America facing transportation crisis, poll says

| Wednesday, July 17, 2002

According to a survey commissioned by a road-building association, nearly 70 percent who participated in a recent poll think the nation is experiencing a transportation capacity crisis with roads, airports and mass transit systems.

The survey by New York-based Zogby International was conducted July 9-12 of 1,025 registered voters nationwide. It was commissioned by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

The survey found 67 percent of participants would support an annual 2-cents-per-gallon increase in the federal fuel tax if the money was used exclusively for transportation improvements.

Some other findings:

-- More than three-fourths (78 percent) of voters believe that investment in highways, bridges and mass transit should be considered an important element in homeland security and national defense.

-- Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) agree that highway and mass transit improvements should be a higher federal government priority.

Congress should support new ways to add highway capacity and increase motorist safety, said Pete Ruane, ARTBA president and CEO. "Toll financed truck-only lanes should be considered for existing Interstate highway right-of-way, where appropriate. Double decking and tunneling in some urban areas-while expensive-should also be seriously considered. Other solutions include improved handling of traffic incidents to clear roadways quickly, increased use of synchronized traffic signalization and 'smart road' technologies to increase traffic flow."

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