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Moynihan urges swift action on local transportation projects.

Key Congressional and administration officials urged city officials to take advantage of increased transportation funding under legislation enacted last month.

In an address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), prime architect of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), exhorted local officials to act now.

"Stop talking about when are we going to rebuild our infrastructure, and start building," Moynihan urged all local officials.

He called on mayors and council members to seize the opportunities offered by the $151 billion program and "get those metropolitan planning organizations working."

"It only happens if you make it so," said Moynihan.

In a tribute to those members of Congress who crafted the legislation and supported provisions enhancing the role of local officials, USCM awarded Sens. Moynihan, John Chafee (R-R.I.), Quentin Burdick (D-N.D.), Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.), Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), Steve Symms (R-Idaho) and Reps, Robert Roe (D-NJ), Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), Norm Mineta (D-Calif.) and John Paul Hammerschmidt (R-Ark.) for their efforts on behalf of cities.

House Public Works and Transportation Committee Chair Roe urged local officials to act before it is too late." Never has any piece of legislation passed that gives you more say" in transportation planning and programming, said Roe, a former mayor and key supporter of local transportation programs. "If you don't use it, it's your fault."

"This is not business as usual," warned Sen. John Chafee, a leader of the effort to enact local authority contained in the ISTEA. "You have an opportunity to do something different and choose an option that works for your city."

Gene McCormick, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, also noted the new era of local control and spending responsibility and the enhanced flexibility envisioned by ISTEA.

McCormick noted that the legislation provides a "framework for opportunity for the future." Successful implementation will require federal, state and local officials "working collaboratively," said McCormick.
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Title Annotation:Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and others urge the United States Conference of Mayors to act now on transportation plans
Author:Wollack, Leslie
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 27, 1992
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