77th Annual Meeting

INVESTING IN THE ENGINES OF AMERICA'S GROWTH THROUGH A METROPOLITAN MOBILITY PROGRAM

WHEREAS, cities and their metropolitan areas are the drivers of the American economy; and

WHEREAS, they represent 84 percent of the population, generate 85.9 percent of employment, 90.1 percent of wage income, and 89 percent of production of products and services they represent 84 percent of the population, generate 85.9 percent of employment, 90.1 percent of wage income, and 89 percent of production of products and services; and

WHEREAS, they also represent 90 percent of traffic congestion, transit ridership, and population exposure to auto-related air pollution, 95 percent of the nation's trade, 96 percent of rail passengers, and 75 percent of seaport tonnage; and

WHEREAS, over the next 50 years the U.S. population is expected to rise by over 60 percent, the economy is expected to be four times as large, and with surface transportation demands increasing by two-and-a-half times; and

WHEREAS, unlike federal transit resources which largely flow to local, regional and state agencies providing transit services, existing law continues to vest states with broad authority to decide how other federal transportation funds are invested within the state, with either few or no federal standards to distribute funds equitably among local areas or regions within the state, or target resources to specific national goals such as less energy consumption, increase mode sharing from solo driving, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, many states have either reduced or restrained the relative share of federal transportation funds allocated to city and metropolitan area transportation priorities; and

WHEREAS, current law enables these practices because mayors and other local leaders have limited authority over project selection and funding allocations, controlling less than ten cents of every federal transportation dollar, even though they own and operate most of our nation's transportation assets and facilities, including ownership of more than 62 percent of all highways on the Federal-Aid Highway System in urbanized areas of the nation; and

WHEREAS, the Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission states, "The efficient movement of citizens and goods within these areas is critical to their productivity, and by extension, to the economic productivity of the nation itself,",

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon the President and Congress to develop new-targeted metropolitan investment policies to ensure increased federal funding commitments to transportation infrastructure in cities and their metropolitan areas through the creation of a Metropolitan Mobility Program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that under this program, cities and their metropolitan areas should reconstitute themselves as a new federally defined "Metropolitan Mobility Authority (MMA); and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that under the MMA, new and existing federal surface transportation funds should be allocated (i.e. suballocated and subject to local project selection) within states calibrated to the economic output of metropolitan areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in addition to federal surface transportation funds under existing program categories, cities and metropolitan areas should be eligible to receive new federal funds aimed at congestion relief, lowering greenhouse gas emissions, promoting energy conservation and efficiency and reducing air pollution; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that mayors, as Members of their Metropolitan Mobility Authority (MMA), should be responsible for and required to make funding allocations and project selection of any expenditure of federal surface transportation resource within their metropolitan area; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that project selection should be performance based, specifically those that advance national goals (e.g., less energy consumption, shift mode share away from solo driving, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions), and also include measurements and reporting on improvements to reduce travel time, congestion relief, passenger and freight movements within, into, and out of metropolitan areas; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that project selection should coordinate transportation land use using transit-oriented development with the measurement of increasing affordable housing investments near transit and employment opportunities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that project selection should include measurements based on population density or compactness of cities within a metropolitan area and the MMA should use those performance standards and national goals to develop mobility plans to accommodate new economic and population growth; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the federal-funding share of metro mobility projects should be no less than 80 percent of the project cost; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that through the Metropolitan Mobility Program, mayors have forged a proposal that ensures that our nation's traffic congested areas actually receive funding, and can budget for transportation investments that compliment housing and employment centers.