Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation has a good article about a new report by the U.S. DOT that, for a government agency, is bold, innovative and challenging to the status quo. North Carolina DOT should sit up and pay attention:
First, DOT calls for a more focused federal role, which would concentrate federal funding on a handful of major, national problems: enhanced interstate trade and commerce via a modernized Interstate highway system, a major assault on traffic congestion in urban areas, and continued improvements in highway safety. As tools for doing these things cost-effectively (i.e., ensuring real value for the federal investment), the report calls for:
• More direct pricing of roads;
• Establishing quality and performance standards;
• Institutionalizing benefit/cost analysis at the system and program level;
• Using federal dollars to leverage non-federal resources;
• Carrying out a coherent transportation research agenda, freed of congressional earmarking.
Those would be very dramatic changes, and they would put numerous sacred cows at risk. So it’s hardly surprising that the report is already under assault from defenders of the status quo. But let’s ignore those criticisms to examine how DOT proposes to implement these worthwhile principles…(read the rest of Poole’s piece.)
Fight Gridlock Now should be required reading for everyone down at NCDOT and state governments nationwide.