A New Era In Transportation

by John Prendergast, Managing Editior; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 4, Pg. 38-41

Document Type: Feature article


Its passage into law was about as smooth as a rush-hour traffic jam, but the surprising thing about the new Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) is that it may actually live up to its advance billing as the first post-interstate era transportation law. The six-year, $155 billion package, which runs from 1992-97, expands the potential use of private sector funds on federally financed roads, reorganizes the highway program, gives states and metropolitan planning organizations much greater control over how federal funds are spent, increases support for transit and sets up a new category of funding for projects that reduce congestion and air pollution. And, to help the U.S. compete with Europe and Japan in advanced transportation technologies, it significantly boosts funding for intelligent vehicle highway systems (IVHS) and maglev research and development. The article examines the potential impact of the bill on U.S. transportation policy, state and local funding priorities, and civil engineers working in the transportation field.

Subject Headings: Financing | Intelligent transportation systems | Laws | Traffic congestion | Federal government | Highways and roads | Air pollution | Commute | Europe | Japan | Asia

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