2005 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS
TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS

RESOLUTION URGING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO RESPOND TO INCREASING TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE THREATS BY SUPPORTING A WELL-FUNDED TEA-21 REAUTHORIZATION

WHEREAS, congested metropolitan highways, transit demand exceeding resources, structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridges, tunnels, and rail are urgent reminders of the transportation infrastructure crisis that is jeopardizing America’s prosperity; and

WHEREAS, metropolitan transportation infrastructure from transit, roads to rail have been neglected for far too long by the federal and state governments and now crumbling at an alarming rate; and

WHEREAS, annually, congestion costs motorist $67 billion in lost productivity and wasted motor fuel, 3.6 billion hours of delays, 5.7 billion gallons of wasted motor fuel, and costs the average motorist who drives during peak periods $1,160 a year; and

WHEREAS, from 1996 to 2002 public transit ridership grew 21 percent, and now carries 9.6 billion passenger trips a year; and

WHEREAS, the enormous demand for transit investment was evident by the successful passage in 2004 of nearly 80% of all ballot initiatives nationwide that would provide local match for federal funding; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Transportation Conditions and Performance Report estimates that an average of $75.9 billion per year over the next 20 years will be needed to maintain the current highway system and $106.9 billion annually is needed to improve the system; and

WHEREAS, the United States Department of Transportation Conditions and Performance Report estimates for transit $14.8 billion annually is needed to maintain the current transit system and $20.6 billion annually is needed to improve the current system; and

WHEREAS, the reauthorization bills under consideration, $284 billion in the House of Representatives and $295 billion in the Senate, will at best maintain the present system while deferring critical transportation investment;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress to approve and the President to sign a well-funded surface transportation law with funding levels that not just maintains but improves America’s aging transportation infrastructure; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress to pass and President to sign a 21st century transportation law with record public transportation investment, roads and highways utilizing ITS, bridges, and large scale transportation infrastructure projects in so doing securing the nation’s future economic growth by enabling America’s cities to be competitive in the global marketplace at the same time as protecting the environment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize that public transportation reduces congestion by providing maximum funding for public transportation to stimulate a dramatic expansion of high-capacity public transit systems, including light rail, heavy rail, commuter rail, and bus service; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to guarantee funding for the transit program from the general fund and the Mass Transit Account of the Highway Trust Fund; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to maintain current matching shares for the transit program as authorized under ISTEA and TEA-21; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to maintain the 20 percent transit – 80 percent highway share and to oppose efforts to increase funding for the highway program by reducing funding for the transit program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to support the historical funding allocation of 40% for rail modernization, 40% for the new starts program and 20% for the bus and bus facilities program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize that cities throughout the United States are embracing less expensive, fixed guideway transit projects like streetcars, trolleys and bus rapid transit by establishing a new Small Starts Program with modified federal rules to expedite these projects; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to require the Federal Transit Administration to provide notice and an opportunity for the public, including local elected officials, and transit industry to comment on policy changes and program guidance before initiating significant changes to the new starts process; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize that it is difficult for localities and states to dedicate adequate resources to build, rebuild, or replace large-scale infrastructure projects addressing freight and goods movement, safety, and aging and congested transportation infrastructure and urge highest possible funding for Projects of National and Regional Significance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to acknowledge that 32% of our major roads are in poor condition and 29% of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete by increasing funding for the core highway programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize that metropolitan areas are struggling with contamination of drinking water and cleanup of streams, rivers, lakes and ponds from highway and street stormwater discharge, including oil, grease, lead, and mercury by supporting the establishment of a Highway Stormwater Discharge Mitigation Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to increase the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds to meet the needs of existing and new non-attainment areas and to assist metropolitan areas that have reached attainment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to suballocate CMAQ funds to local areas through MPOs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to oppose efforts designed to divert CMAQ funds, which undermine commitments to metro areas to fund clean air mandates; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize that safe routes for bicycles, pedestrians and other non-motorized transportation are still inadequate in many metropolitan areas by establishing the Safe Routes to School Program and also support maximum funding for the Transportation Enhancements Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors urges the Congress and Administration to recognize clean air efforts, increased public involvement and congestion relief efforts by supporting metropolitan planning that would increase the takedown for metropolitan areas from 1 percent to 1.5 percent; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the United States Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress and the Administration to adopt legislation that requires state transportation departments and metropolitan planning organizations to adopt “Complete Streets” policies; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the U.S. Department of Transportation support state and local transportation agencies and their efforts on complete streets, through best practices, technical assistance and other means.

©2005 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352
info@usmayors.org