By Parkhurst, David
Nation's Cities Weekly , Vol. 27, No. 34
Buried within the hundreds of pages that comprise the stalled highway reauthorization bill is a proposed provision that, if passed into law, would preempt state and local authority to manage its public highway rights-of-way.
Preserving local control over public rights-of-way is a fundamental policy and advocacy principle for NLC. NLC and other national organizations representing local interests are working to defeat this onerous provision.
The proposed provision would amend a TEA-21 pilot program (Section 5117) for intelligent transportation infrastructure. Under the program, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) contracted with a private provider of intelligent vehicle highway systems (IVHS) for measurement technology to aid in federal transportation planning. The initial deployment areas were Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The program provided for DOT to extend the contract and make the IVHS measurement technology available for deployment to more than 40 eligible metropolitan areas.
The stalled highway bill would extend the program and expand its eligibility to the following metropolitan areas: Albany, N.Y.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas: Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Burlington, Vt.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cleveland; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Denver; Detroit; Greensboro, N. …