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71–357 PS











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MARCH 21, 2001

Printed for the use of the

Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman

THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Vice-Chair
HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
STEPHEN HORN, California
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
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SUE W. KELLY, New York
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
HENRY E. BROWN, Jr., South Carolina
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SAM GRAVES, Missouri
MARK R. KENNEDY, Minnesota
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania

NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, District of Columbia
BOB FILNER, California
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
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BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
JAMES P. McGOVERN, Massachusetts
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
RICK LARSEN, Washington



Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
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THOMAS E. PETRI, Wisconsin, Chairman

HOWARD COBLE, North Carolina
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOHN L. MICA, Florida
SUE W. KELLY, New York
JOHN R. THUNE, South Dakota
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
ROB SIMMONS, Connecticut
HENRY E. BROWN, Jr., South Carolina
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SAM GRAVES, Missouri
BILL SHUSTER, Pennsylvania
  (ex officio)

ROBERT A. BORSKI, Pennsylvania
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BOB FILNER, California
FRANK MASCARA, Pennsylvania
BILL PASCRELL, Jr., New Jersey
TIM HOLDEN, Pennsylvania
MICHAEL M. HONDA, California
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RICK LARSEN, Washington
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
JAMES P.McGOVERN, Massachusetts
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington
  (ex officio)




    Downs, Dr. Anthony, Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.
    Grenzeback, Lance R., Senior Vice President, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts
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    Lomax, Dr. Timothy J., Research Engineer, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
    Pisarski, Alan E., Independent Consultant, Falls Church, Virginia


    Costello, Hon. Jerry F., of Illinois
    Johnson, Hon. Eddie Bernice, of Texas
    Mascara, Hon. Frank, of Pennsylvania
    Otter, Hon. C.L. ''Butch'', of Idaho
    Pascrell, Hon. Bill, Jr., of New Jersey
    Rahall, Hon. Nick J., II, of West Virginia
    Young, Hon. Don, of Alaska


    Downs, Dr. Anthony
    Grenzeback, Lance R
    Lomax, Dr. Timothy J
    Pisarski, Alan E


    Grenzeback, Lance R., Senior Vice President, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, charts:
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Service and Manufacturing Trends
From Push to Pull Logistics Systems
Army Strategic Mobility Requirements
Logistics Expenditures and GDP
Truck Freight Flows, 2000
Freight Growth, 2000-2020
Domestic Truck-Freight Flows To and From Ohio
US/Canada Truck-Freight Flows Through Buffalo
Freight Transportation Perspectives

    Lomax, Dr. Timothy J., Research Engineer, Texas Transportation Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, charts:

Growth in Congestion
Roadway Additions vs. ''Needs''

    Pisarski, Alan E., Independent Consultant, Falls Church, Virginia, charts:

The Future is More Stable than the Past
Annual Trips per Household by Household Income, 1995

New Forces of Change
Workers and Vehicles Rise with Income, 1997
We are at Vehicle Saturation
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Percent of Households with no Vehicle Among Racial and Ethnic Groups, 1995
We are a Nation of Immigrants-Again
Flattening Age Trends
In this New World the Great Issue Will Be Skilled Workers
The Needs Trend-All Modes




Wednesday, March 21, 2001
House of Representatives, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Washington, D.C.

    The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:02 a.m. in room 2167, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Thomas E. Petri [chairman of the subcommittee] presiding.
    Mr. PETRI. The subcommittee will come to order.
    I just would say that there are several caucuses ending at 10:00, and the members I know are on their way, and several are here.
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    I would like to welcome you to the first meeting of the newly-constituted Subcommittee on Highways and Transit. The new subcommittee is comprised not only of the highway, transit, and safety jurisdiction of the former Ground Transportation Subcommittee, but we also have jurisdiction over hazardous material transportation and pipeline safety programs. Both programs are administered by the Research and Special Programs Administration of the United States Department of Transportation.
    Since this is the first meeting of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit in the 107th Congress, I thought it would be useful to take a couple minutes to talk about the agenda of the committee for this Congress. The top priority of this subcommittee will be to protect TEA 21 during the Congressional budget and appropriations process. TEA 21 contains important budgetary protections for the Highway Trust Fund that ensure that the taxes paid by American motorists are used for vital infrastructure improvements.
    I am pleased to note that the President's budget blueprint assumes full funding of TEA 21 for budget year 2002. Furthermore, the Chairman's mark for the budget resolution being marked up today by the Budget Committee assumes full funding as well. These first two steps in the process hopefully bode well for TEA 21 this year.
    We will also soon announce the date for a hearing on in-vehicle driver distractions. We are becoming more aware of both possible positive and negative safety effects of more and more electronic equipment in motor vehicles. The driver distraction hearing will give us an opportunity to review the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's work on this issue, as well as hear from the electronics industry and safety researchers.
    I also share the full Committee Chairman's deep concern with increasing congestions. I am looking forward to our full committee congestion hearing with Transportation Secretary Mineta on April 4th.
    I have become convinced that much can be done to make the project delivery process more efficient. For starters, the Department of Transportation must take full advantage of the TEA 21 provisions regarding environmental streamlining, that we worked so hard to pass. I expect positive action from Secretary Mineta and other Cabinet members on this important issue. More work is needed to ensure that highway and transit projects are implemented in a timely manner.
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    Another issue we will be watching carefully is the truck safety issues related to the implementation of NAFTA. In order to develop a better understanding of this issue, Congressman Borski and I are organizing a committee trip to the border with Mexico for the period of May 18th through May 21st. Any subcommittee member interested in joining us should contact the subcommittee for more information. We expect have a plane, so the travel will be very efficient, both to California—San Diego—and to the Laredo, Texas area and then back.
    Finally, this June 1st it will have been three years since we gathered at the White House for the signing of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, known as TEA 21. It is hard to believe that TEA 21's expiration date, September 30th, 2003, is fast approaching. Next year we will begin holding detailed hearings, preparing for reauthorization. I also plan to conduct hearings around the country to hear firsthand how TEA 21 is working.
    I look forward to working with members of the subcommittee on these regional hearings, and with Mr. Borski and all members of the subcommittee, to ensure that we have a productive Congress.
    I would just like to indicate that while he is not yet here, Mark Kennedy of Minnesota will serve as Vice Chairman during this Congress.
    I now yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee, Representative Borski.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for scheduling the subcommittee's first hearing on the outlook for the Nation's highways and transit systems.
    As the new ranking member of the subcommittee, I welcome the opportunity to work with you and other members of the subcommittee as we begin our task of evaluating surface transportation in the United States.
    I believe we can look forward with great confidence, knowing that our transportation system is being shaped by the remarkable achievements of this subcommittee, notably, the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 and, most recently, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.
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    Building on ISTEA, TEA 21 provided record levels of investments, increased funding flexibility and, I believe, set the mold for surface transportation programs in the coming decade.
    The use of public transportation in this country is growing. Last year, transit use increased by an estimated 320 million rides, a total of 9.4 billion trips. Transit ridership has averaged an annual growth rate of over 4 percent since 1996, far outstripping growth in population and highway travel over the same period. I hope this trend will continue and, over time, begin to produce the meaningful shifts needed in transportation use.
    Problems associated with traffic congestion have become a major concern in this country. I hope, with the help of our witnesses and other transportation experts, we can begin to develop some politically defensible solutions to this seemingly intractable problem. Traffic congestion in urban areas costs Americans over 4.3 billion hours of delay and over $72 billion annually, and the problem is not confined to urban areas. It is spreading to rural areas of our country as well. We need to develop new approaches to promote more efficient use of the highway system, reduce congestion, improve air quality, and conserve energy.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, I look forward to working with you as we undertake to develop new solutions to the Nation's transportation problems and develop a record for the reauthorization of TEA 21.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Today's hearing will focus on the present and future trends in highways and transit. This is intended to be a general overview of the transportation sector which will provide some context as we consider issues in the future. We will look at the role that transportation plays in our economy and in our Nation's productivity. We will also consider the outside forces that will affect transportation in the future, such as changing economic conditions, population growth, trade, and financing.
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    Transportation affects each of us on both a macro and a micro level, and this morning many of us were battling traffic on the highways as we came to work, or were jostled on a crowded transit train or bus to get to this hearing; yet, transportation is also important in ensuring the overall general prosperity of our Nation. Transportation represents some 11 percent of our gross domestic product, and more than 10 million Americans are employed in transportation and transportation-related industries. Other industries rely on a safe and efficient transportation network, and customers have become more demanding in their transportation needs, both as to service levels and cost. Transportation truly does impact every one of us each day in myriad ways.
    We have assembled a varied panel of expert witnesses who will, I know, provide us with an interesting overview of where we are today and where we may be headed in the future.
    At this point I now yield to the ranking member of the subcommittee, Robert Borski, for any statement that he might want to make.
    Mr. BORSKI. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have already given my statement, but I know that my predecessor in this position would like to say a word or two.
    Mr. PETRI. All right.
    Mr. RAHALL. If I might, Mr. Chairman and ranking member, certainly congratulate you both on your positions in this Congress. I think that today certainly marks a very special occasion in my mind, because since enactment of TEA 21, a landmark piece of legislation if there ever was one, I think the American people have truly benefitted in terms of increased transportation efficiency and safety. I know that members of my constituency, as well as people across the country that have come visit me in the last couple of years, it is a delight to have them come visit because all they want to say is, ''It works. Thank you.'' And they're gone, and I think that's remarkable for groups that come to visit us on the Hill these days. So I think it shows that TEA 21 has been very effective.
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    For the first time, it provided rock-ribbed, copper riveted, iron-clad guarantees—did I miss any—that the contributions made by the American driving public into the Highway Trust Fund will be returned to them in the form of greater investment into our transportation infrastructure. That guarantee came in the form of the firewalls that you, Mr. Chairman, as well as ranking member Oberstar and then-chairman Shuster, fought so long and hard to put into law.
    Today's hearing is the first in what I sense will be a series to determine future highway and transit needs in the post-TEA 21 era, and I certainly welcome that input.
    Mr. Chairman, Thomas Jefferson once noted, ''I much prefer the dreams of the future than the history of the past.'' I share that vision because TEA 21, despite all of its attributes, should simply serve as the basis for better and greater things as we look forward to reauthorization. That's a dream which I believe we should all strive to achieve.
    Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you, and congratulations on your new assignment to ranking on the Resources Committee. We enjoyed working with you very much when you were senior on this committee, and we look forward to continuing to work with you. I understand you are going to be going on the trip, May 18th to May 21st, to California?
    Mr. RAHALL. We have it set up, yes.
    Mr. PETRI. So we look forward to spending some time together, then. Other members are invited, as I indicated earlier, to sign up for what should be a very interesting trip to what they call down there the ''third country.'' It's half Mexico and half United States for quite a way on both sides of the border. The cities are really—there are cities on both sides of the border with different names, but the same city, all up and down, especially the Texas, Mexican, Tijuana, and San Diego areas.
    Mr. RAHALL. We've toured those borders before, Mr. Chairman, and I know this is an opportune time to do it and an important time, and I commend you for calling these hearings.
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    Mr. PETRI. A statement by the chairman of the full committee, Don Young, will be made a part of the record, as will one by Jim Oberstar, the ranking Democrat on the full committee.
    Do other members of the subcommittee wish to be recognized for any opening statement? Yes, Ms. Johnson?
    Ms. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON OF TEXAS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I thank you for convening this important hearing and look forward to working with you in the 107th Congress, as well the new ranking member on our side, Mr. Borski.
    I would not use this time if I was not very, very interested in transportation as it relates to my home State of Texas. I am a strong advocate for improving our Nation's highways and transit infrastructure in order to move forward not only mobility and economic growth, but also the safety of our highway and transit users.
    In the heart of my District, the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex and throughout Texas and the Nation, travel is becoming increasingly inconvenient as transportation systems are overburdened. Along with our surging population and thriving cross-border trade with Mexico, it really is time for greater action. Although each region has its own unique transportation concerns, all are united in the belief that greater transportation funding levels, NAFTA, corridor planning, and greater safety initiatives are issues that directly impact our quality of life. Transportation in Texas is no longer just building bigger and better highways. For communities across Texas, transportation has become a significant economic development and quality of life issue that must be addressed on a daily basis.
    It is important that we continue to find new ways to improve the safety and efficiency of our transportation system. I am proud to say that several years ago, I helped the Dallas Area Rapid Transit System obtain a full-funding grant agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for one of the corridors extending north of downtown Dallas. Along with other Federal assistance, DART is proceeding on schedule in opening stations. Ridership is far exceeding projections, and DART continues to work hard to be the agency that takes our citizens where they want to go.
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    My own concerns regarding the overall adequacy of transportation systems in the Dallas Metroplex led me to suggest the first transportation summit in Texas, which has become a very popular annual conference that has now gone State-wide. I am proud to say that the fourth one will be in August of this year, and you are all invited.
    Transportation leaders at the local, regional, and Federal levels have developed an overall plan that increases safety, efficiency, and access to jobs in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex area. Some of the key participants in past summits have been from the Texas Transportation Institute of Texas A&M. And on that note I want to acknowledge a fellow Texan who is here today on our witness panel, Dr. Tim Lomax. Dr. Lomax, a research engineer and an expert in urban roadway congestion, has been extensively involved in studies on urban congestion during the past 20 years. I compliment him for his work because, as you know, the travelling public thinks that enough is not being done about our Nation's highway congestion. Together we must address the issues of mobility to our communities and to America to find a solution to improve the systems, services, and options for moving people and goods.
    I especially look forward to hearing the testimony and believe that the insights of Dr. Lomax will be very helpful to the committee as we try to tackle these most difficult problems.
    I thank you, Mr. Chairman, and I yield back.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you, Representative Johnson.
    A statement by our colleague, Representative Bill Pascrell, will be made a part of the record.
    If there are no other opening statements, we will invite the members of our panel to come forward and take seats at the table.
    Our witness panel today will be led off Mr. Alan E. Pisarski, who is an independent transportation consultant from Falls Church, Virginia. He is joined by Dr. Anthony Downs, Senior Fellow of the Brookings Institution here in this city; Mr. Lance Grenzeback, Senior Vice President, Cambridge Systematics, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Dr. Timothy Lomax, who is a research engineer with the Transportation Institute of Texas at Texas A&M University.
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    We welcome you all. We appreciate the effort that has gone into your prepared statements and we look forward to your summaries as we start this panel, beginning with Mr. Pisarski.

    Mr. PISARSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and distinguished members. I am delighted to be here again; unfortunately, I am dealing with PowerPoint—
    Did you know that PowerPoint's motto is, ''It was working just a minute ago''?
    Mr. PISARSKI. I think, in fact, we have it.
    The slides actually will come a bit later, but I did want to have them available to us.
    I am honored to be invited to speak before you once again to address the outlook for the Nation's highway and transit systems with this very able panel. I have spent my professional life as an unabashed advocate for transportation. I have always argued for its immense value to the Nation, to the economy, and to the society.
    One of the things that seems to have gotten lost, I think, in recent years is the recognition of that value. Too often today we tend to see transportation only in terms of its negatives—the delays, the resources consumed, the lives lost, the pollution generated, often to the point where our current goals for transportation can be met best by everyone just staying home.
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    We have highly articulated goals and explicit measures for what transportation should stop doing, but very few for what we want it to achieve. Transportation's goals are all about speed, cost, and reliability, and those are the three things that we are just terrible in measuring in transportation.
    In years past, those of us who plan and operate the Nation's transportation systems were able to depend on the implicit recognition of the value of transportation among the general public. The recognition of the need for new services and facilities had an almost automatic consensus. Today, that consensus has almost evaporated as a social force.
    In general, I think we have done a very poor job of making a case for the value of transportation in our society, depending on the public's own very good and sound sense of their needs to make the case for us. I feel we must begin today to reestablish recognition in the new Administration and the new Congress of the value of mobility as one of the great goals of our society. That recognition is there; we need to reinforce it and support it. We must make the value of mobility tangible and real to all of our institutions and to all Americans.
    One way of making the case for mobility is to look at the lack of it in its effects. If we look back a number of decades ago to the Russian food shortages, we find that they had shortages not from the lack of ability to grow food, but the lack of ability to move their crops from the fields to the cities. And when we shipped them thousands of tons of wheat, that wheat rotted on the docks.
    Nothing teaches us more about mobility than its loss. Think of the earthquakes in California, the devastating hurricanes along the Atlantic coast, and the floods of the Mississippi, and think how fast we put back the bridges, the freeways, and other transportation services that were disrupted.
    Think of what a lack of mobility does to those in our center cities and rural areas where, for instance, 17 percent of rural African Americans are without a vehicle, and lack of access to social services and to opportunities and the price of a quart of milk or a head of lettuce.
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    Today we are seeing clear signs of system failure around the country. When workers in Washington, D.C. drive up I-395 at 5:00 o'clock in the morning and then sleep in the Metro parking lots, the system is failing. When roads like I-66 are congested in the reverse direction, outbound in the morning and inbound in the evening, the system is failing. When the peak periods spread over so many hours that truckers cannot afford to get off the road and wait out the rush hour, adding to the congestion, the system is failing.
    I think the California energy crisis and the looming crisis in our air system teaches us again that capacity is a very useful thing. Just as in aviation, in highways and transit the supporting capacity bequeathed to us from previous generations is being worn out and used up. A lot of our major, older capacity in transit in the east and midwest is in the same category as the highway system.
    A standard catch phrase of transportation speechwriters today is ''America's transportation system is pretty much complete.'' The first Secretary of Transportation to say that was probably the first Secretary of Transportation, but I do notice that Secretary Mineta has avoided saying it, and Mr. Mineta is a very wise man. To me, a Nation that adds more than 25 million people in a decade adds $4 trillion into its economy in a decade, and that is still a beacon to immigrants from all over the world, you can never say that the transportation job is done.
    I want to talk a little bit, and refer to the slides, about some of the attributes of the system that I think we are going to be facing in the coming years. The good news, I think I can say, is that the future is more stable than the past. Some of these points, you see, make the case for the fact that we're pretty much saturated in our present system, demographically. We have seen new forces of change: the democratization of mobility, the rising need for mobility in our immigrant and ethnic and racial minorities. The problem of affluence in America—Mr. Greenspan worries about that a lot—and the lack of skilled workers in an aging society are going to be the critical questions of the future.
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    With respect to affluence, affluence yields greater numbers of trips, greater trip lengths, greater tendencies to use the single occupant vehicle. As incomes rise, both workers and vehicles rise with them.
    We appear to be at vehicle saturation in this country. We are down to the point where we have more vehicles than drivers. But maybe not; if we look at the zero-car households among racial and ethnic minorities, we see that African Americans have on the order of 24 percent of households without vehicles. In metropolitan areas, that can be 40 and 50 percent; as I mentioned, in rural areas, 17 percent. Hispanic minorities are in the same category.
    We are a Nation of immigrants again, and I have to point out that that last bar is now wrong, big time. The census has said that's at least 50 percent higher than that bar; either that, or it's been wrong for the last three decades. We have six or seven million new-found people that we didn't know we had before, and I think most of them are driving to work.
    The key point in this chart is the flattening-out of that labor force group. What that says is that skilled workers are going to be at an immense premium in the future. Skilled workers are going to be extremely difficult to find. The great issue will be skilled workers, and employers seeking out skilled workers wherever those skilled workers are and wherever they want to be.
    I want to turn, if I have time, to the needs trends that we've seen in the condition and performance reports. I think the condition and performance reports might be considered the operating tool for this subcommittee. It addresses the Nation's condition and performance for highways and transit, and has gotten better in each successive report. The current report addresses to a great extent some of the comments that I've made here this morning, and we're working on developing the next report to make it even more effective.
    One of the points that I do want to recognize is that in that chart what it shows is, as we reach 2003, the current capital spending reaches the point called ''maintain conditions'' in that report. Historically, for the last 15 or 20 years, we have always been roughly 40 percent below that number. With TEA 21 we have reached the stage where those numbers are very close together, and I think we're going to have to recognize the importance of that and react to the clarification of the extent to which that is true, the nature of those funds and the ways in which we are going to address the future. One of the things this is going to say is, even if we do reach those levels—and it's certainly questionable whether, in fact, we will have reached those levels—but if we do, we will still have an immense backlog, on the order of a quarter of a trillion dollars, to address.
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    I think my time is up, Mr. Chairman. Thank you very much.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Grenzeback?
    Mr. PISARSKI. Mr. Chairman, if I may, while we're waiting, I just want to make a further point with respect to my presentation.
    That condition and performance report also, in Appendix A, makes a report to the Congress, requested in TEA 21, on the Interstate system, and a very useful document it is. My view is that while it would certainly be inappropriate to argue with the report, we do need to take steps as part of the review process to assure that the needs that we know are out there are being properly reflected in that report.
    Among some of the things we need to investigate is the special aging distribution of our Interstate bridges and our Interstate roads, the needs for major interchanges, special needs of truck-oriented routes and corridors, and the growing capacity needs of the system.
    And so I would hope that we would be able to look at that report further. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. We have asked the General Accounting Office to specifically address those—
    Mr. PISARSKI. I understand that, and I think that's an excellent approach. We would be delighted to work with them.
    I am working with a group of AASHTO/APTA/FTA/FHwA, reviewing the condition and performance reports to see how we can make the next report even better.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Well, how are we doing, Mr. Grenzeback?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. Mr. Chairman, distinguished committee members, my name is Lance Grenzeback. I am a Senior Vice President with Cambridge Systematics, a transportation consulting firm, with offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. I am very pleased to appear before you this morning to discuss freight transportation. I have provided written testimony for the record and, with your permission, I will brief just my key points.
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    In my remarks I will describe the trends reshaping freight transportation; argue that capacity and congestion problems are eroding the effectiveness and productivity of our freight system; recommend that we address these problems now rather than 20 years from now, when freight volumes will have doubled; and finally, suggest actions that you may wish to consider in reauthorizing TEA 21.
    Let me begin with the economy. On your left, in the dark blue, service employment has increased dramatically. This has created a huge demand for air courier, parcel, and truck freight services. Manufacturing employment, shown on the left in light blue, has decreased, but manufacturing output, shown on the right in the light blue, remains high. Automation, just-in-time manufacturing, and business-to-business e-commerce have in fact increased manufacturers' demand for freight transportation. And with NAFTA and global trade, the economy is generating more freight today, but in smaller shipments that are lighter, higher in value, and moving longer distances. Businesses have responded to these changes with new logistics strategies. We are seeing an evolutionary shift from ''push'' to ''pull'' logistics. In a push system, suppliers push materials to a manufacturer, who pushes it to a distributor, and then to a customer. Each maintains a very large and expensive inventory as a buffer against the vagaries of the transportation system.
    A pull transportation system relies much less on inventory, much more on accurate information and reliable transportation. Point of sale data are used to pull products through two or three tiers of suppliers. A manufacturer who may have spun off functions to other firms may very often will utilize a third-party logistics provider who coordinates all the freight moves among these parties. These pull systems are very cost-effective, but they do demand transportation that is timely, reliable, and visible. An accident, congestion, strikes, storms—all of these can quickly unravel these tightly-strung systems. If you would recall how rapidly the UPS strike of a few years ago rippled through the economy, you will get a sense of how important it is.
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    The military is also adopting pull logistics. Future military deployments will likely occur as very short, sharp surges. The freight transportation system must be capable of supporting military deployments without bringing civil commerce and defense industry production to their knees.
    Freight productivity has improved greatly. Total logistics costs have declined since Congress deregulated the industry in the 1980s, but logistics costs appear to have stalled at about 10 percent.
    Highways today carry 65 percent of our freight tonnage. However, the freight tonnage on our highways, as well as on our other modes—rail, air, and water—will almost double by the year 2020. We are, however, running out of highway and rail capacity. Congestion is eroding the effectiveness of our highways and rail systems.
    We cannot afford to double-deck the Interstate system or the national rail system. Solutions must come from State and local projects that relieve highway bottlenecks, from better utilization of trucks and railcars, from expanded intermodal services, and from much closer attention to traffic management and highway operations.
    Since ISTEA, the State and MPO focus has been local, but the private sector's focus has been increasingly national and global. We must close that gap. In reauthorization of TEA 21 you will have an opportunity to do so. At the national level, you may wish to consider reaffirming and strengthening the mandates of ISTEA and TEA 21 to address freight issues and to link freight improvements to economic development and trade strategies. You may also want to provide for very strong Federal leadership in identifying freight problems and creating forums to catalyze action.
    At the regional level, Congress can make it considerably easier for States to work together on regional freight projects. Multi-State projects and programs are very difficult to sustain because they fall awkwardly today between the Federal and the State jurisdictions, and they need incentives.
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    Congress at the regional level may also want to expand the Borders and Corridors Program, started in TEA 21, and perhaps consider making regional rail corridor projects eligible for Federal grants, as well as regional highway corridor projects.
    Last, at the local level you may want to look at three actions:
    First, establishing a complimentary freight terminals and connectors program. The last mile of road connecting our Interstate highways to our ports and terminals is often an underdesigned and poorly-maintained orphan in the current State planning and funding processes.
    Second, look at providing funding for State and MPO freight operations projects and freight specialists. We've done that in highway, we've done that in the transit area. Freight is the one area that is not now covered.
    And third, consider better integrating public sector processes for planning, financing, and delivering freight improvements. The current processes are slow, inflexible, and disjointed compared to private sector needs and expectations.
    I want to thank you very much for the opportunity to appear before you today, and I would be happy to respond to any questions.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Dr. Downs, you are making an heroic effort. We appreciate that; we know you've been having a touch of winter flu or something. Thank you for joining us.
    Dr. DOWNS. My name is Anthony Downs. I am a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. I have been asked to take a brief look at the future of ground transportation in the United States. I have submitted a written statement and will present a brief summary in the form of six major points.
    At the outset, I am required by the Brookings Institution to state that the views I will express area solely my own and not necessarily those of the Brookings Institution, its trustees, or its other staff members, who I doubt have any views on this subject.
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    Dr. DOWNS. The first point is that because the population of the United States will grow by at least 48 million people from 2000 to 2020—that's an increase of 17 percent, and it may be larger than that, given recent Census data—the ground transportation system must provide the means of permitting those added people to move around efficiently, along with the 281 million people who are already here.
    Based on the ratio of added vehicles to added human population since 1980, which is 1.2 added vehicles for every additional human person, we will add at least 48 million new vehicles in the next two decades to the over 200 million vehicles that we already have.
    My second point is that the principal means of transporting both the existing population and the added population in the next two decades and beyond will continue to be private automotive vehicles, not public transit. In 1995, only 3.5 percent of all American commuters used public transit, as compared to over 90 percent using private automotive vehicles. More than half of all public transit trips, and 39 percent of all transit passenger miles in the United States, occur inside the city of New York. Outside of New York, only about 2.2 percent of all commuters use transit.
    There are many advantages of private vehicle travel over public transit—it's faster, more comfortable, more private, more flexible, and often cheaper. These advantages will continue to discourage many Americans from shifting from private vehicles to public transit. Even if public transit commuting tripled, that would decrease private vehicle commuting by less than 15 percent.
    My third point, and a rather discouraging one, is that traffic congestion will become worse in almost all large metropolitan areas, not only in the United States but throughout the world. No feasible policies can prevent this outcome from occurring as long as our population continues to grow as predicted. Building more roads will be necessary to accommodate future population growth, but building roads will not eliminate peak hour traffic congestion once that congestion has appeared on a major road. In truth, congestion is the price we pay in order to pursue many other travel goals, besides minimizing travel time. These other goals include having everyone work during the same hours so that they can interact efficiently in the economy; providing a wide range of choices about where to live and work; permitting many commuters to carry out multiple errands on work-related trips; and allowing both households and firms to locate in low-density settlement patterns—the type they prefer.
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    In short, rising traffic congestion is an inescapable aspect of life in modern metropolitan areas everywhere in the world. It's much worse outside the United States than it is inside the United States.
    My fourth point is that estimates of time lost in commuting are often exaggerated. The Texas Transportation Institute claims that the largest amount of average excess time spent commuting per year in 1997, their latest study, was 82 hours per driver in the Los Angeles area. Where this amount is divided by two trips per day over 240 working days, the average loss of time per driver per trip was 10.25 minutes. For the 68 areas across the country that the Texas Transportation Institute studied, the average time lost per driver per trip was about 4.25 minutes in each direction.
    My fifth point is that changing future land use patterns to reduce automobile travel is not likely to have major effects in reducing congestion. Use of many more pedestrian-oriented developments may cut driving trips in local neighborhoods, but it will not reduce longer-distance commuting by car unless transit usage rises dramatically, which I believe is highly unlikely.
    Adopting more compact future subdivisions at the edges of metropolitan areas might cut sprawl somewhat. But over 80 percent of the overall development that will exist in 2020 is already in place, so most patterns are already set.
    My last point is that two types of dysfunctional institutions are impeding an optimal—though hardly perfect—adaptation of our future ground transportation systems to meeting the needs of future residents. The first dysfunctional arrangement is the unwillingness of most metropolitan areas to adopt some type of mechanism for coordinating both transportation and land use policies at the regional level, rather than leaving power over land use decisions solely at the local government level. Only a very small number of metropolitan areas in the country have started to develop powerful regional institutions, and yet all the problems of traffic congestion and many of these other problems of growth are essentially regional problems.
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    The second type of dysfunctional institution is leaving control over most public transit with a large public monopoly staffed by highly unionized workers. Both the transit administrators and transit union members capture most increases in transit spending as higher wages without providing commensurate increases in services to their customers.
    We need much smaller scale, often privatized, means of providing public transit to serve low-density areas where big buses, light rail systems, and even heavy rail systems cannot work efficiently.
    That concludes my brief summary.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you for a very interesting and provocative statement and summary.
    Our final panelist is Dr. Timothy Lomax from Texas.
    Dr. LOMAX. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the committee. Thank you for having me today. And Congresswoman Johnson, I especially appreciate her kind remarks. I am humbled and honored to be here today; this is either the highlight or the end of my career—
    Dr. LOMAX. I would like to begin with a definition of the congestion problem and then tell you what my research studies say about that. I will conclude with my opinion—my own opinion—on how the U.S. should approach the solutions.
    Road congestion is slow speeds caused by heavy traffic and/or narrow roadways. It has corollaries in transit, sidewalks, and even the Internet. Over the last 20 years traffic volumes have increased faster than road capacity, and the alternative modes have not provided the needed relief because they are either not extensive enough or they are not used for enough trips.
    Two charts illustrate these trends. These come from research that we've completed for the period of 1982 to 1999; we will be releasing the 1999 update of our study next month.
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    This first chart shows the average congestion growth in three population size ranges: small, medium, and large. Small is less than 500.000; large is greater than 1 million population. The values are indexed so that 1982 levels equal 100. Congestion in all size ranges has increased significantly since then, between 250 and 450 percent. Average delays in 1999 are estimated at 38 hours per capita for the large areas, 26 for the medium areas, and 10 hours per person per year for the small areas. We estimate the value of the travel delay and the wasted fuel, just those two components, to be more than $75 billion in 1999 for just these 68 cities.

    [Growth in Congestion graph follows]

    This other graph illustrates one aspect of what's being done about the congestion problem. The vertical bars show the amount of roadway that has been added as a percentage of the amount needed, if road additions were the only treatment to address congestion. In an average year, only about half the amount of roadway that is required under this ''roads only'' approach has been added to the urban systems. And even this low number is an optimistic assessment, since it includes the effect of the growing urban boundary. The actual amount of new roads constructed would be less than this half.
    [Roadway Additions vs. ''Needs'' graph follows]

    I would point out that this is not as bad as cities on other continents. Congestion is relative, and the U.S. cities are not doing badly compared to other countries. But public opinion surveys suggest that the expectations of travelers are not being met.
    These statistics and others that we have tell me a few things about solving the congestion problem.
    Number one, we're not doing enough. There aren't enough improvements to the system to keep congestion from growing.
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    Number two, it will be more difficult for most big cities to address their mobility needs by only constructing more roads. This is partly a funding issue; transportation spending should probably double in larger cities if there is an interest in reducing congestion. It is also, however, an issue of project approval. It is difficult to imagine many streets and freeways with four, six, eight, or even more lanes, but that's probably what's required if the goal is to significantly reduce congestion by adding roads.
    Number three, transit improvements, better operations, adjusted work hours, telecommuting, and a range of other efficiency options do not seem to offer the promise of large increases in person-carrying capacity for the current system. However, they are absolutely vital components of an overall solution, I believe.
    Number four, several policy options present opportunities to improving transportation, but they are difficult to get approved. They require some changes in the way transportation services are viewed and some changes in the way we live and travel.
    Some of the solution lies in better management—improving on practices that we already know, and developing new expertise. In the 1950s and 1960s—you can think about this in phases—in the 1950s and 1960s we managed the construction of a large highway system. In the 1970s we tried to improve that by managing the supply, and in the 1980s we tried to manage the demand. In the 1990s we put a lot of effort into improving the operation of that facility.
    I think we need to improve and increase all of these traditional projects and programs. but maybe the last management option is managing the expectations that people have for the transportation system. We should expect congestion on roads for one or two hours in the morning and one or two hours in the evening in most large cities. We should be able to improve the performance and reliability of the service at other hours, and we really must do that, but we cannot expand the system or improve the operation enough to eliminate congestion completely.
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    What the transportation agencies might be able to do is something like this.
    Number one, offer a more reliable system. Mr. Grenzeback referred to that in the freight issue. Using a range of operational and policy improvements and intelligent transportation systems, we can improve the ability to find and remove crashes or disabled vehicles. A more reliable system will reduce the variation in travel times and help people and freight move more predictably.
    Number two, provide options to congestion. We have too few options for most trips right now. We can wait, not go on the trip, or sit in traffic; those are about our options, but that is probably what is required under the growth scenarios we have in several cities.
    Number three, expand the system where it is consistent with the goals of the area. There are many reasons to continue expanding the transportation system and services in all modes, and we should pursue those.
    So in summary, I conclude that congestion is a problem and it is getting worse. In order to solve it, transportation agencies, the private sector, and individuals should work together to expand and improve the system, services, and options for moving people and goods.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you. Thank you all for your effort in preparing the statements. They were very useful.
    I will now turn to questions and start with Mr. Borski.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Dr. Lomax, let me start with you, if I may.
    You stated that the value of travel delay and wasted fuel that occurs in congested traffic could be more than $75 billion in 1999 for 68 urban cities.
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    Have you made any forecasts of congestion likely to materialize in these 68 urban centers? When are we likely to reach the choking point?
    Dr. LOMAX. I haven't made any projections like that. I think the metropolitan planning organizations in each of those cities have done projections out to 20 years and there are a range of conditions that will result, depending on how much funding and how many projects they get approved. I think there are probably—corridor-level is where that analysis needs to be made, rather than our larger urban-area analysis. There are probably some corridors that are reaching what people in those areas consider gridlock. Congestion is a relative term.
    Mr. BORSKI. Congestion on our urban freeways is increasing the potential for accidents, undesired long delays, adverse pollutants, and increased operating costs. Since building additional lanes of highways is not necessarily a panacea, can we still be doing more to manage the existing infrastructure to relieve congestion?
    Dr. LOMAX. Absolutely. I think there is a range of programs and operational improvements that can be made to make the system more reliable. I think incident management programs, where you find the crashes and vehicle breakdowns and get them off the system is one major improvement that can be done, and is being pursued in a lot of areas.
    I think just making sure that the system operates better, making the traffic signals flow better, the freeway and the street system work together and the transit system and the streets work together. There is a whole lot of that information technology that can be brought to bear on that problem.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, sir.
    Mr. Grenzeback, you forecasted a doubling of truck traffic over the next 20 years. What factors did you consider in making that estimate and how does your model track with economic growth forecasts?
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    Mr. GRENZEBACK. Forecasts were done by looking at the growth at the individual county level. The forecasts were done by WEFA. What they do is look at the economic employment growth in individual counties and then translate that into tons of goods shipped in and out of those counties. The forecasts I would say are in the moderate range. So these are not as high as it could conceivably go.
    Mr. BORSKI. Trucking activity is thought to track economic growth fairly closely. Are you projecting that?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. Yes.
    Mr. BORSKI. What kind of growth are you projecting for intermodal traffic, traffic such as trailers on flatbed cars or containers on flat cars? How does this affect truck travel on highways?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. We haven't yet done a separate projection for intermodal traffic. Growth in recent years—as you are obviously aware—has been very high. It has been flattening out recently a bit, as they are beginning to reach capacity on some of the rail lines and intermodal terminals. I would expect that with investment in those areas we will see an increase in intermodal traffic because it compensates for the lack of long-haul truck drivers and the time it takes to make long-haul truck trips.
    Mr. BORSKI. As part of your study, did you look into the financial feasibility and benefits of exclusive truck lanes?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. We haven't looked at it systematically, but we have looked at a couple of case studies. There are areas where there are sufficient bottlenecks to justify separate truck traffic lanes. However, those are relatively few. For the most part, truck volumes on congested highways are relatively low. Most trucks constitute perhaps 2 to 4 percent of the total vehicles during peak periods. In the off-peak periods, you may see 20 to 40 percent of trucks, but then the traffic conditions are usually considerably better.
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    The problem is, for those 2 to 4 percent trucks who are caught trying to go through metropolitan areas in the congestion that Dr. Lomax has described, they suffer along with everyone else who is sitting for 2 hours in the congestion. And that slows down the logistics system quite considerably.
    Mr. BORSKI. Dr. Lomax, I believe you said that congestion was worse in the United States than outside.
    Dr. LOMAX. No, it is the other way around.
    Mr. BORSKI. Everybody agrees?
    Dr. LOMAX. It is worse outside the United States than it is inside the United States.
    Mr. PISARSKI. I would think that we would be the envy of the world in terms of our commuting patterns. Our average is about 24 minutes. Most other countries would be astonished at that.
    Mr. BORSKI. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Mr. Coble?
    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Gentlemen, thank you all for being with us.
    Mr. Pisarski, I think most of us on this committee recognize the significance of sound transportation practices as being synonymous with public safety.
    Mr. PISARSKI. Yes, sir.
    Mr. COBLE. You referred to the NIMBY problem. Many people—maybe most people—don't want any sort of infrastructure improvement to be located in their backyard.
    My home place, back in Carolina, was recently destroyed to make way for a new highway. My home place is not historic in the pure sense of the word, but it is historic to me. I would like to be able to go back there to visit. That is the bad news. The good news is that hopefully public safety will be enhanced by the presence of this new highway presently under construction.
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    The same thing applies with airports. Airports are noisy. And sometimes expansion results in more noise. And I don't mean to be unsympathetic to those folks who live nearby, but having said all that, when a project is funded federally, do you think that the presence of the Federal bureaucracy may make opposition to that project easier? If so, what can we on this committee do to assuage that discomfort?
    Oftentimes, if the Federal Government is involved, folks are opposed to it.
    Mr. PISARSKI. That is a fascinating question, Mr. Congressman. I am not certain that I have a good answer for you.
    The experience I have had is that most of the major projects are federally assisted so that when opposition arises it is not clear that it is the Federal process, per se, that has started it. I do think that the Federal safeguards that have been put into regulatory review have sometimes added to the time it takes to get through the process and perhaps permit people to slow the process down for their own purposes.
    Your point about building roads in Carolina does raise to me the point that the system is very fragile. Part of the NIMBY problem is that we tended to build our roads by expanding existing facilities rather than new facilities with the result that we don't have the redundancy in the system anymore that the defense needs of the country and other needs have indicated.
    So the system is far less reliable, with incidents of a truck full of chickens turning over, the whole system comes down.
    Mr. COBLE. Dr. Lomax, over the past three decades, highway traffic has grown—it is my belief—faster than the country's population has grown. I think you all alluded to that.
    Can this trend continue indefinitely into the future? And are we destined to spend most of our time travelling?
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    I hate to sound like gloom and doom with a dark cloud over my head, but it appears that may be in store for us.
    Dr. LOMAX. I will give you my response, but I think Mr. Pisarski has a view on that that comes from some really good research that he has done. I don't think travel will continue to increase much more rapidly than population.
    Mr. COBLE. I think your first slide probably reflected that.
    Dr. LOMAX. There are a lot of trends that are sort of flattening out. I think that is what Mr. Pisarski can refer to better than I.
    Mr. PISARSKI. We have really come through a very difficult period. We have been through a bubble, if you will. I think in many cases for us to be almost paralyzed by the shock of having come through it, inhibits us from recognizing that the future is a little bit easier to deal with. We have saturated out on auto ownership, by and large. We have saturated out on licenses. We have reached peaks in so many different areas. The population has passed that point where the high frequency trip rates occur. The surge of the baby boomers into the work force is behind us.
    So my sense of it is that the transportation demand of the future is going to be far more operable than it was in the last two decades, when we have been shocked by the growth of travel.
    The two areas I would see as sources of growth in the future is the continuing affluence of the society. But more significantly, I think in the reaching of high-mobility status—the participation in a high-mobility society of our racial and ethnic minorities in the lower income populations—that is where we are going to see the growth.
    Mr. COBLE. Thank you, gentlemen, for being with us.
    Mr. Chairman, I think this is a good hearing. I thank you and the ranking member for having conducted it.
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    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Rahall?
    Mr. RAHALL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Grenzeback, I would like to ask you a question, if I might.
    In your written testimony, you stated that the total freight tonnage—truck, rail, water, and air—is likely to double by the year 2020.
    You said the Congress should help the States and MPOs to work together on regional freight projects, but that multi-state programs often fall between the constitutional jurisdictions of the Federal Government and the States. Is that correct?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. That is correct.
    Mr. RAHALL. You suggested that the States and the MPOs need incentives to work across these jurisdictional boundaries. Could you elaborate on that? What type of incentives, specifically, should Congress provide?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. I think the key point from the freight perspective is that the freight systems are today organized at a regional and national level. If you look at most distributors—most trucking and rail firms—they tend to look at their markets and they tend to look at their operations as more than one State. Sometimes five, six, eight, or ten States are considered a block.
    This means that their freight patterns cover a series of States. For the States to make some progress in dealing with freight transportation issues, they have to look at that pattern at a regional level, which means that the States have to work together.
    Certainly ISTEA gave the States the incentive and responsibility, along with the MPOs, to look at and take action on local projects. But certainly through TEA-21 we have also put financial impetus to sort of make those investments locally.
    If you look at a set of States and see a corridor problem that cuts across three or four States, the incentives are not there for the State to spend money that would benefit a road project in another State, even though the freight flows may eventually help them. Most of the corridor programs today—the I-95 Corridor Coalition, the Southeast States, Latin American Trade Study, and a series of others that are going on—are evidence that the States are very much interested in the problem. But they are glued together today by other congressional earmarks, or States harvesting money from a series of small projects.
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    It is very difficult for them to sustain the level of effort and also overcome the local initiative to spend money locally and keep it there.
    Mr. RAHALL. But as far as the regional projects, when they go across the State lines, as you said, and where an investment by one State may be in another State—even though the freight does benefit the State that makes the investment—should there be tax incentives? What type of incentives should that State get for making that investment not within its borders?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. If you look at the corridors and borders program that Congress put together, that has been very effective in the sense that it required several States to work together in order to apply for a single grant to address those problems. Being able to tap additional funds, but restrict it to projects that do benefit multiple States is certainly an incentive that helps.
    Another incentive would be to provide more stable funding to the forums that are set up to deal with multi-State problems. Right now, there is no continuous funding. It has to come out of each State's annual budget to work on a project that covers more than one State.
    Mr. RAHALL. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Duncan?
    Mr. DUNCAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Pisarski, when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, most families had one car and some families were beginning to get a second car. Second cars were becoming common. By the mid-1980s, my father—who started at the University of Tennessee in 1939—said to me one time, There are more cars in a typical high school parking lot than in all of the University of Tennessee when he was there in the early-1940s.
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    Mr. DUNCAN. That sort of points out the problem. Today, a lot of families have two or three cars plus a pick-up truck. All the teenagers have them.
    You say on page nine of your testimony that even if we were to double mass transit use in the next 20 years, 95 percent of travel growth and freight growth would still be on the highways.
    You talked with Congressman Coble about the NIMBY syndrome and so forth.
    What you are saying is that we need to do a better job of selling the value of transportation projects. But how do we go about doing that? If you were put in charge of all this today, what would you do? What two or three specific things would you do?
    Mr. PISARSKI. Is that an offer?
    I think in terms of making the case, I go back to some of the things I said in my statement.
    The immense factor in America is its mobility that has made the society and the economy so effective in the world. It has come to a point where it is taken for granted, where it is kind of accepted as natural background. I notice with some unhappiness, for instance, that in the State of the Union message the word ''transportation'' never came up. My sense is that it is always number 11 on the top ten list of things in America that we need to deal with.
    I think that in the Administration and in the Congress we can make the case for the fact that mobility has immense value in terms of integrating the society and in terms of our competitiveness in the world. To me, the key question for our future is going to be skilled workers, the lack of skilled workers in the society, and the integrating of new immigrant populations into the work force. That is going to be the driving question. Mobility and transportation are going to be absolutely key to getting the most out of the system.
    We will have to get rural populations to jobs. We are going to have to convince people to stay at work. All those things are going to need mobility, and greater mobility, to make them effective.
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    Mr. DUNCAN. I know that we are going to have to do that. I am still not sure that you have told me the specifics of what you would do to convince people of the need—go on national television or something, I suppose.
    Mr. Pisarski says that the expansion of existing roads and the super highways does less to solve congestion than the construction of new roads.
    Do you agree with that? If so, why is that?
    Dr. DOWNS. May I say something about that?
    It seems to me that we are all suffering under the delusion that there is a solution to traffic congestion. There is no solution to traffic congestion. Traffic congestion is the solution that we adopt. It is the balancing mechanism we adopt to achieve other goals, such as a wide choice of where to live and work, everybody working at the same time during the day, people living in low-density settlements.
    I don't think there is any cure for rising traffic congestion. There are some things you can do to make the increase in congestion lower than it otherwise would be. But the idea that we are going to solve the traffic congestion problem is a delusion. We are not going to solve it. It is going to get worse. We might as well get used to it.
    As I say at the end of my book, ''Stuck in Traffic,'' get yourself an air-conditioned car with a stereo radio and tape deck and a CD player and a fax machine and a hands-off telephone and learn to love being in congestion. Not only that, with the exception of a few very large metropolitan areas, the amount of time we spend in congestion isn't all that great.
    As I tried to point out using the Texas Transportation Institute's numbers, on an average daily basis, we are not spending all that much time in travel and our average commuting time in the United States—which is somewhere around 22 minutes—is much faster than in most of the world.
    Mr. PISARSKI. I think one of the things you can show people is what it does to the price of goods, what percent of that head of lettuce and quart of milk is imbedded transportation.
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    One of the key things that I think Tony has written about very well is that very often the cost of transportation is very much linked to the cost of housing. There is a combination of the housing-transportation cost that particularly young people take advantage of when they are buying housing.
    So I think one of the things that happens to us when congestion begins to extract a greater cost, is that it reflects itself in the housing markets and the kind of home you can have and the kind of opportunities you have to be where you want to be. So I think that is key.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Mr. Grenzeback, do you agree with Mr. Pisarski that it does less good to expand the existing highways than it does to build new highways?
    Also, I am curious about your testimony that truck traffic is going to double over the next 20 years when the population is not going to increase by nearly that much and the aging population—older people buy fewer goods than the baby boomers—and also with our economy going more toward a service economy—where is all that volume going to come from?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. To work backwards, the general question of whether we will see traffic growing as much as we have in the last 20 and 30 years, I think the answer is no. I agree with Tim that we will see a tapering off. We are running out of drivers. We are not adding them at the rate we were in the past. They may be buying two and three cars, but luckily, they are only driving one at a time.
    On the freight side, however, demand probably will go up much faster than the population because we are changing our buying patterns and the type of service we expect. We are expecting to buy materials overseas or buy on the web and ship that across the country very quickly. The total tonnage will rise slowly, but the amount of vehicle movement involved in freight will go up because we are asking people to ship us something from across the world or across the country in one package much more reliably than we were 20 years ago.
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    Our expectations and the quality of freight transportation has gone up. We are demanding more from that system and we are moving a lot more trucks as a result.
    Mr. DUNCAN. Buying more things from a distance rather than locally?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. We are doing both.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Mr. Pascrell?
    Mr. PASCRELL. I need some clarification on what I have heard the last few minutes.
    Mr. Pisarski, you mentioned that road safety is going to be very critical. A lot of these roads folks are on were built for 1930 and 1940 traffic, and that is not cutting it very well, is it?
    Mr. PISARSKI. That is right, sir.
    Mr. PASCRELL. The cost of that is going to be borne by who?
    Mr. PISARSKI. The cost to restructure the road system is going to have be borne by the users. I am very much concerned. I think what we will see in the next few years is Secretary Mineta coming over here and testifying that in fact the rates of fatalities and the rates of accidents have in fact gone up. It is going to happen not because we have done a bad job, but simply the changes in the demography of the country—the aging population and a new younger age group coming in.
    So we are going to be much more vulnerable in terms of accidents and fatalities. I would suspect that we will have to think about retrofitting the system to make it more responsive to the kind of population we are operating with.
    Mr. PASCRELL. So the cost there could be equal to the new roads that have been built over the past two decades?
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    Mr. PISARSKI. I wouldn't hazard an estimate of the cost, but a lot of the things—part of these are in signage and in preparation—older people's reactions times are perhaps not as good. Most of the things we do for the aging population I think are going to benefit everybody else as well.
    Mr. PASCRELL. When you say that in the last decade we had too many commuters, you aren't suggesting that this coming decade we are going to have too few commuters? You are suggesting that we do more things on our end, if we can, and the States can, to increase folks on the road driving to work?
    Mr. PISARSKI. I am not trying to promote that, no.
    I am concerned that the lack of skilled workers in the economy is going to make—I think this is what keeps Mr. Greenspan up at night—this is the thing that—
    Mr. PASCRELL. Is that it?
    Mr. PISARSKI. There may be a few others these days.
    But I think this is the real economic threat. And I guess I might add that one of the things that has happened with the immigrant population is that that explains some of the reasons why we haven't seen rising labor costs. In fact, there are more people here than we thought there were.
    So I think in that sense, we can take some comfort in the fact that there may be fewer people out there to congest the highways. But it is going to be a much more serious problem of finding them and integrating them into the system.
    Mr. PASCRELL. What we do here affects policy. Listening to all four of you I find very, very interesting. I thought we were on a path of discouraging folks from using their cars to go to work because not only are there economic factors here, there are environmental factors here. And they are different in different parts of the country.
    When one looks at Houston, Texas, or the New York metropolitan area, most of what we see physically is caused by vehicles on the road. We are not suggesting that we shut our roads down. But neither are we suggesting that we continue to macadam our living rooms, are we?
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    Mr. PISARSKI. No, sir.
    Mr. PASCRELL. You aren't suggesting that, are you?
    Mr. PISARSKI. No.
    Mr. PASCRELL. Then I would like to ask Dr. Downs two things. You talked about privatization on page 14. There have been some disappointments in public transportation in terms of the public sector. They can't sustain themselves. We are looking at Amtrak now in the bigger picture. But let's put a face on this suggestion that we should privatize our public transportation.
    Do you think that the reason why public transportation has let us down is because it is financed publicly? Do you think we would actually see an appreciable improvement if we privatize—or if we could privatize—the major public transportation systems in this country?
    Dr. DOWNS. I don't think we should privatize all the systems, no. I think that we ought to allow for more operation of private systems in addition to the big systems we have.
    Public transit is very important in our country. It performs significant functions for people who cannot drive. But the large-scale systems that we operate through public monopolies are not well suited to serve low-density residential settlements, which is what we are building. Almost all of our new settlements are relatively low density. We need other kinds of systems that will be more effective, if there are any. I am not sure that there are, but we are not going to find them by operating transit through large-scale monopolies.
    I am not saying we should privatize everything, by any means—but in addition to big systems, we ought to try small-scale operations of vans on demand and other things.
    Mr. PASCRELL. And we are doing that right now.
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    Dr. DOWNS. Some of it, we are. I am not sure that it is going to solve the problem. A solution to the problem doesn't exist. We are not going to solve the problem of congestion. But to provide greater mobility for people who are not well served by the present public transit system I think we need some more privatization, but not dismantling entirely the whole system we have.
    Mr. PASCRELL. Out of this committee, Mr. Chairman, came the concept of funding jitney services in the densely populated areas and getting people to the busses and to the trains, not by their own cars, but getting picked up. It is working in New Jersey. It is really working.
    Dr. Downs, my final question. You know how we are struggling with the Amtrak system to come up with some resolve and bring closure to this. Do you have any thoughts about what we should be doing? Maybe what we are doing, we shouldn't be doing?
    Dr. DOWNS. My expertise is in automobile traffic and roads and not on Amtrak, so I certainly can't state that any opinion I gave you was an expert opinion. But I think—from what little I know—most people simply do not want to use trains as compared to the alternatives, which are for personal transportation. Not only that, but I believe that Amtrak is required to serve a lot of places where the flow of passengers isn't enough to sustain economic operation. If you gave them a little more freedom, maybe they could scale down the system to those places where it really works.
    But again, I am not an expert on that, so I would be quite skeptical about my own remarks.
    Mr. PASCRELL. Would any of the other panelists respond to that question of Amtrak?
    Mr. PISARSKI. Just briefly, Congressman.
    Years ago, I studied Amtrak. My sense of it was that there are basically three pieces to the system. It has a commuter function that operates very much like an urban system. It has a true intercity system—Detroit to Chicago, obviously the northeast corridor. Then it has a third component that is basically a cruise ship, a tourism system. We get on the train and you go to Seattle. You don't particularly care when you get there, you want to see the sights.
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    I think we need to divide the thinking about the system into those three components and recognize those three different roles we are asking Amtrak to play and structure our policies around it accordingly.
    I don't know that that helps, but that has been my sense of the nature of the Amtrak problem.
    Mr. PASCRELL. Thank you.
    Mr. PETRI. Our next questioner is our new and valued colleague from Connecticut, Representative Robert Simmons.
    Mr. SIMMONS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And thank you for having this hearing to form a very interesting discussion. I have so many questions, I can't ask them all. So I will just focus on two.
    Connecticut is a densely population State with a bunch of interstate highways going through, a lot of through transit, and a lot of commuter transit. We have established on I-95 from the New York border to Gilford approximately—which is just east of New Haven—the intelligent transportation system, a series of television cameras and monitoring sites that are manned by the State Police at a facility so that we can watch the traffic essentially 24 hours a day, anticipate problems, and respond quickly to breakdowns and accidents.
    It has facilitated traffic flow. It has not eliminated congestion, but it is a way of managing congestion.
    What success have these systems had elsewhere in the country, and what efforts are being made to expand these systems?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. I think the systems are just now reaching the point where we are going to feel their impact. I think you are going to need to look at construction to relieve bottlenecks in certain areas. But I think there are huge opportunities to improve the operations, maintenance, and management of our roads. I am particularly looking at it from a freight side, but it also applies very much to the automobile commuter.
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    I think the technology and the understanding of how to collect information about traffic conditions and then deliver it back to the driver so they can make a decision is just now reaching the point where it is becoming somewhat useful. I think we have a great ways to go on it.
    I think the congestion is there to stay. On the freight side, it is no longer a question of how fast I can go, but how reliably and predictably I can make the trip. To that extent, technology is put into managing the highways and to providing me with information that I can use is extremely valuable. If the carrier knows I can make the trip in a certain period of time and do it predictably, it is very valuable to him. The technology is allowing him to do that.
    Mr. SIMMONS. I would certainly agree with that. I would also suggest that certain models of cars are now being equipped with GPS systems. Maybe one issue we ought to explore in the future is that it is not just highways that broadcast the traffic conditions, but cars that can download some of that information connected to a Government site so that when I hop into my car and head up North Main Street to I-95, I already know that there is a problem to the east of New Haven and I figure out an alternative route. I don't have to wait until I see the backup or see the overhead sign. I can actually download that information from a Government site.
    To me, one of the critical elements of solving the transportation problem is enhancing the communication problem. We could apply that concept in many different ways.
    The second and last question—because I know there are other people who wish to speak—for 6 years I have been ranking member of the Transportation Committee in Connecticut. For a decade, I have been working on the infamous Route 11. The infamous Route 11—I think some members of the committee are going to hear more about this over the course of the next year or so—is a road to nowhere. It is essentially an interstate from Culchester to New London that was half completed and then the money ran out and it stopped.
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    In the last decade, everybody in southeastern Connecticut—the Governor, the legislators across party lines, the environmentalists, people who live in the community—have all focused their energies on trying to finish Route 11 for safety purposes and to enhance transportation and commerce. But also, we have put a linear park around it as a concept to enhance the environmental aspects and reduce sprawl. The Environmental Protection Agency has resisted every step of the way.
    How can we better coordinate our efforts with the States, with the Federal DOT, with the FHA, and with the Environmental Protection Agency so that we can have some forward motion? Right now, it appears to me that in spite of the fact that your testimony says that new road projects have greater benefits than expanding existing—we just can't build any new roads in New England.
    How do you respond to that?
    Dr. DOWNS. One thing I think would be desirable would be to have more regional governance arrangements for the entire region. In the case of Connecticut, I don't know exactly what that would be—maybe the New Haven metropolitan area, or something like that—rather than leaving all power over land use in local governments.
    The MPOs were a step in the right direction under ISTEA, but that law really hasn't been carried out as strongly as it might be. These are regional problems and the NIMBY syndrome is very strong. If you leave power over land use decisions in the hands of local governments, over all aspects of land use decisions, they will eventually veto any change that goes through their territory.
    If you have some kind of regional plan with regional authority—not replacing local government, but having some power to modify what local governments decide—you might have a better chance of solving those problems.
    Mr. SIMMONS. In this instance, of course, the local governments, the special interest groups, the neighbors and folks with backyards, the State, the State DOT, the State Department of Environmental Protection—they are all on the same sheet of music. But every time they propose to complete the road, the EPA comes in and suggests another alternative, or wait until there is a new person in place.
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    It really has become an issue of the Environmental Protection Agency resisting the completion of this road.
    I wonder if this has been encountered in other areas. Or maybe this is just an anomaly for us.
    Mr. PISARSKI. I think it has been encountered in other areas. There was a requirement in TEA-21 to try to streamline this. As you know, that didn't work out all that well. But FHWA and the other agencies are back at it again and are trying again to improve that process. I think that very close observation of that process as it goes along is going to be required so that the process moves in parallel and permits something to happen.
    Mr. SIMMONS. I thank the Chair and I would simply say that the data provided indicates that there has only been a 5 percent increase in miles of roadways over the last 30 years. We have a roadway that we absolutely want to finish and elements of the Federal Government seem to be standing in the way of that. The testimony indicates that new road projects can really help these problems.
    So putting all those pieces together, I have some ideas about what we might want to do.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Representative Johnson?
    Ms. JOHNSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I apologize for missing some of the testimony. I had to run to the Floor and then took the liberty of stopping by the doctor's office.
    I wonder if this has been addressed.
    In the past, we had the luxury of only talking about highways and distances and just congestion. Now we must include a health factor, emissions fumes, alternative fuels, better planned communities, and I think I heard Dr. Lomax saying that where people live often determines the type of transportation.
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    I wonder if any of you could speak to where we need to go along those lines. I think I am a living example of needing better air to breathe.
    Dr. LOMAX. I will take a shot at that in the interest of helping a fellow Texan.
    I think the issue is one of a suite of solutions or several solutions. I think in transportation and air quality we are talking about doing several things. I think the cleaner fuels and cleaner cars are certainly part of a solution. A lot of the treatments that are being done in the name of air quality are part of the solution. I think there are a number of places where transportation and land use and air quality can all work together to improve air quality. You are not going to see everybody moving to a 40-story high-rise building, but I think there is a niche of consumers who are interested in a denser development, closer to town, using infrastructure that we have already built in the developed areas rather than building new houses and new infrastructure.
    I think those trips are typically more environmentally friendly, more air quality friendly, than trips 30 or 40 miles long.
    Ms. JOHNSON. Thank you.
    I remember a period of time when Texas really had great pride in the conditions of its highways and was known for the best highways in the Nation. We are finding now—especially the travel corridors—are so congested and are being really worn down. Has there been any research in Texas that you might be aware of that might help alleviate some of this? Some has been attributed to the trucks coming out of Mexico. But I think that if we just also look at it, it is just insurmountable traffic.
    Dr. LOMAX. I think there are a number of perspectives on this. One is that that growth is a recognition of economic prosperity. When you don't have that, you have lower congestion growth. That is sort of facetiously one of the ways we talk about addressing traffic congestion. If you can convince 10 or 15 percent of your jobs to go somewhere else, you don't have as much of a congestion problem.
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    But I think in large measure what you are talking about is working at corridors, working at individual treatments, doing a lot of things individually. No one silver bullet is going to solve the problem. It is going to be a number of different solutions.
    Also, we are probably going to have to look at how we do construction projects to try to minimize the amount of impact those projects have. I think demand management, transit, operational improvements, changing the way we use the system, and changing the way the system performs are all part of the solution.
    Ms. JOHNSON. Are you aware of any metropolitan area that you feel has been especially successful in reducing congestion through planning?
    Dr. LOMAX. The two areas we point to are Phoenix and Houston. Phoenix in the 1980s and Houston in the 1980s and the 1990s—the way they improved their traffic congestion situation was getting consensus on a plan for the region and then spending a lot of money. Houston spent on the order of $250 to $350 per person per year for the period of a decade and reduced their traffic congestion problem principally by building roads and also by adding a lot of transit, HOV lanes, and doing a lot of operational improvements.
    Phoenix built a lot of freeways. What both of those areas are doing in the future, though, is not just doing roads. They are looking at this full suite of solutions going forward.
    Ms. JOHNSON. Thank you very much.
    Mr. PETRI. Thank you.
    Our final questioner, Representative Berkley, has been very patient.
    Ms. BERKLEY. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    I am going to share my pain with you, and perhaps if you can come up with a solution, perhaps you can help me ease my pain.
    I represent the fastest-growing district in the United States. I represent Las Vegas, Nevada. In the last 10 years, our population has increased by 85 percent, North Las Vegas by 140 percent, and the city of Henderson by 170 percent. In addition to that, we have 36 million visitors a year coming to Las Vegas to enjoy our wholesome family entertainment.
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    Consequently, we have major problems in transportation. We are working on a bus rapid transit system that has been started. We are looking at a fixed guideway system. But the problem is that we simply don't have the infrastructure to accommodate the 5,000 new residents a month that I have pouring into my community with no end in sight. We have not peaked. We have not come near to peaking. And there have been years in the 1990s where we were up to 8,000 a month moving into the Las Vegas Valley.
    Now the problems that we have—it is obvious that our founding fathers, when they created the city of Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Valley, thought that if everything worked out really well we would end up with 400,000 people in the Las Vegas Valley. We are now up to 1.3 million and counting.
    I know it would be lovely if everybody had an air-conditioned car when it is 110 degrees with a VCR and a cassette playing Frank Sinatra tunes, but the reality is that I have three major problems when it comes to that. One is the dangerous driving conditions. It is very, very hazardous. There are intersections in my district that have among the highest accident rates in the United States. There is also a lack of quality time.
    There are intersections where you sit at that intersection for 20 minutes to 30 minutes where I guess—Doctor, you said that the average commute is 20 minutes. I have people sitting in traffic for 20 to 30 minutes and they have yet to get past the light.
    And then the third, which some of my colleagues alluded to, is the health hazard. We have among the dirtiest air in the United States with the EPA breathing down our neck saying they will stop building constructions in the Las Vegas Valley.
    If we spend all our TEA-21 money and our ISTEA money, we are still going to come nowhere to where we need to be.
    Now that I have shared my pain, do you have any suggestions for a community like mine, which I realize is very unique. But on the other hand, I can't be the only person that is suffering from these amazing growth opportunities that we have.
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    What suggestions would you have for me, so that I can go back and represent my constituents to the best of my ability?
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. The first comment I would I would offer is probably not the one you are going to look for, but it provides you with some long-term hope. By and large, congestion is self-levelling. If you look out at households and business behavior over time—I am talking in terms of a dozen, 15, or 20 years—if the congestion becomes too intense, people relocate.
    Ms. BERKLEY. Yes, but they relocate to where they can get jobs. And they can get jobs in Las Vegas.
    Mr. GRENZEBACK. But they will also relocate out of Las Vegas, which is the down side of that. The solution is obviously to sort of build the highways and transit systems to capture the growth. But what we have seen is that the average commute time has stayed about in the 20-minute range for 20 years. And the reason that has happened is that in many cases, when it became intolerable, businesses and households relocated.
    Ms. BERKLEY. It is very difficult to move the Las Vegas strip from its current location. I have 150,000 workers at three shifts a day going from all the outlying areas to one location in the center of the city.
    Mr. PISARSKI. I think one of the factors to recognize here is that our public systems are just not capable of responding with that speed. Atlanta grew 40 to 45 percent in the last decade. Loudoun County here in Washington grew 100 percent.
    It is not just transportation. We don't know how to build schools; we don't know how to build hospitals; we don't know how to build libraries that last. Our public institutions are just not capable of keeping up with that and we are not capable of investing the future funds that we are going to have when all those people get here.
    So I think the only answer is a slow process of catch-up. You are not going to solve the problem in this decade. It will probably be 10 to 15 years out when the whole thing begins to balance out.
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    Dr. DOWNS. Why don't you raise your gasoline taxes by 100 percent? It will cost you a lot more money to fix this. People are not going to move away from Las Vegas because of higher gasoline taxes, and they can't go across the border and buy the gasoline cheaper somewhere else because you are too far from anyplace else to buy it.
    So it is going to cost you money to solve these problems. The people who are creating the problem are the people driving, and they are the ones that ought to be paying for it.
    Mr. PETRI. I hate to end this hearing on that unhappy note, but—
    Ms. BERKLEY. I just can't picture going home and saying that I am going to raise gasoline taxes by 100 percent.
    Dr. DOWNS. Then in other words, you can't picture solving the problem.
    Ms. BERKLEY. In the realm?
    Dr. DOWNS. You can't picture solving the problem because you can't picture being willing to pay for the solution.
    I don't think there is a true solution, but I think you could make it better if you spent more money.
    The second thing I would suggest is the suggestion I made before, which is some kind of regional planning of the whole area. You have Clark County, and I think there are other jurisdictions that need to come together and form a reasonable transportation plan for the whole area.
    Mr. PETRI. Gentlemen, we have a vote on and we have about 2 minutes to get over there. We really thank you very much for an informative, worthwhile, initial hearing for the 107th Congress of this subcommittee.
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    The hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 11:39 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned, to reconvene subject to the call of the Chair.]