Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Washington State Department of Transportation P. O. Box 47318, Olympia, Washington 98504-7316 (360) 705-7054

Paula Hammond Washington

December 3, 2009 The Honorable Ray LaHood Secretary U.S. Department of Transportation 400 Seventh Street SW Washington, DC 20590 Dear Secretary LaHood: On behalf of the eighteen states that comprise WASHTO I want to say that we are committed to working with USDOT to secure a federal surface transportation bill that incorporates highways, transit, passenger rail, and high-speed rail as approaches to reducing congestion and providing safe, efficient movement of people and goods. All modes of transportation will continue to play an important role in meeting current and future transportation needs in both urban and rural areas of western states. We applaud your intent to hold public meetings across the country to receive stakeholder and public input on transportation policy and strategy. WASHTO members strongly encourage you to hold a meeting in a western rural state to learn more about our unique transportation needs and challenges. Western states’ population growth will greatly outpace the nation’s for many decades. The expansive lane miles of our interstates and highways provide the transportation corridors necessary for meeting the nation’s current and future needs in a global economy, and require a very robust preservation program. As we have communicated to you previously, we are concerned that some legislative proposals seem focused more on addressing urban transportation needs. We believe the federal investment in transportation must continue to aid rural areas in addition to urban areas. We understand you may hold a meeting in California. We welcome that, given California’s importance to the nation’s economy and the multitude of transportation issues in that state. We encourage you, however, to hold a meeting in another WASHTO state to learn more about rural state and community needs. We are ready and willing to work with you on these and other issues. If you have any questions please contact me at (360) 705-7054. Sincerely,

Amadeo Saenz Texas

Larry Ehl Washington

Steve Simmons Texas

Will Kempton California

Alaska Arizona California Colorado Hawaii Idaho Montana Nebraska Nevada New Mexico North Dakota Oklahoma Oregon South Dakota Texas Utah Washington Wyoming

British Columbia Manitoba Saskatchewan Navajo Nation

Federal Hwy Admin Forest Service Bureau of Land Mgmt.

Paula Hammond, Secretary of Transportation

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