Critical Issues in Transportation: 2009 Update
TRB’s Executive Committee periodically identifies a set of critical issues in transportation to focus attention on their likely impact on the nation’s economy and quality of life. The discussion of the critical issues identified in this document is intended to facilitate debate and to encourage research leading to their resolution.
Previous editions of Critical Issues in Transportation have highlighted many of the issues that threaten the performance of the nation’s transportation system. In recent years, the Executive Committee has added the need to respond to terrorism and natural disasters, highlighting how transportation has become ever more linked to broader issues in society and in the economy.
The 2009 Critical Issues update elevates the importance of energy and environmental issues to reflect the prominence that these topics have gained in national debates about energy security and climate change. Greater emphasis also is given to the issues of the condition and financing of infrastructure, to help policy makers prepare for the reauthorization of federal surface transportation programs that expire in 2009.
The urgency of addressing the critical issues has never been greater. The Executive Committee hopes that readers of this list will become aware of and concerned about these issues, and will join in addressing the problems in transportation so that society and the economy can reap the many benefits.
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