House panel punts on highway funding measures

highway roadThe Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation unveiled this week a 100-page report detailing freight transportation’s role in the U.S. and in the economy.

All good, right? 

Not so much, writes Overdrive senior editor Kevin Jones on OD sister site CCJ, who says the problem is that the report does nothing to address fixing the shortfalls in funding U.S. highways that are paramount to the actual transportation of the freight. 

The panel in a Tuesday conference did much in the way of bi-partisan back slapping, Jones says, and it did unanimously decide the federal government should spend more on highway funding — It just neglected to mention any specifics as to where the funding should come from. 

One member of the panel, Rep. John J. Duncan (R-Tenn.) said the source of additional highway funding is “a sticking point.” 

Click here to see Jones’ full write-up, but as far as trucking is concerned, the panel made these recommendations in its report: 

  • Make sure states have the resources to maintain and improve freight movement, namely by working to find sustainable revenue in the face of looming funding shortfalls
  • Encourage Secretary Anthony Foxx to finish the ongoing truck size and weight study 
  • Direct Foxx to determine whether the definition of the primary highway freight network is sufficient 
  • Encourage state and local governments — along with the private sector — to devote resources for commercial driver training 
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