2003 Adopted Resolutions
71st Annual Meeting

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WHEREAS, as Congress is in the process of reauthorizing our federal surface transportation programs, our nation's cities are looking forward to building on our successes in the area of transportation; and

WHEREAS, many cities believe that the reauthorization process should go beyond solely highway and mass transit issues, and also address the persistent and growing problem of railroad congestion in our cities; and

WHEREAS, the economic benefit of the railroad industry is substantial and obvious, but less obvious are numerous adverse impacts in our neighborhoods. Blocked grade crossings, idling trains, crumbling viaducts, air and noise pollution are all examples of the kinds of problems faced by many cities as they try to balance the needs of residents who live near rail facilities with the needs of railroads to continue servicing our communities; and

WHEREAS, improvements to rail facilities and infrastructure can help reduce truck congestion on local streets; open opportunities for economic development; and reduce noise impacts and inconveniences to residents; and

WHEREAS, because the financial resources are unavailable for many cities to address the necessary but costly improvements to rail infrastructure, there needs to be a larger federal financial commitment to help address this important issue; and

WHEREAS, these needs could best be addressed by the establishment of a federal program, with funding from resources that benefit from rail activity, that would help communities address the problems associated with rail infrastructure while preserving the benefits of one of our country's oldest, but still vital industries,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to establish a dedicated federal rail infrastructure program to address needed improvements to our nation's railroad infrastructure.