Visioning Transportation’s Future: SAFETEA-LU Reauthorization and Beyond

February 5, 2008

As part of this session at the National Association of Regional Councils annual meeting in Washington, DC, Robert Puentes discusses urgency of transportation accessibility, connectivity, and mobility issues that affecting the prosperity and vitality of the nation and its metropolitan areas. He highlights several critical flaws in current U.S. transportation policy today and offers a broad three-part framework for a new transportation agenda.

Interest in improving national transportation policy could not come at a better time. The United States is currently undergoing a transformation of dramatic scale and complexity comparable to what it experienced at the beginning of the last century—another period characterized by the radical reshaping of the American landscape. As such, the ability of our nation (or any advanced nation) to grow and prosper and meet the great environmental and social challenges of our time rests largely on the health and vitality of its major cities and metropolitan areas. Unfortunately, our nation’s transportation policy does not do this and on net actually undermines these vital places.