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Directions in Highway Safety, Spring 2007 Cover Page Download Newsletter pdf
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Summer 2007 | Vol. 10 | No. 2

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AASHTO Presents Transportation Vision for the 21st Century


The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently published "A New Vision for the 21st Century," the fifth in a series of seven reports prepared for the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission. AASHTO partnered with seven other organizations to create the vision report. An additional 17 groups, including GHSA, jointly submitted the report to the National Commission.

The report contains a chapter specific to safety, recommending the adoption of a national goal to reduce total annual highway fatalities by 50 percent by the year 2030, toward the ultimate goal of zero deaths.

The primary objectives outlined are reducing congestion, keeping America globally competitive and meeting the mobility needs of 21st century. The report covers key strategies for achieving the vision, including a multi-modal approach that preserves what has been built to date, improves system performance and adds capacity in highways, transit, rail, airports and seaports.

In terms of capacity, the report estimates that, even after cutting growth in vehicle miles traveled by shifting as many trips as possible to transit and rail, Interstate lane miles will still need to be increased by 80 percent by 2055. Additional improvements are needed in connections to global markets and regional passenger rail service, two areas where the United States lags behind other nations.

All the changes recommended will require a quantum increase in transportation funding, enhanced use of advanced technologies, reduction in government regulations and more collaboration among jurisdictions.

As a next step, AASHTO is planning a major public education outreach campaign to inform the general population about the transportation needs America faces and the actions needed to meet these needs.

For more information or to download a copy of this or the other AASHTO reports, visit