A recent survey in Washington state found that voters preferred (77 percent to 17 percent) high-speed variable tolling to gas tax increases, which if implemented would be one way to combat burgeoning highway congestion, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters testified before a congressional committee February 6.
"In the last 25 years, highway funding has increased 100 percent, yet congestion over the same period has increased 300 percent," she testified before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. "This systemic failure is impacting our families, our businesses, and our environment.
She recommended rewarding state and local leaders who are willing to pursue fundamentally different strategies to financing and managing their transportation systems. "The federal government should be a partner, not an obstacle," she said.
In addition, she said the federal government’s investment strategy should be completely re-written to emphasize the interstate system and other significant priorities, including escalating urban congestion.