A question from Shelly Fitzgibbons of Weatherford, TX:
Almost all of the coverage and debate focused on money issues... What policy questions do you think were most important in the debate to you? What policies did you want to see changed?
Rep. Johnson responds:
Transportation is truly one issue where it's difficult to separate the
money from the policy. I believe that we are under-funding our nation's
infrastructure, and that has serious policy implications on our ability
to create a safer, more efficient transportation system.
There are economic effects to every dollar invested or not invested in
our infrastructure. Do you know that in every product you buy that you
are paying for the cost of bringing that product to the market? What
could you be doing with your time while you are sitting in your car in
heavy traffic? What can a nation of people be doing with their time? I
will not even attempt to put a price on the 42,000 people every year
that lose their lives in highway accidents.
As I mentioned earlier, my policy goals are safety, efficiency in moving
people and products, and environmental responsibility. We have the
expertise and the planning to make continued progress on these goals, we
are simply not investing enough resources to make it happen.
Rep. Granger responds:
Thanks for the question. Although money is a central focus of federal and
highway transit law, its policies are just as important. As a former
mayor, I found the structure of the current highway and transit (ISTEA) law
to be one of the more useful and efficient federal laws for local
communities. I believe it is very important to retain the policies of the
current program that work well, such as municipal planning provisions.
Nobody knows the needs of a community or region better than those who live
and work there. In my opinion, retaining and strengthening the role of
local planning is one of the most important policy issues in the current
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