November 25, 2008

Transportation on the Mind? Tell Obama and Congress

Mike Wussow


The group representing America's transportation and highway officials wants you to tell President-elect Obama and the next Congress what you think should be done about transportation. AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) today launched a campaign -- to run through inauguration day -- to make sure citizens' voices are shared with the 111th Congress and the 44th president. The Web site,, lets you send comments or video.

AASHTO represents state departments of transportation. According to its release announcing the online campaign, "State departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country will be encouraging citizens to post videos about what's happening in their communities."

Click below to read the extended post and to view AASHTO's press release.

This is an interesting effort by AASHTO. There are 13 video messages on the site so far, and they cover the landscape of concerns -- commuting, safety and infrastructure. Transportation (and all its iterations) is one of those kitchen table issues that, while vital to all of our lives, sometimes stays hidden behind a veil of obscure rules, regulations and terminology. It'll be instructive to see how AASHTO's 2.0 effort, err bridges, the policy and populace and to see how much activity the site gets. I'll certainly be following it.

A new transportation bill will be on the docket for the 111th Congress. And the campaign begins nearly a full year ahead of the sunset of federally funded "highway and transit programs (set to) expire on September 30, 2009," according to AASHTO.


AASHTO Press Release
Sunny Mays Schust
(202) 624-5800
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

President-elect Obama to Hear from Holiday Travelers about Transportation Concerns

What better time than Thanksgiving, the busiest travel season of the year, to focus on transportation? The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is today launching a new campaign that will give travelers an opportunity to share their views on What the New President and Congress Should Know About Transportation. Beginning today and continuing through the Inauguration, the traveling public is urged to go to and post comments and videos about their transportation concerns.

At a press availability held today outside Washington, DC's busy Union Station, AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley said, "It's important that the American people have a voice in creating the kind of transportation system this nation needs. Our goal is to make certain that we find transportation solutions that work with and for communities and support jobs right here at home."

State departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country will be encouraging citizens to post videos about what's happening in their communities. AASHTO will also be posting comments from "person-on-the-street" interviews we will be conducting over the next several months.

You can already watch videos from drivers, transit users, and transportation experts voicing their concerns about traffic congestion, safety, air pollution, state budget cutting, and project delays due to funding shortfalls. A major challenge facing the new Administration and Congress will be to pass a new transportation bill before the current federally funded highway and transit programs expire on September 30, 2009.

AASHTO will continue the campaign through the Inauguration and will share the public's concerns with members of Congress and the White House early next year.

To post a video or a written comment, go to and add your voice to the discussion.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is the "Voice of Transportation" representing State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation.

12:07 PM |
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