ISTEA to The Rescue
travel continues to increase, while the
conditions of our highways and bridges continue
to decline- guaranteeing that roads will get
worse, more inefficient and more dangerous.
The good news is that opportunity exists this
year to reverse that course when Congress
considers reauthorization of the Intermodal
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.
The $155 billion ISTEA legislation authorizes
virtually all surface transportation funding.
Enacted in 1991, ISTEA provides funding for the
National Highway System, which includes the
interstate system and other heavily traveled
Unfortunately, ISTEA has been underfunded during
each year of its existence. Congress and the
administration have failed to adequately fund
highways and have diverted gas taxes to
non-transportation programs. This has prompted
AAA to join efforts to take the Highway Trust
Fund - the repository for gas taxes - off budget.
During this year's ISTEA reauthorization, AAA
will ask Congress to:
increase spending levels for highways.
- Take the
Highway Trust Fund off budget.
the current 4.3-cents per-gallon gas tax,
which currently goes to deficit
reduction, into the Highway Trust Fund.
- Reaffirm a
strong federal role in national
transportation policy and financing.
the transportation enhancement program to
focus on highway safety projects and
improved traffic-safety data collection.
Last year, AAA
launched "Crisis Ahead: America's Aging
Highways and Airways," a campaign to draw
national attention to the deteriorating state of
the nation's highways. Further cuts in
transportation funding will assure continued
deterioration of a highway system vital to the
nation's economic growth.
reauthorization gives us a chance to take
corrective action before a transportation crisis
is upon us.
Vice President, AAA
Public and Government Relations
Reprinted with permission, Bill Purpura
AAA Columbus Office
The 51st annual OTEC
conference is coming up November 18-19, 1997 at
the Greater Columbus Convention Center, 400 North
High Street, Columbus, OH.
If you need further information, please contact
Cheryl Hoot at (614) 292-4815.
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