Transportation agencies throughout the United States are faced with a myriad of transportation problems. People are stuck in traffic consuming oil, polluting the air, and wasting time. These problems exist because the transportation infrastructure in the United States is inadequate. The auto-dominant transportation system becomes inefficient and ineffective during peak hours and emergencies—when it is needed most. Many public transportation services are too slow to attract automobile users. Public transportation should be a truly competitive travel alternative.
With the Interstate Highway System reaching and exceeding its design life, investments are needed to restore and expand these critical facilities to maintain their operating and structural integrity. This presents an opportunity to increase people-movement capacity. With the limited availability of rights-of-way in congested urban corridors, it is appropriate to coordinate highway rehabilitation and reconstruction with high-capacity public transportation investments. These high-capacity, multimodal transportation facilities could represent a “new paradigm.” The facilities could be part of a transportation system that promotes connectivity and improves mobility, mitigates congestion, increases travel choices and public transportation use, improves energy efficiency and air quality, and creates opportunities for pedestrian-friendly residential and commercial development.
The objectives of this research are to (1) evaluate the potential for rehabilitating and reconstructing portions of interstate highways and other similar facilities in the urbanized areas in the United States, as "new paradigm" multimodal transportation facilities, and (2) develop strategies to plan and implement these facilities. These “new paradigm” facilities would better utilize their capacity for people, offer passenger mobility by multiple modes, and be better integrated into communities.