers per household, workers per household, average trip length, vehicle trips per household, and the relationship of travel indicators to demographic factors such as household income, race, gender, and educational attainment.

Interesting Facts: The report shows that during the past two decades, the number of vehicles increased at a steeper rate than any other demographic indicators. In fact, the number of vehicles has increased at an annual rate of almost one and one-half time that of the total population.

For hard copies of the report, contact Millie.Wilson@fhwa.dot.gov, or call (202) 366-0160.

The report can also be found on the web at: http://www-cta.ornl.gov/npts/1995/DOC/trends_report.pdf

Census of Governments' 1992 and 1997 Data on Local Highway Finance Expenditures

The Bureau of the Census has completed its 1997 Census of governments. Part of this report covers highway finances, at the State and local government levels. The Census Bureau sends out people to collect data from all "places" in the United States.

From 1992 to 1997, total highway expenditures increased by 32.0% and total highway capital outlay increased by 34.0% for the top twenty spending counties. For the top twenty spending cities for that same period, total highway expenditures increased by 25.0% and total highway capital outlay increased by 34.5%.

During the same time period, 1992 to 1997, highway capital inflation increased by 24.2% according to the FHWA Bid Price Index. The two separate volumes for sub-State local government highway finances are found on the Census' website at:


Volume 4, No.3 is Finances of County Governments and Volume 4, No.4 is Finances of Municipal and Township Governments. Attached is a summary of the top twenty counties, and top twenty municipal and township governments for total highway expenditures and highway capital outlay from these 1997 Census of Governments' reports. A separate set of figures shows the same array of data from the 1992 Census of Governments' reports.

If you would like more information on this sub-State highway finance data, contact the website address above or call Lenny Goldberg at (202)-366-5024.

City Government Rankings for Highway Expenditure, 1992 (Thousands of dollars)
Name State Population
total expenditure
total capital outlay
1992 NEW YORK New York 7,322,564 795,275 403,888
1992 CHICAGO Illinois 2,783,726 364,677 221,576
1992 LOS ANGELES California 3,485,398 153,393 65,688
1992 BALTIMORE Maryland 736,014 144,406 92,036
1992 HOUSTON Texas 1,630,553 128,175 59,210
1992 WASHINGTON, D. C. N/A 606,900 121,644 108,802
1992 DETROIT Michigan 1,027,974 100,167 12,339
1992 PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania 1,585,577 95,194 38,264
1992 MESA Arizona 288,091 81,442 70,776
1992 SAN DIEGO California 1,110,549 76,374 34,879
1992 WICHITA Kansas 304,011 69,207 54,225
1992 PHOENIX Arizona 983,403 67,605 41,330
1992 DENVER Colorado 467,610 64,943 43,519
1992 NAPERVILLE California 85,351 64,362 57,121
1992 PORTLAND Oregon 437,319 64,135 1,661
1992 SAN JOSE California 782,248 63,949 42,361
1992 DALLAS Texas 1,006,877 63,404 28,360
1992 VIRGINIA BEACH Virginia 393,069 55,843 34,288
1992 LAS VEGAS Nevada 258,295 54,261 39,305
1992 COLORADO SPRINGS Colorado 281,140 53,747 37,903
  Total for top twenty cities     2,682,203 1,487,531
County Government Rankings for Highway Expenditure, 1992 (Thousands of dollars)
Name State Population
total direct expenditures
total capital outlay
1992 LOS ANGELES COUNTY California 8,863,164 182,625 68,721
1992 HARRIS COUNTY Texas 2,818,199 126,272 47,880
1992 SACRAMENTO COUNTY California 1,041,219 90,415 54,246
1992 ORANGE COUNTY California 2,410,556 84,630 50,132
1992 COOK COUNTY Illinois 5,105,067 85,821 53,976
1992 PALM BEACH COUNTY Florida 863,518 83,553 62,627
1992 WAYNE COUNTY Michigan 2,111,687 76,463 1,486
1992 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Florida 834,054 73,920 44,446
1992 ORANGE COUNTY Florida 677,491 69,171 41,828
1992 KING COUNTY Washington 1,507,319 65,192 35,309
1992 MARICOPA COUNTY Arizona 2,122,101 66,998 32,252
1992 METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY Florida 1,937,094 66,223 31,862
1992 GWINNETT COUNTY Georgia 352,910 65,136 56,445
1992 DALLAS COUNTY Texas 1,852,810 61,889 53,690
1992 FAIRFAX COUNTY Virginia 818,584 29,890 29,093
1992 NASSAU COUNTY New York 1,287,348 60,704 20,982
1992 BROWARD COUNTY Florida 1,255,488 57,378 35,345
1992 OAKLAND COUNTY Michigan 1,083,592 58,828 17,405
1992 ST LOUIS COUNTY Missouri 993,529 53,035 23,973
1992 SAN DIEGO COUNTY California 2,498,016 52,366 24,122
  Total of top twenty counties     1,510,509 785,820
City Government Rankings for Highway Expenditure, 1997 (Thousands of dollars)
Name State Population

total expenditure

total capital outlay

1997 NEW YORK CITY New York 7,380,906 1,205,840 865,022
1997 CHICAGO Illinois 2,721,547 424,694 278,285
1997 HOUSTON Texas 1,744,058 165,274 75,492
1997 DETROIT Michigan 1,000,272 153,992 46,564
1997 LOS ANGELES California 3,553,638 152,118 70,658
1997 BALTIMORE Maryland 675,401 138,523 58,383
1997 WASHINGTON, D. C. N/A 543,213 117,916 110,621
1997 SEATTLE Washington 524,704 104,665 46,772
1997 PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania 1,478,002 101,100 34,685
1997 SAN DIEGO California 1,171,121 98,858 59,808
1997 DALLAS Texas 1,053,292 80,163 37,635
1997 SAN ANTONIO Texas 1,067,816 78,404 50,983
1997 PHOENIX Arizona 1,159,014 75,210 45,028
1997 PORTLAND Oregon 480,824 68,548 5,364
1997 COLUMBUS Ohio 657,053 67,442 43,040
1997 WICHITA Kansas 320,395 67,196 49,166
1997 INDIANAPOLIS Indiana 746,737 63,819 30,453
1997 BOSTON Massachusetts 558,394 63,519 21,063
1997 ST PAUL Minnesota 259,606 63,200 35,347
1997 CINCINNATI Ohio 345,818 61,975 36,579
  Total of top twenty cities     3,352,456 2,000,948
County Government Rankings for Highway Expenditure, 1997 (Thousands of dollars)
Name State Population
total direct expenditures
total capital outlay
1997 CLARK COUNTY Nevada 1,048,717 203,298 151,095
1997 LOS ANGELES COUNTY California 9,127,751 164,126 42,927
1997 HARRIS COUNTY Texas 3,126,966 136,565 44,022
1997 COBB COUNTY Georgia 538,832 113,018 87,651
1997 SACRAMENTO COUNTY California 1,117,275 109,813 52,963
1997 LEE COUNTY Florida 380,001 107,909 82,302
1997 METROPOLITAN DADE COUNTY Florida 2,076,175 105,294 46,939
1997 KING COUNTY Washington 1,619,411 94,398 54,538
1997 OAKLAND COUNTY Michigan 1,162,098 96,444 41,605
1997 WAYNE COUNTY Michigan 2,137,302 96,436 4,658
1997 MONTGOMERY COUNTY Maryland 802,729 92,800 46,175
1997 COOK COUNTY Illinois 5,096,540 89,438 63,645
1997 ORANGE COUNTY Florida 758,980 87,000 45,665
1997 PALM BEACH COUNTY Florida 992,840 81,022 56,545
1997 NASSAU COUNTY New York 1,303,389 76,190 40,570
1997 GWINNETT COUNTY Georgia 478,001 75,987 63,367
1997 MARICOPA COUNTY Arizona 2,611,327 70,403 28,213
1997 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY Florida 897,522 67,540 32,499
1997 ORANGE COUNTY California 2,636,888 63,164 34,910
1997 SAN DIEGO COUNTY California 2,655,463 62,560 33,003
Total for top twenty counties 1,993,405 1,053,292

Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) News Briefs


Mark your calendar! Save your travel funds! The Office of Highway Policy Information (OHPI) is developing plans to conduct two hands-on Software Training Workshops in Washington DC for users of the HPMS software package. Workshops are targeted for March, 2001. Contact beverly.harrison@fhwa.dot.gov for information if you are interested in attending. Preference for slots will be given to new users.


In response to recommendations from participants attending the 1998 HPMS reassessment workshops, the OHPI is also making plans to conduct two HPMS Issues Workshops in 2001. The workshops will provide an opportunity for HPMS data providers to discuss problems and shared solutions to some of the HPMS reporting issues they are facing. Two workshops in field locations are targeted for the April/May 2001 time frame. Contact russell.robertson@fhwa.dot.gov with suggested topics for discussion and expressions of interest.


The HPMS Field Manual will be republished on the FHWA Internet site at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/hpmspage.htm in December. The republished Manual includes only minor changes in content; it has been reformatted into Word 2000 with improved layout and graphics and (hopefully) a reduced file size. The republished Manual will carry a December 2000 date.

Mideast Size & Weight Workshop

A Truck Size & Weight Workshop was conducted on October 4-6, 2000 in Columbus, OH. The workshop coordination was a combined effort of the FHWA and the Ohio State Police Academy. The workshop was an attempt to open dialog between players in the enforcement of Size & Weight regulations, as well as to provide a mix of formal presentations, interactive, and roundtable discussions on topics of interest to the States. Ten States (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana Kansas Michigan Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania West Virginia), five Division offices, (Michigan, Kansas, West Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri ) and the Federal Highway Administration participated in the discussions. For additional information on this conference contact Joseph Glinski, 614-280-6844 email Joseph.Glinski@fhwa.dot.gov, Fred Orloski, 517-377-1880x34, email Fred.Orloski@fhwa.dot.gov, or Byron Low 708-283-3536, email Byron.Low@fhwa.dot.gov.

Technical Assistance for North Dakota

One of the functions of FHWA's Office of Highway Policy Information (OHPI) is to provide technical assistance to State Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). OHPI recently provided technical assistance to the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for the support of their new Traffic Data Editing and Analysis Software. Although the software was developed in house by NDDOT, OHPI provided expertise in the use of relational tables, and how it is tied to the State's GIS. It allows the user to apply edit rules and correction factors, and to manually edit the data. A major advantage of the system is that the traffic data summary tables are in one place and other users can have easy access to the data. OHPI provided details on how the new Traffic Data Editing and Analysis Software functions, how the relational databases work together, and how to process traffic data.

A State or MPO may receive technical assistance for creating new traffic processing software, as well as information about the Traffic Monitoring Guide, including general questions about traffic monitoring.

If you would like more information, contact Jeff Patten at (202) 366-0175, or email Jeff.Patten@fhwa.dot.gov.


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