AASHTO Journal, 21 October 2011
“DOTs are finding it more difficult to adequately maintain rest areas with limited resources that could otherwise be used to maintain highways and bridges,” the policy resolution states. The policy also called for AASHTO to organize a coordinated effort by states that want to pursue flexibility to commercialize their state’s rest areas.
AASHTO Board Supports for Land Border Crossing Projects
AASHTO’s Board of Directors also this week voted to support a policy that recognizes the importance of land border improvements to all states, as well as the economic benefits of moving ahead on critically needed border crossing projects around the country. The policy, which was proposed by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock and New York State Transportation Commission Joan McDonald, used the New International Trade Crossing between Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario as an example of the kinds of projects that benefit cross-border trade and the nation’s economy.
The policy states that projects that streamline and reduce delay at land border crossings reduce costs and create American jobs. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation, by 2030, delays in the Detroit-Windsor corridor will result in direct costs to Canada and the United States of more than $17.8 billion a year and result in over 70,000 jobs lost. Meanwhile, border traffic congestion and delays cost the U.S. and Mexican economies an estimated $7.2 billion and 62,000 jobs in 2007, according to the San Diego Association of Governments.
Canada and Mexico are the first and third largest trading partners with the United States with 57% of the goods moved between the United States and Canada, and 66% of the goods moved between the U.S. and Mexico carried by truck, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
Other policies approved by the AASHTO Board of Directors include:
- Modifying the technical service program to support safe, reliable and secure transportation options;
- Establishing a special committee on workforce planning and development;
- Sunset the National Partnership for Highway Quality;
- Change the membership structure of the Technology Implementation Group;
- The need for the return of a comprehensive materials course;
- Recommendation to MUTCD, Section 3A.03 Maintaining Minimum Retroreflectivity of Longitudinal Pavement Markings;
- Support for the Transportation Curriculum Coordination Council; and
- AASHTO Board of Directors’ review of voting practices.