News Release

Statement: Until Ways & Means Solves Transportation Funding, Stop Building New Highways

For Immediate Release

Statement by Sara E. Smith, at the Texas Public Interest Research Group, on tomorrow’s scheduled U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Long-Term Financing of the Highway Trust Fund.

“Chairman Ryan should stop building new highway lanes until the long-term transportation funding problem is solved.

“If the Ways and Means Committee can’t repair long-term funding for the Highway Trust Fund, then it’s time to press the pause button on federal funding for highway expansion. Use the money instead to fix our roads and bridges, and to enable Americans to better travel on public transit, bikeways and walkways. Do it without short-term budget gimmicks.

“Chairman Ryan should follow his fellow Midwest Republican leader, Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, who showed fiscal leadership by suspending new highway construction projects in the face of pending budget shortfalls.

“Illinois can face the tough financial truth. Will Chairman Ryan show the same fiscal leadership? American taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for questionable highway expansions that often turn out not to be needed in the first place.”

In Texas, the Dallas Trinity Parkway Boondoggle Project has come under further scrutiny. The Trinity Parkway Project is based on the presumptive forecasts of rapid growth in traffic in the project area in the decades to come, despite traffic decline between 2007 and 2012 at eight of 12 specific locations affected by the route where officials forecast traffic to increase by 2035.

You can read TexPIRG’s report Who Pays For Roads? How the ‘User Pays’ Myth Gets in the Way of Solutions to America’s Transportation Problems

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