Freight mobility should be the focus for federal surface transportation programs, according to Randall J Clifford, speaking on behalf of the American Trucking Associations February 20 in Los Angeles CA.
Clifford, Ventura Transfer Co chairman, made the comment during a congressional field hearing to address freight challenges in Southern California.
"Addressing bottlenecks along major freight corridors is critical to the success of our nation’s supply chain," Clifford said. "It’s our belief the federal government must provide the leadership and resources necessary to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of goods on the nation’s highway system."
Clifford outlined the creation of a new Freight Corridors Initiative (FCI) as a part of the new surface transportation bill. Potentially funded by an increase in the federal diesel fuel tax, the FCI would focus resources on congestion reduction projects on nationally significant highway freight corridors.
"Seven of the worst 35 highway bottlenecks are located in Southern California," said Clifford. "The time to act is now. Together these seven bottlenecks caused trucks more than 6.8 million hours of delay in 2006, at a cost of $571 million."
According to ATA, a study recently prepared for the Federal Highway Administration estimated that the nation’s worst 326 bottlenecks caused the trucking industry 226 million hours of delay in 2006. Using newly available operational cost data, it can be determined that the direct financial cost to the industry and its customers from these delays is approximately $19 billion per year.
In addition, Clifford urged Congress to continue the SAFETEA-LU truck-parking pilot program to meet growing demand for accessible, safe places for trucks to park, and to ensure that trucks with 53-foot trailers have access to Interstate highways.