Legislative Considerations for Long-Term Policy Change

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by Mortimer Downey, Chairman, PB Consult

Periods of significant reform to U.S. transportation policy has historically taken place over several decades. This paper reviews three historic periods of federal transportation policy, from the "Good Roads" Era to the Interstate Era to the Post-Interstate Era. It discusses what a "fourth wave" of federal transportation policy may focus on and the difficulties of breaking through programmatic and institutional inertia to create a new framework for transportation policy that can address the nation's many transportation-related challenges.