(Washington, D.C.) – As Congress begins work on a new transportation bill, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today launched a social media campaign to generate public opinion about what priorities should be included. Travelers, truckers, commuters, cyclists – anyone who uses the nation's transportation network – are invited to share their transportation comments and concerns using AASHTO's Facebook and YouTube pages.
"What better time than now during the first month of the new Congress to tell members what Americans need and want when it comes to transportation," said John Horsley, AASHTO executive director. "We expect Congress to draft new legislation this year that will set transportation policy and funding levels for years to come. It is AASHTO's goal to help Congress understand the priorities of the American people."
Horsley was joined on January 19th by leaders of the Associated General Contractors of America and the American Public Transportation Association at Union Station to launch the effort. The campaign is designed to give America's transportation users a voice in the debate about how to fund and shape the nation's federal highway and transit programs.
During the six-week campaign, people can use AASHTO's Facebook page to post YouTube videos and written comments about their transportation priorities, ideas, and personal stories. Already a number of people have weighed-in on their concerns, from traffic congestion and safety, to high-speed rail and job creation through greater investment in transportation projects.
To view or post your comment, go to http://www.transportation.org/IToldCongress.
"We want to encourage everyone to join us," Horsley said. "Our goal is to build support for greater investment in all transportation modes. When you consider that in just a few decades, 400 million people will be living in the U.S. and using our transportation systems, there's no time to waste."
AASHTO's view is that the next transportation bill must take a balanced approach that will:
* Invest in both highways and transit;
* Address the needs of metropolitan, suburban, AND rural areas;
* Meet preservation and modernization needs while allowing states to expand capacity where needed to meet population, freight, and economic growth.
AASHTO will continue the campaign through February and will compile the videos and comments to present to key federal officials in March, prior to the expiration of the latest extension of the highway and transit legislation.