Frank Moretti is the director of policy and research for TRIP – a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that prepares reports on a variety of transportation issues, including traffic congestion, traffic safety, road and bridge conditions, transportation planning and air quality.
Mr. Moretti has been with TRIP since 1992, where he researches, writes and edits numerous state and national reports and is often cited by local and national media in numerous transportation stories.
In 2007 Mr. Moretti served on the Blue Ribbon Panel of Transportation Experts, which was selected by the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission to inform their deliberations over the future of the nation’s surface transportation policy. The Commission was appointed by Congress in 2005 to review the nation’s surface transportation needs and funding options and propose new long-term surface transportation policy for the U.S.
Mr. Moretti also served from 1998 to 2002 as the executive director of the Alliance for Clean Air and Transportation, a coalition of transportation and environmental groups formed by the US EPA and US DOT to help promote actions that could result in cleaner air and reduced traffic congestion.
In 2005, Mr. Moretti served as chairman of Road Gang, which is an informal group of business, government and association professionals from the highway transportation industry in the Washington, DC area.
Mr. Moretti continues to participate in numerous transportation forums and panels hosted by organizations including the Transportation Research Board, the ENO Foundation and the Federal Highway Administration.
America’s Increasing Reliance on the Rural Economy
The nation is increasingly reliant on its rural economy…and as that dynamic is changing we wanted to take a look at the nation’s transportation system and see if we have in place a rural transportation system that can support not only the rural economy, but the nation’s economy moving forward. What [the Rural Connections report] points out is really that the nature of our economy is changing, and as we see a significant increase in agricultural production and particularly in energy production…these are putting a tremendous new stress on our rural transportation system.
Why We Need Better Rural Roads: Traffic Fatalities and Durability
Approximately half of the nation’s fatalities are occurring on rural roads even though they carry significantly less in terms of the share of overall travel…we’re seeing conditions on pavement and also on bridges deteriorate in rural areas, and to a large extent this is a function of…a significant increase in truck travel on these rural roads due to increased agricultural and also energy extraction. While this is absolutely critical to the economy and the increase in trucking reflects that, these roads were never built to sustain that type of traffic load and volumes…
Congress Needs to Approve Long-Term Funding
A significant challenge being faced in the rural transportation system starts with federal funding for surface transportation…Congress right now is deliberating a short-term extension just to keep the program going but really what’s needed is a long-term federal program with adequate funding to start to address some of these challenges so that states and local governments can start with a basis of a strong federal program that they can rely on.
Our Responsibility to Increase Public Support for Transportation Investment
There does seem to be a disconnect between the public’s desire to have a well-maintained transportation system, a reliable transportation system…that is really the challenge of the transportation community: to build that public support for keeping the system in good condition, keeping it reliable and keeping it safe, so that can then translate to the political will to put in place at the local, state and federal level the resources that are necessary for making those improvements.