As president of the Louisiana Good Roads and Transportation Association and an attendee of the July 21 Connect Policy Forum, I read with interest and concern your editorial titled “Political will for transit?” in the Aug. 13 edition of The Advocate.
Your view seems to be that there is too much funding for highways and that these funds, which are collected from highway users (gas tax) should be diverted to “other more promising alternatives.”
LGRTA’s position is that adequate funding for all modes of transportation is the proper public policy. It is not helpful to the development of an intermodal, quality state transportation system to promote the concept of diverting funds from one underfunded mode to another. Political leadership is needed to help taxpayers understand that adequate investment in all modes of transportation is necessary.
Highways provide the basic component of the system, since they provide for the movement of individual vehicles, freight and transit vehicles. A good local transit system provides for lifestyle choices and for those who cannot or choose not to drive. Regional rail systems are also a mode to be considered, where feasible.
With a backlog of $12.5 billion in needed work on the existing state highway system, a local transit system with a funding crisis in Baton Rouge and critical connector needs to our water ports and airports, we need a spirit of cooperation statewide to promote adequate funding (local, state, federal and private sector) for all transportation modes.
Ken Perret, president
La. Good Roads and Transportation Association