tv Secretary Foxx on on Transportation and Technology CSPAN January 17, 2015 4:22pm-5:38pm EST
>> thank you all for your testimony. and in particular, lieutenant peralta, thank you for your very thoughtful suggestions and solutions. i have a two part question. the first part i think is pretty basic because like attorney rice, i think i might be misunderstanding something and i'm looking for some charity. -- clarity. so the first three of you, your testimony seemed to suggest that the burden of responsibility is equal on parts of the police and the community. in my community, i think the community would disagree given that police officers swear an oath, are licensed to carry a gun, et cetera. i want to know if you agree that the burden of responsibility is heavier on law enforcement. >> i think there's a perception that it is, but it shouldn't be. we all have the same responsibility towards society. i don't think that police officers should be held to any kind of a higher standard. but we should take the lead. we should work with the communities to help build that trust. i mean, we are not -- none of us have sat up here and said that we think that there's not a
trust issue. we all know there is. but it's both ways. and until we get into communities and work together and talk about it -- i mean, one of the worst things in a police department is you never, ever -- you can be accused of a lot of things, but you don't want to ever be accused of arresting somebody for -- because of their race. which is an accusation that's made a lot. so i don't know a police officer out there that wants to arrest somebody because of color, because it's just not what we do. it's just like the chief said we get the call and we respond. i think there's a disproportionate number of people of color in prison. i think the whole core issue goes back again to poverty. i hate to say it, but those who have, have good lawyers and those who don't, don't. i think that's a problem. i think the disparity in sentencing is a problem in this country. and it's something that needs to
be adjusted. but that's not a law enforcement issue. we don't make recommendations on sentencing. most of the time we have no say on any of that in law enforcement. so i don't think we have any more responsibility than anybody else. >> sure. so let me quickly ask my second question. i don't honestly think that you and i would agree on that point because i'm the child of a pastor, and to whom much is given, much is required so because law enforcement is operating with higher authority there's a higher level of responsibility. but you did say something that we have common ground on and that is that law enforcement should take the lead. so my question like tracy, i'm wondering what are some specific suggestions from many of you honestly around not just programmatic, one on one solutions, but systemic solutions. >> i will take a stab at that one. having been a long time trainer in the academies, both as a
sergeant and now as a lieutenant, one of the things that we like to look at is when budgets are cut what is left behind. the mandatory training is going to be around high liability infrequent stuff. when your training is all around shooting and the physical part and less on the verbal part, it can create an imbalance. but we cannot ignore that training. a lot of it is mandatory. we have a 40 hour mandatory, but without support, without funds i can't get to anything else. i have to cover the high liability things first. i think we can start with the academies. recognize the imbalances -- some of the stuff on discretion, interpersonal communications, you may not get until later. i was pointing out that highest point, that ignition point is
with that new officer out on the street having that confrontation and how he applies that discretion. he's going to grab what he knows. and if he hasn't been trained in that yet, he's going to go right to something he does know, handcuffing, defensive tactics or maybe shooting. so we believe that those communication skills -- we need to swing that pendulum back, we need to balance that back as much as there's training in the physical. there needs to be training in that verbal communication arena as well to help change mindsets. >> we will have to condense the remaining questions. about one minute to two minutes each. quickly. >> yeah. so one of the things that i think we've heard over the course of today -- and first of all, thank you all for testifying, and we appreciate
what you and your members do for us every day -- is that there are a lot of people in the community who don't understand what the police do, how they do it and why they do it the way they do. and so, my question for you and to any of you is if you could identify one department, one jurisdiction, one program that you're aware of that does it right, that makes that explanation to the public in the right way. >> i will say las vegas. my sheriff is very proactive. sheriff dixon reached out. we saw that. we saw shootings happening and we weren't quite sure what to do about it, so reaching out to resources like the doj, i think, are vital to come in and help reset the scale to zero, so to speak, and get you back going on that right road. we have done very well with it. i think, also, it's also habit in our commands if there's a shooting. our command staff comes out.
the captain comes out and walks the neighborhood. knocks on other doors and asks the neighbors that were there while that shooting went on if they are ok. do they need anything? those kind of grassroot things that we do. we set up hoping that we're -- we thought we were going to see riots in vegas and it just didn't happen. i think that that's because of the community involvement that that department has. >> does anybody else want to weigh in on the panel? >> i will once again say the iacp. we jumped on and put the summit together. we didn't ask for any funding. we did it ourselves because we knew it was an important topic and we needed to get the information out to our 23,000 members so they can start building the trust and alliances so we took the lead on it. >> is there a curriculum in the materials, chief? >> this is the initial draft and then we plan on a follow-up. we turned this document around pretty quickly.
i have to say probably a lot quicker than a federal publication. we did it pretty quick. >> we're familiar in being on timelines and having to turn things around quickly. >> we will have to wrap up quickly. >> thank you all for being here. i just have a question. post 9/11, it seems that a lot of the federal funding that we were receiving shifted from community oriented policing funding to a homeland security more of a defense type investigative funding to stop terrorism. a lot of those events are found at the local level. but do you feel that transitioning back to that pre-9/11 philosophy of getting out of the cars and talking would be a good tactic to employ? >> i move approval.
[laughter] >> i don't know if i necessarily agree that. i don't think we can ever go back to pre-9/11. over 90% of law enforcement is done by state and locals. so i think the preventive training we've seened in how to identify potential threats is important on the task forces and those things. but yes, we've been pushing the justice department for more grant money and cop money. we were huge supporters of the 1994 crime bill that president clinton pushed forward with the 100,000 police officers in the street. we supported it more than anybody else that i know and we continue to support that. part of our biggest problem now, our staffing levels. it's hard to go back to community policing when, for instance, in baltimore, you are down 2000, in new york city, you are down 6000 from their high period.
>> so reevaluating that balance again. >> well, thank you all. this has been a terrific panel. thank each of you. i know you have very busy schedules. [applause] despite the fact that we've run over, we will be reassembling right at 1:30. >> the task force will be breaking for lunch right now but deliberations about testimony or recommendations to the president will be suspended until we reconvene. i will see you back at 1:30. [captioning performed by national captioning institute [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> the task forces another meeting on wednesday, expected to report to the president by march 2. you can find more of this meeting online in our website, c-span.org. policing was an issue that the city club of cleveland recently
looked at during a youth forum with students, activists, and law enforcement officials. the event was a broader discussion on racism in america and its impact on communities. >> i do not think that black people or brown people have the power to be racist, in a sense. what i mean by that is, if you slap me and i am upset that you slapped me, and i slap you back -- i am not encouraging anybody to slap anybody. but i am reacting to what you have done to me. that is exactly what is going on here. so we don't have the power. you see what shakira has been talking about, talking about institutionalized racism. you are talking about the power to create and enact laws. you are talking about the power to stop a person from doing something, or allowing them to do it. there is discrimination across the entire globe, you know? look at what is happening in
nigeria right now, in this moment. look at what is happening in places in europe and parts of asia, and so on. there are all type of people. what we see across the globe is that there is hatred that exists so-hatred and hatred for other people. and it is not just going on in america. we talk about racism like it is just starting with civil rights, but it started with the native americans. i mean, you cannot forget about all the people who have been impacted by the idea that i am better than you. that is what it really boils down to. i am better than you and you don't deserve to be in the same space. you are beneath me. it does not happen with just rice. it happens with men and women. it happens with religion, all types of cultures. you can go places in africa and pakistan where there are tribal issues. my tribe is better than your tribe. must look at it from a global perspective, we will be
successful. >> you can see more of the youth forum on racism monday on c-span. >> the deadline for the c-span student cam video competition is tuesday, so produce a 5-7 minute documentary on the theme "the three branches and you," for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. for a list of the rules, go to our website. >> transportation secretary anthony foxx recently addressed the transportation research board at its annual meeting in washington. he talked about the long-term goals for his department and the country class infrastructure needs. this is just over an hour. >> welcome. i am bob skinner, the executive director of the transportation
research board, and i have the pleasure today to do some of the introductions. i will get started with that in just a second, but let me give you a heads up regarding the format. our featured speaker, no surprise who that is, will come to the podium and a moment and deliver a modestly long -- some remarks, and then when he has concluded i will introduce our interviewer/moderator and then there will be a q&a session after that. so, it is my really great pleasure to introduce as they say the featured speaker, u.s. secretary of transportation anthony foxx. anthony foxx became the secretary of transportation july 2, 2013. he now heads an agency with
55,000 employees and annual billion. in previously as i -- 55,000 employees and annual budget of $70 billion. previously as i think many of you know secretary foxx served as the mayor of charlotte south -- charlotte, south carolina. and before that he served two terms on the charlotte city council, where he chaired its transportation committee. during his time in charlotte he made efficient and innovative transportation investments, the centerpiece of charlotte's job creation and economic recovery efforts. these investments included extending charlotte's light rail system and making other transit improvements, expanding the charlotte douglas international airport, adding new roads, bridges, as well as constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities. working with north carolina
governor beverly perdue he accelerated the i-4 outer belt projects, using a creative design, build, finance approach, which is the first major project of that sort in north carolina. secretary foxx is an attorney with experience in private practice, at the u.s. department of justice, and counsel to the house committee on the judiciary and maybe when he finishes his term as secretary he will want to get active on some trb legal affairs committees. please welcome secretary anthony foxx. [applause] >> thank you very much. [applause] thank you very much. good afternoon. let me begin my remarks by thanking bob skinner. we should all really thiank bob
skinner, not only for that gracious introduction, but for 30 years here at the trb. no one has captured our best thoughts and helped us to relay important information to transportation stakeholders around the country over three decades like bob skinner, and we all owe him a great debt of gratitude. let's give a hand to bob skinner. [applause] so i was thinking today about how i might describe where we are when it relates to infrastructure and transportation, and how we are doing as a country in meeting our challenges. i thought about telling you a
story, someplace i have been around the country in the last 18 months. i thought about describing some of the conversations that have happened and are happening on capitol hill right now, when it comes to how we not only fund but how we set policy in transportation. but, as it turns out, the very best way i can think of to describe where we are is by way of film, so i'm going to show you a clip of one of my favorite movies, and then will spend a little time talking about it. folks, run the tape. ♪ ♪
>> do you get the picture? let's just be honest. we have been moving from crisis to crisis, and luckily in the case of indiana jones, you had steven spielberg and joseph -- george lucas writing the script. but in the case of america all of us in this room, folks on capitol hill, and people in every city, state in the country are writing the script when it comes to our nation's infrastructure.
the question is, how will that script be written in the future? i have been in this role for 18 months and over the course of that 18 months we have had sequestration budgets that have constrained us, a shutdown that has stopped us, and the highway cliff part one that threatened to really stop work in states all across america. even as we sit here today, we know that in just a few short months, may 31 to be exact, we may be facing part two of the highway cliff problem. in a real sense, these are skirmishes in the larger battle if you will for america's
infrastructure future, and it is in that context that over the last several months i have asked my team at the united states department of transportation to engage in looking over a much longer horizon at trends in transportation, to determine what kinds of policy choices await us. and we can understand those policy choices today, to begin thinking about how they inform what we do today. transportation is not just a question of how you pay for it.
it's really, in real terms -- and you all know this -- it's about how we get from one place to another, how we want to get from one place to another, how we want commodities to move, how we want the economy to be lifted up, how we want quality of life in every corner of america to be as strong as possible. and yet, you know, i think about the old song that the french -- prince used to sing, " 1999. -- to sing, "party like it's 1999." we have been planning like it's 1975. in a real sense of our transportation system hasn't caught up to the 21st century and it is in that context that we are now working to help shape
what we know about this young century, and to shape the policy choices that this young century will present to us. and that is why the u.s. department of transportation has launched this 30-year vision ing effort to look at these trends, to distill them, try to understand them, and to try to explain them to all transportation stakeholders. we call it "beyond traffic." and the idea here is to look across all modes of transportation to understand what forces are impacting transportation. we all know about the funding fights, the need for faa and
surface reauthorization, about what the next six years might bring. we know that populations are shifting and growing now, and that over the next 30 years we will have 70 million more people here in the united states. we know that new technologies are changing the game. in fact, five years ago, if you had uttered the word uber, some people would have thought you were saying "over" in german and now that word in the company associated with it is worth $40 billion. so, america knows the basic narrative. infrastructure has carried us literally into this century.
it's how we measure our quality of life in many respects. the infrastructure is falling apart. there is new capacity that is needed. but in too many cases, we think of our infrastructure in pieces and not as a whole. part of this work has been trying to consolidate, if you will, what is happening across the system, and to talk about our transportation system as a system of systems that it is. we are tracking the individual trends, trends like the sharing economy, and ridesharing, and the expected population growth in the south and the west.
but trying to help explain how these things interrelate isn't as easy. to our ears, and to eyes, and through our experiences, we haven't yet synthesized the pieces together like a puzzle and developed what transportation needs to be in the next generation. as yogi berra once said or to paraphrase him, if you don't know where we are going it is going to be hard to get there. and so the work of this long-range visioning effort is to try to help us know where we are going, so that when it comes down to these discussions on policy or funding or what have you, that we have a sense of
where the country is headed and can shape policy and funding and other issues accordingly. but one of the reasons why we haven't actually pulled all of this together in this young century perhaps as we should, i believe, is that we are in a bit of a time capsule. back in the 1970's, secretary coleman, and other secretaries since, have developed visions for what the transportation system should look like going forward. but today our vision isn't nearly as updated as it should be. i can speak about something, for example, like the environmental
protection process, which i'm as big a supporter of protecting the environment as anybody -- but the process to generate environmental approvals hasn't been updated in 40 years. when you look at funding -- the president said this many times and i have too -- we have 100,000 bridges that are old enough for medicare. many like the sprint's bridge in cincinnati which was built in 1963 and has been in need of replacement for over a decade still hasn't been updated. and in fact in 2011 the bridge was closed for several days for emergency repairs, and yet four years later we are no closer to finding the funding for it.
so i can transition into the conversations that we sometimes have with local officials and governors. there may be a bridge or a road that needs to be done, and there is a local story about why that project needs to happen. but in many cases we haven't completely figured out how that project or those projects fit into the larger picture of where we are going. what i am saying in essence is that i think there are enough disruptive forces in transportation right now where a reset is needed, where taking a very dispassionate look at not only how much we are investing
but how we are investing what we are investing, given the country we are walking into, not the country we were. and as always, infused with american optimism, knowing that we believe in our hearts and our souls that the future is and must be better than the past. how does that look when it comes to infrastructure? well, let me tell you what this report does and what it doesn't. what it will do is it will lay these trends out. it will delve into each of the modal administrations we manage and provide a snapshot of current conditions and future conditions as we know them today.
but what this effort will not do, and what no previous effort by the us d.o.t. has done, is we are not prescriptive. we are not running a tactical plan for the country. we are writing about these trends and claiming the choices that future policymakers and stakeholders of all types at every level are ultimately likely to face. and it is done in the hope that the present decision-makers will look at the front windshield and not the rearview mirror as we try to plan and project our future. and so, with that, we will continue working.
we expect to have this released in the coming weeks. i think it will be an opportunity for the country to see and hear and learn what we have seen and heard and learned. but let me also say this. when we put this report out, it will be a draft report. it will be a report that will be followed by a comment period. and our goal is to provide a jumping off point for more conversation among stakeholders and folks who have input they would like to share, with the goal that the final product will be enhanced by what we have learned from those who submit comments.
and so with that, i am going to stop, because i think ashley halsey is likely to poke and prod me into submission very shortly, and to put me on the witness stand and force me to answer questions that i never would have had to answer otherwise. but i'm looking forward to the conversation with him, and i look forward to the opportunity to share more of our findings in the coming weeks with you. in closing i do want to say that trb in all seriousness has played an incredible role in helping us with this work, with research and data that this organization has been working on that were utilized in the course
of developing our work. and i do want to thank all of you for that. i do look forward to the response we receive in a few weeks when we put out the report. thank you very much and i look forward to the conversation. [applause] >> let me introduce our moderator, who the secretary has already mention. ashley halsey, washingtonians know ashley as the "washington post" very excellent transportation infrastructure reporter. the transport community, at least within washington, know him as a reporter who is willing to have a meaningful dialogue beyond the five minute telephone call, on transportation policy issues. it turns out that he is a
self-deprecating sort of guy and i have been given an excerpt from his website to read which illustrates. ashley halsey reports on national and local transportation. although he has had a fairly extensive number of interesting experiences, collectively they have not transported him into a particularly interesting person. [laughter] he was for instance the first person to learn who the real sam was, for son of sam killer david berkowitz. he once drank moonshine with orville mccoy of the infamous hatfield and mccoy's deadly feud. he came within a hair of death after being hit by a speeding studebaker. that was a while ago, obviously. he was on a biplane that crashed landed on the runway of reagan national airport. he has met several presidents
and has not been able to offer any of them an original thought. [laughter] so ashley, take over. >> thank you. [applause] thank you. i should tell you our website people asked me to provide them with a humorous profile, so i sent them all that information confident that they would not use a bit of it, then they used it all. [laughter] i have not been able to ever deliver to a president an original thought. i know that this room is full of people who are full of original thought and will relish this opportunity to talk with the secretary. i would ask that as you deliver
your thoughts it would be useful to dialogue if you are able to punctuate them with a question mark at the end. also if you would identify yourself by name and your affiliation that will provide useful context to the secretary for evaluating everything you say and taking it to heart. as i have the microphone now before we turn it over to all of you there are a couple of questions that come to mind for me and one is a few years ago the university of virginia put out a very important report on the problems with infrastructure and subsequently there have been reports by the american society of civil engineers that echo and enhance some of what they said about the need and the funding demands. two years ago they got it again many of them are in the room today to discuss and strategize over the fact that while the report got some attention it didn't seem to be gaining
traction. as you have been traveling the country you have been a week meeting with a lot of state and local officials who are paid to take this seriously but what is your sense of the american people and what they are about and whether they are willing to step up and fund the demands of addressing infrastructure? >> it's a great question and let's face it, the american people are paying already for declining system, a system in which in some parts of the country said -- travel times are increasing, a system which over the long term will become increasingly constrained if we see the kind of deterioration that we are likely to see
without substantially more investment in our state of good repair and without the kind of investments in new capacity in fast-growing parts of the country that don't have that kind of capacity they need to embrace the growth that is coming. so the idea that it's either pay today or it's free going forward is not reality. in fact in the american civil engineer studies they have also gone state-by-state and applied costs to the poor condition of infrastructure and in some cases the cost to an individual user is greater than the cost of paying the current gas tax. and so it's interesting to think that this is one area where investing more could end up saving individual users money over the long term and that is essentially the formulation we
use when we talk about infrastructure deficit, the idea that we are actually spending money by not spending money. >> one of the things that people are concerned about infrastructure always take heart in is that when their referenda on the state and local level for transportation projects, the vast majority of them are approved. as you go forward and you are thinking about a game plan for the nation, the funding question comes yet again. it's one thing for individuals to say i want a local bridge rebuilt, i want a local water system rebuilt. that is meaningful to them. when you pose a plan as it sounds like you are about to
that is almost eisenhoweresque in nature, let's build an interlocking highway nationwide this sounds like a similar plan or approach that could lead to one. so how quickly do you think the public will get behind that? does that depend largely on how it's couched? >> so a couple of things. first and foremost one of the goals of this is to crystallize what is happening today and to then extrapolate out as best we can do what we think is going to happen over the next 30 years and i think for most travelers there will be pieces of this framework that get put out and they will say yeah that's exactly what's happening in my backyard.
i was taking a 20 minute trip 20 years ago that is now 30 minutes and in the future maybe it's going to be 40 minutes or 50 minutes but at some point you start to say is there a different way for me to take that trip and is someone thinking about a way to create another mode of transportation that allows me to make that trip in a faster time? as i have gone around the country i do think that people instinctively know something isn't right and if anything i think people are very motivated to see things change but there are pieces of the system that don't work as easily for them and they are also concerned that the solutions may not work. for instance you pick just about any part of the country and they can tell you about a project that they haven't gotten them for 20 or 30 years. the system is sometimes extremely slow and that is why i think part of what we have to do
from a policy standpoint is really look at project delivery and study and out trades into my speech which we have tried to keep hermetically sealed off from this effort. this effort has been about trying to crystallize as much information as we can from as many different corners as we can and i think that will become clear as we release it. but we don't get tactical here. this is a framework. this is that products that is trying to layout trends and outline future choices that we think policymakers are going to have to think about. but it is not a plan in the sense that you know we have got a map of words to be built or a map of rail to be built or a map of airports to improve or
something like that. that is not what the purpose of this is. the purpose is to lay bare for this country in clear terms where we are likely to go and what kinds of choices await. over 30-year period you are going to need leadership and obviously from administration to administration the secretary of transportation changes. where does the leadership come for a program like this? >> it's got to happen at every level and i could give you my personal takeaways from what i have learned over the course of doing this work but let me just outline a few things that i think will become clear. the national government has an important role to play in the life of our nation's infrastructure. we can play a role in filling gaps, smoothing and connecting and disconnecting places providing the underpinning for states and local communities to
fulfill the visions they have for themselves. but increasingly i think we have to begin asking ourselves the paper questions on policy. how can we move projects faster to completion without taking away the integrity of the project itself, without disrupting the environmental. we have got more manufacturing activity happening today than we have over the last few years but in order to deepen those investments and the jobs that go with them how do we create better connectivity across the system so that goods can get to the marketplace efficiently? we have a lot of technology that is coming at us faster than we are getting into the marketplace and that's also a challenge in the future so all these things play a role. i keep saying this because i mean it that i don't think the moment we have right now is just the funding moment, it's a
policy moment and i think leadership is needed right now and in the future i think it's going to be from future presidents to future congresses, to governors and local officials to citizens who when they are asked to support putting the kind of infrastructure and the communities that they need will stand up and say yes. >> we have a microphone out
there somewhere and if there are individuals who are interested in coming to the microphone or have a microphone come to them we will take some questions. >> thanks ashley. eric with american shipper magazine and i have two quick questions. so this visioning effort, it seems like it's still a collection of potential options or melodies of the future and i just wonder if we have been doing that for a long time? it still doesn't seem like a the nation is sending up with the national transportation strategy or a national freight strategy that will actually guide us. so when do we see the d.o.t. put that out and then second of all on the funding part of things the administration has talked a lot about not raising
the gas tax since they came into office partly because of the recession and talking about the middle-class economy is picking up. we had 4% plus gdp. gas prices are now hovering just above two dollars a gallon. is it now perfect time to consider a gas tax increase, a modest one along with congress? >> so i think the question is in order. first on the concept of a national freight strategy these reports that the department has done periodically have never been prescriptive and that's intentional. it's a little frustrating perhaps that we don't start answering the questions we present but i don't know how we
in the country began to think about our problems in a real distilled way without having those questions framed for us. i would add that the administration has put forward a surface transportation bill called the grow america act that provide their answers to some of these long-term questions. but the whole purpose of this exercise is to try to get folks more or less on the same page as to what's coming and what people than do with that is left to them. on your question about, and by the way on the freight area congress has asked map-21 to develop a national freight plan. that work is ongoing and i would expect that 2015 will see that plan put out into the public space.
but let me say that plan doesn't have any funds attached to it and i think congress was wise to ask when that could be done. but again we are going to find ourselves trying to figure out how to get from here to there even with a plan. on the question you asked about the gas tax, we have expressed an openness to what congress chooses to do here on the tayfour mechanism but they acted does propose to pay for and that is pro-growth business tax reform that could be implemented by congress and provide far more than the dollars we have been asking for for the grow america act which would be substantial increases, 22% increase in the highway account for highways and 70% increase for transit and a
lot of very important policy reforms that would tackle some of the issues i have talked about. >> and if congress proposes a gas tax increase with the administration embraced that? >> well congress has to do something and you know we have expressed an openness to ideas that emerged from congress and that is still where we are. >> do we have another question? i can't quite see. >> hi. louis marlin university of michigan. i just want to have a brief comment.
i researched automated vehicles and i follow vehicles in the news and one thing that kind of shocking and disappointed me was when i looked at the comments from readers of these newspapers how strong their distances. you are not going to take away my car and one of these vehicles that drives itself. i know it's me or you went through a lot of innovation and went to controversial ideas and i think transportation is going to change dramatically in 30 years but there's a tremendous amount of persistence to all of the kinds of changes from vehicle mile fees to new technologies to automated vehicles and i guess i want you to reflect on what we can do in the transportation community to get people more open to the fact that we need to move towards the future and towards change.
>> thanks for the question. first of all i think part of getting the wider american mindset comfortable with technology is really talking about it, talking about the future and away that gets people's imaginations captured. i'm amazed at how much technology is rapidly being deployed that carries just incredible safety benefits. it's one of the reasons why the department is working so hard on vehicle technologies which we think are ultimately leading to
a thomas vehicles but the idea that a car can predict an accident before it happens in a way that goes well beyond what we have operators can do is a tremendous advance i think the more people experience the upside of this technology the more you will start to see people gravitating towards it. the other thing is i think there are real issues that need to be dealt with very squarely when we talk about some of these new technologies. privacy, security, the more those issues start defined consistent settling place and in comfort level in the public consciousness i think some of it will subside. i think the features incredibly bright.
those of us who are alive today you know we have a chance to be part of a whole new wave of technology finding its way into the transportation space. i can imagine a more exciting time to be watching all this happen. >> if i may add a comment. never bring up comments after the end of the article. [laughter] i found i could write about a new four-way stop sign and by the third, and it turns into a red state blue state and has nothing to do with transportation at all. >> well put, well put. >> question over here. >> yes, good afternoon secretary fox. i would like to applaud you on your test commitment to improving bicycle and pedestrian safety. my name is michael jackson on wednesday department of transportation in maryland. one -- that we have been crashed knowledge is we have a great information system in looking at
crashes among our roadways but we systematically have a blind spot at crashes that occur on trails. but we do have anecdotal evidence that people do get injured and sometimes killed on trails that we don't have a systematic way of collecting that data. do you have any thoughts on how that might be integrated into the regular crash reporting system that we have nationally? >> yeah first of all thanks for the question. our systems rely a lot on police reporting and a lot of times accidents in the bicycle pedestrian world never make it into a police report.
sometimes when they do the cause can be put in one category as opposed to a category that rolls into bicycle and pedestrian safety and i think there's a lot of work that needs to happen to give us this the kind of datasets that will be useful in getting to the place that you are describing. but one of the things that i have found that the mayor was that bicyclists and pedestrians are part of the transportation ecosystem too and it's really important that we not only at
the federal level but the state and local levels do everything we can to try to get our arms around the safety issues there. frankly there are distraction issues that we are seeing in that space just as we see them in the automobile area. there are issues of the empire meant and how well-integrated cities and states are making their roads pass and integrate with other vehicular traffic. there is a lot for us to do there. that is why we have leaned into this pretty heavily, to try to do what we can at the federal level to provide best practices and clarity and whatever we can to try to help this out and how to predict -- i predicted in some parts of the country bicycling and walking or running are going to be more and more that the way people begin to work and you are going to see more and more people working those systems. we have got to start tightening
it up now so that it's safe. >> thank you. >> i haven't been to charlotte in many years. in fact since i covered the soldier of fortune convention where they want to go to charlotte for two reasons. the world allowed to shoot machine guns and jump off the parachute off tall buildings. but i was in richmond last week and i hadn't been there for a few years. one of the things that struck me about richmond was the same thing that was happening here is happening there. in fact we move from the suburbs to the city has been so pronounced that they are now -- they have converted all the tobacco warehouses into condos and now they are putting up buildings to look like tobacco warehouses so they can build condos in them. how is that going to transform
and to what degree is that going to transform, transportation needs and demand over the next 30 years? >> dramatically. we are seeing a lot of consolidation of population in what some writers call make her regions and mega-regions are the urbanized area, the suburban ring about the organized area and even a rural area surrounding the suburban ring. our economies are increasingly shaped by these mega-regions but one of the failings of our system is that transportation decision-making is still jurisdictional in the sense that it's based on a particular city a particular town, a particular state and sometimes the mega-regions cross over all of that.
that's going to be a challenge for us because just imagine the richmond area you are describing with an influx of double the population, the road systems which were built probably for a fraction of the population it has today now becomes deluge with additional cars, additional people and i think there are several things will happen as a result. number one travel times are just going to get dramatically longer or at a certain point communities realize that they need to create multiple ways to get to the same place. that's when you start seeing things like transit in general bike lanes and things in addition to the road improvements. i think this whole idea that we have a multisystem is one of the
biggest and most important parts of this work is really showing how these things are knitted together. i will give another example. there's a knob a lot of discussion about east coast ports and the opportunities that await fair. but if you focus on the ports and we certainly do need to focus on them but if we just focus on them once the stuff comes off of the ship -- i'm sorry i'm from north carolina. [laughter] wants it comes off of a shipper gets onto a ship it has to get some place where it has to come from someplace and the surface system, the highways, the rails, the bridges they all have to be ready for this evolving area or
else we are going to limit our opportunities. we can just be one-dimensional and are thinking because they're transportation system has never been one-dimensional. >> i think we have a the hair. >> might name is george president of the institute for rational urban mobility in new york city and we don't have rational urban ability in new york city it was to say. we do have 10 metropolitan planning organizations that have really been doing the job as a single metropolitan organization. we are a three state area but my real question is asking people for more money without having a specific plan of how you are going to spend it in the key element of this seems to be the urgent need to be more equitable
and how we allocate our resources. what is your vision of a more applicable transportation system? >> well, interesting question. i think first and foremost by the way 10 m. pio's is a lot of mpo's and i will probably get in trouble for saying this but using a phrase i've gleaned from my home state we probably need to thin the herd when it comes to our mpo's and consolidate some of them. right now that's purely a local decision and it becomes more difficult because you know the big-city mpo could swallow up a small-town mpo and make it very hard for them to get their
priorities advanced. on the other hand they are all really tied together particularly if we get this regional analysis seriously and the absence of an ability to coordinate and prioritize ends up with some possibility of working across surfaces or at least not getting as far along economically as we could. look, that was my rant. your question, i'm sorry. i got so focused. >> about moving toward a more equitable transportation system. >> i think we should look at this question of equitable three-dimensional late.
first of all if there are substantially greater resources across-the-board it ends up helping every part of america, rural and urban, so-called red state, blue state, however you slide it up. if you look at the decision-making itself which largely occurs at the state level and to a lesser degree the local level when it comes to federal dollars, i think that we to this point we sort of said the state knows the whole situation the best and they should make their own decisions, going forward. >> a question over here. >> yes, thank you, mr. secretary. >> i like nco's, by the way. >> i have actually been working recently on world futures, and interesting question.
us for metropolitan planet. my question is your thoughts and perhaps an expansion on what you just said balancing the intensity of the metropolitan areas metropolitan economies the rural economy which is, you know, the national energy resource economy or the last mile of connection might really be a mile but an a rural area might be 50 or 100 miles. that rebalance of national policy that supports rural economic needs as well as metropolitan intensity. >> that is an incredibly important question and one that i think about quite a bit. when i was mayor john and i can drive 20 minutes in any
direction. and i understand as a result of that all too well that these places should not be in competition with each other because they are actually joined together at the hip. nor a chance your question though, i think i have to reveal my bias which is that on some level transportation is never just about transportation. on some level it is about land use, economics, quality of life, and lots of other things. one thing i have learned in this world is that, well, transportation, a lot on the topic that we are discussing is that without a sound land-use strategy transportation that you put into place may not work
quite as well. and what and what i hear a lot from my girlfriends is that there is this recognition that something is going on with population growth nearby, and it is fine when it is over there but, gosh, the quality of life that i have is great, and i kind of want to keep it that way. i do not want that kind of here. and the challenge but that with that is that i think there is a way to deal with quality of life issues, communities grow in an intentional way, but you have to have the conversation to do it. unfortunately too often the
urban community discussion and the rural community discussion are happening and stovepipes in stovepipes and they actually need to be happening across the lens. my suspicion is that if you had a thoughtful about it and put equity on the table that plans could be established at the local level, maybe the state level in some cases that would protect the interest of rural communities, even if they are provided the assets that they need to get to the marketplace or to bring the marketplace to them, but too often those conversations happen in stovepipes. that that is one of the things
that i think communities of an accident to have active conversations between rpo's and npo's or figure out a way to consolidate the interest and pull it all together, i think it is critical. critical. the best thing that we can do is encourage that, and if we are fortunate enough to get additional money to be able to incentivize it is rudolph and hopefully the states will do the same because if we get that fundamental unit of planning and decision-making at the local level the planning, so many fewer fights over these kinds of issues. >> we only have time for one or two more questions. >> talked -- trucking radio channel. listen to buy about a million truckers every day, and i want to carry some of their concerns to you.
the money that they pay is going for bicycle paths and effects of parks and they want to no why. the other concern is with the current as it is in this idea, their are no places to rest. they want to no why there is not money being spent to create new truck stops, rest stops, places to pull over and have a good night to rest. [inaudible] >> thank you for that.