The Fed Finally is Facing Up to Congestion

Norman Y. Mineta, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, has announced a national initiative to ease congestion in freight, aviation and on the highways. "Congestion kills time, wastes fuel and costs money,” Mineta observed in remarks to the National Retail Federation.

Mineta referred to statistics that say America loses $200 billion a year due to freight bottlenecks and delayed deliveries and that consumers, generally, lose 3.7 billion hours and 2.3 gallons of fuel sitting in traffic jams, while airline delays waste some $9.4 billion a year.

The Secretary offered a 16-page plan, the National Strategy to Reduce Congestion on America’s Transportation Network (download it at, which offers some propositions that have already begun to stir up controversy.

The DOT will be willing to offer aid and encouragement to communities willing to join in Urban Partnership Agreements to demonstrate new congestion relief strategies. The initiative also seeks wider deployment of operational technologies and practices to end traffic snarls, while designating new interstate “Corridors of the Future", and targeting port and border congestion and expanding aviation capacity.

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