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FHWA Home / Policy & Governmental Affairs / 2002 Conditions and Performance

Conditions and Performance

Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2002 Conditions and Performance Report

Executive Summary
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Executive Summary
Part I: Description of Current System
Ch1: The Role of Highways and Transit
Ch2: System and Use Characteristics
Ch3: System Conditions
Ch4: Operational Performance
Ch5: Safety Performance
Ch6: Finance

Part II: Investment Performance Analyses
Ch7: Capital Investment Requirements
Ch8: Comparison of Spending and Investment Requirements
Ch9: Impacts of Investment
Ch10: Sensitivity Analysis

Part III: Bridges
Ch11: Federal Bridge Program Status of the Nation's Bridges

Part IV: Special Topics
Ch12: National Security
Ch13: Highway Transportation in Society
Ch14: The Importance of Public Transportation
Ch15: Macroeconomic Benefits of Highway Investment
Ch16: Pricing
Ch17: Transportation Asset Management
Ch18: Travel Model Improvement Program
Ch19: Air Quality
Ch20: Federal Safety Initiatives
Ch21: Operations Strategies
Ch22: Freight

Part V: Supplemental Analyses of System Components
Ch23: Interstate System
Ch24: National Highway System
Ch25: NHS Freight Connectors
Ch26: Highway-Rail Grade Crossings
Ch27: Transit Systems on Federal Lands

Appendix A: Changes in Highway Investment Requirements Methodology
Appendix B: Bridge Investment/Performance Methodology
Appendix C: Transit Investment Condition and Investment Requirements Methodology
List of Contacts

Ch 1: The Role of Highways and Transit

America’s transportation system facilitates the movement of goods and people within and between cities and regions, linking the Nation together through a wide variety of modes. The surface transportation system serving the United States today reflects investment and location decisions made by both governments and private enterprise over many years.

The Federal government has played a key role throughout the country’s history in shaping the transportation system, both in regulating interstate commerce and in funding and facilitating transportation improvements.

The Role of Highway Transportation

America’s highways connect all regions and States to one another. They are striking in their versatility, having been engineered to allow for a wide array of users and vehicles simultaneously. Highway transportation depends on both public and private inputs and investment.

Highway transportation in the United States plays a significant role in two major areas:

Personal Mobility. The use of private automobiles on the Nation’s large highway network provides Americans with a high degree of personal mobility. Automobile transportation allows people to travel where, when, and with whom they want.

Freight Movement. Highways are a key conduit for freight movement in the United States, accounting for 54 percent of total freight transport by weight (and 83 percent by value) in 1998. Highways can be used for hauls of virtually any length, from coast-to-coast shipments to short mail and parcel deliveries.

The Role of Public Transportation

Transit provides the following benefits to passengers, communities, and the Nation:

Access, Choice and Opportunity. More Americans are choosing to ride transit, whether to reduce travel time, ease the stress of a daily commute, or contribute to a healthier environment. For those with no access to personal forms of transportation, public transportation provides access to community resources and job opportunities.

Economic Growth and Development. Transit spurs economic activity, creates jobs, boosts property values and tax earnings, and connects employers and workers.

Safe and Healthy Communities. Public transportation helps to protect the environment, conserve energy, and ensure the safety and security of our citizens.

The Complementary Roles of Highways and Transit

Highways and transit serve distinct but overlapping markets. Highway and transit investments expand the choices available to people by increasing their travel options. While highways provide the highest degree of mobility, transit is essential for those that do not have access to a private vehicle. Highway investments can also encourage transit usage by improving access to transit stations and facilities, and improve operating efficiency for transit modes that use highways. Alternatively, transit can help mitigate highway congestion by offering faster and more reliable transportation than private vehicles on some highways during peak travel times.

Page last modified on November 7, 2014
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