Independent Institute Research Fellow and former World Bank transportation economist Gabriel Roth believes that the department’s strategies are in opposition to their objectives:
*Puts safety first, while mandating vehicles get higher gas mileage, which will make cars lighter and less crashworthy.
*Prioritizes maintaining transportation infrastructure, but instead focuses on new investment.
*Desires economic competitiveness, but provides no way to measure it, such as profitability or cost-benefit analysis.
*Makes “livable communities” a high priority, but doesn’t discuss transferring power from the federal bureaucracy to the local level.
*Makes “environmental sustainability” a priority using expensive high-speed rail corridors.
Roth instead calls for Congress to end the federal fuel tax and urges that highway financing be transferred to the states. States would then have the incentive to improve the highways through innovation. “Successful innovations, such as contracting out some or all of their operations to private firms, would be copied in other states,” writes Roth.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is seeking comments on its draft strategic plan for the years between 2010 to 2015. The website allows you to view the plan, to submit your own comments and to read the public comments of others. Comments are due by July 15. For more information, go to: https://dotstrategicplan.ideascale.com/