I spent many years working for the U.S. Department of Transportation. During that time, there were two or three national transportation policies. Generally, they were well meaning but full of artful ambiguity, some utopian ambition and mostly useless and forgetable (and forgotten by most people).
There were also many advocates for special policies. Typically such advocates did so to further the policies of their own regions or States or interests.
If it were up to me, the national transportation policy would have some overriding principles, e.g.,
- Federal interest should be retained to the extent that an issue is truly national
- States, regions, cities, transit agencies and so forth should not be compelled to use their own money simply to pretend they are meeting federal objectives
- to the extent possible, legislative bodies should refrain from specifying completion of specific transportation projects; where such specification exists, an objective, non governmental organization should evaluate such projects on the basis of clear evidence of the projected costs and benefits of such projects
- where possible, the federal government should establish realistic performance objectives and highlight States, regions, etc. that meet such objectives
- the federal government should concentrate on executing statutory law and avoid advocacy, endless coordination of policy groups and the like
- an attempt should be made to completely reformulate existing statutory law as it has become unwieldy, frequently unenforceable, occasionally contradictory and confusing