Opposition Grows to Privatization of the Countrys Highways

The coalition, Americans for a Strong National Highway Network, included the AAA, the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the American Highway Users Alliance, the American Motorcyclist Association, Natso, the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) and the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association.

According to the ATA, the coalition is “designed to advance the rights of American motorists to travel on safe, reliable public roads; maintain a robust national highway network for the efficient transport of goods and the military; and to hold government accountable for ensuring financing is transparent, motivated by public good, and dedicated to transportation purposes.”

Even before joining the coalition, the OOIDA was strong in its opposition to auctioning off part of the Interstate system and most recently the 75-year lease of the Indiana Toll Road. In its announcement of the coalition, the OOIDA cited remarks by its executive vice president, Todd Spencer, who feels that the leases will not eliminate existing infrastructure problems. “Rest assured the companies lining up to buy our roads aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts,” he says. “They see long-term cash flows and guaranteed, healthy profits at the public’s expense.”

Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO is in agreement with Spencer. "The sale or lease of existing toll facilities generates revenue at great expense to taxpayers and the trucking industry and carries potential negative impacts on highway safety, security and the motoring public," he says. "We must consider the long-term impact privatization will have on our nation's transportation system and explore all available financing options to ensure that the government is motivated by public good and transportation purposes."

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