Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

count of the cost being met by counties or other subdivisions in which the work is done.)

2. To what extent the plans should require the State or local authorities to contribute to the amount of money appropriated, and to what extent you think your State or local authorities would be willing to cooperate with the Federal Government.

The amount should be determined by the character of the road (whether used largely for mail or necessary for military operations, and the density of the population. When used largely for Federal purposes or when the population along the route is scattered the Federal proportion should be greater than in cases where the use will be principally local; the money to be used locally to be derived in any manner agreeable to the people who would meet the cost of construction, either by State or county appropriation or by individual contribution.

It would also be necessary to provide a means of raising money for the maintenance of the roads. This would be the greatest stumbling block to be considered, as it would be difficult to make any arrangement that would be satisfactory to the different administrations which in the future would have the duty of keeping the roads up to the required standard.

As the matter has never been brought before the people of this State, it is impossible to say what proportion they might be willing to contribute. It is probable, however, that they would take whatever was available, even though they were opposed to the policy of Federal aid in general.

3. On what character of roads should the amount appropriated by the Federal Government be used ?

In general it should be used only on through routes. In some sections, especially mountainous districts, the roads should be constructed connecting locations that have no direct connection on account of the communities being unable to expend the required amount to provide a road through difficult country. On through routes the construction should be such that it may be used as a model for other roads. The character of the construction would depend upon the density of the traffic that it might be reasonably expected to give. In some mountainous districts the opening up and grading of earth roads with reasonable grades would be all that would be necessary.

4. Should the amount appropriated be limited to construction or maintenance, or be given jointly for construction and maintenance?

The amount appropriated should be used for either construction or maintenance, to be determined by the engineers in charge. Possibly it might be better to use Federal aid for the larger part of the cost of the roads and require the roads to be maintained by the local authorities. (In most parts of this State a very considerable portion of the cost of the roads is used in building bridges. If these are permanently constructed in the first place the maintenance of the roads should not become a heavy burden on the people using them.)

5. To what extent, if aid is given, should there be Federal supervision?

Federal supervision should be given only in examining and accepting the work constructed. Federal appropriation should be expended only on the certificate of the Federal engineers, although it might not. be necessary to have such an engineer on the work at all times. The

report of the local supervisor (acceptable to the Federal authorities) might be accepted on certificate from the proper State authorities. Until the system has been tried out it might be necessary to have a Federal engineer constantly on the work to see that the local authorities are competent.

6. Submit a detailed plan workable for Federal and State cooperation in construction and maintenance.

Not having a complete highway organization, it is impossible to outline a method of cooperation for this State that might work. If Federal aid is given the State cooperation would depend largely upon the method by which Federal aid is extended.

If the State has a highway board or commission with a competent engineer, or even only a competent State engineer, plans for roads could be prepared by the State subject to approval by the Federal authorities. When approved and the proportion to be paid by the Federal Government decided upon, the work could be advertised and bids received by the State authorities and a contract let. The State engineer, through his assistants, could supervise the actual construction, the Federal supervision only being sufficient to determine that the State supervision was competent.

Owing to the great difference in the laws of the various States, I appreciate that a plan which appears good for one might be very poor for another. The suggestions are offered only that you may secure as great a variety of opinion as possible. I expect that the replies you receive from States where highway work has been carried on for years will furnish a much better indication of what is possible with Federal cooperation than anything I can offer.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1913.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON
FEDERAL AID IN CONSTRUCTION OF Post ROADS,

Washington, D. C. The joint committee met pursuant to the call of the chairman at 8 o'clock p. m.

Present: Senator Jonathan Bourne, jr. (chairman), Senator Asle J. Gronna, Representative Dorsey W. Shackleford, Representative Gordon Lee, and Representative Richard W. Austin.

STATEMENT OF LAURENS ENOS.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Enos, it will be necessary for you to be sworn. Thereupon the witness was duly sworn by the chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Please state your name, your residence, and occupation,

Mr. Enos. Laurens Enos, Buffalo, N. Y.; I am a furniture dealer.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you any connection with any association that is interested in the subject of good roads?

Mr. Enos. Nothing officially, except as president of the Three A's. The CHAIRMAN. That is the American Automobile Association? Mr. Enos. Yes.

12975–PT1_13

The CHAIRMAN. Will you explain please what that association consists of, and how large it is in its scope ?

Mr. Enos. I have a memorandum here which I would like to submit for your record.

The CHAIRMAN. This is an address on the part of the association to this committee?

Mr. Enos. To this committee; yes, sir.

The American Automobile Association has 44 State bodies and 500 clubs, with several thousand individual members, and a grand total of 70,000. The average dues are $10 per member, which gives about $700,000 paid by automobilists in securing conditions making convenient and uniform the use of the motor-driven vehicle. The greater part of this money is used in the localities wherein the clubs have their existence. But a part is apportioned to the various State bodies, and per capita dues are paid to the national organization.

While the American Automobile Association carries on the burden of its highways improvement work through its national good-roads board, the membership as a whole is interested in this work more than in the other departments, which involve the encouragement of touring, the obtaining of uniform legislation, and the control of all kinds of automobile contests. The chairmen of the good-roads committees of the 500 clubs compose the national good-roads board, with the addition of others who believe in the improvement of the highways.

We contend that it is the duty of the Federal Government to supplement State and county road systems with cooperation such as shall strengthen the Nation, as the need of avenues of road communication is fully apparent, with the great increase of country travel. Year-around communication between city and country, between each locality and all others, is an essential requirement for the exchange of commodities and of information. The cost of living problem is not the only one which a complete system of good roads would go far to solve. Enlightened public opinion, necessary to the complete realization of the ideals of self-government on which our Nation is founded can only be formed by providing the freest possible intercommunication between the social units that make up the 48 Commonwealths.

We advocate the creation, wherever they do not now exist, of effective State departments of highways. Existing through highways should be taken over by the State and thereafter should be built and maintained by the State, which should also assist the counties in the building of county roads and the towns in the maintenance of town highways.

We favor at this time an annual registration fee, providing it is lieu of a personal property tax, and the revenue therefrom is used for the maintenance of existing highways. While it is plainly unconstitutional to tax one class of road users and to except another, we would waive this point for the time being, because of the results which naturally follow the payment of this tax and its use for road maintenance.

The CHAIRMAN. This statement to the committee represents the views of your association, as I understand it?

Mr. Enos. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. Having a membership and an organization in 44 of the 48 States?

Mr. Enos. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. In all of the 500 clubs, what membership have you?

Mr. Enos. Between seventy and seventy-five thousand. The CHAIRMAN. Is it your opinion, and that of the association of which you are president, that the Federal Government should make appropriations in aid of public roads?

Mr. Enos. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. On what roads should the first Government appropriation be expended ?

Mr. Enos. I have Mr. Diehl, the chairman of the good-roads committee, with me who will talk to you on that subject.

The CHAIRMAN. The details you would rather have left to Mr. Diehl ?

Mr. Enos. Yes.

The CHAIRMAN. What is the number of automobiles now in operation in the United States ?

Mr. Enos. I would not be able to tell you that.

The CHAIRMAN. I happened to be reading the paper to-night and saw that there were some 340,000 automobiles made during the year 1913.

Mr. Enos. Mr. Terry has those figures.

The CHAIRMAN. In addition to the statement that you have presented to the committee, are there any further remarks bearing upon the subject which you would care to give the committee?

Mr. Énos. No, sir.

Mr. SHACKLEFORD. You say in your statement that you collect something like $700,000 a year. What do you do with that money?

Mr. Enos. We do not collect it. It goes through the different clubs and the State associations, and part of it finds its way to the American Automobile Association.

Mr. SHACKLEFORD. How much goes to your association?
Mr. Enos. About $70,000.
Mr. SHACKLEFORD. Your association favors national highways?
Mr. Enos. Yes, sir.

Mr. SHACKLEFORD. You do not believe in giving United States money for the construction and maintenance of roads?

Mr. Enos. I would rather have Mr. Diehl go into these questions in detail as he is familiar with the subject.

Senator GRONNA. If an automobile manufacturer should decide to give a certain percentage, would that add to the cost of the machines?

Mr. Enos. I should not think so.

Senator GRONNA. As I understand it, the automobile concerns favor certain trunk lines?

Mr. Enos. I understand they do; yes, sir.

Senator GRONNA. They do not favor a general plan of improving all the highways, but just certain trunk lines; is that correct?

Mr. Enos. I understand they favor the improvement primarily of trunk lines.

Mr. Austin. You have no objection to Congress going ahead on the other roads?

Mr. Enos. On the trunk lines; no.

The CHAIRMAN. Has the association, as such, mapped out any concrete plan on which they are united, or have they simply passed their expression as to a general policy for the improvement of roads?

Mr. Enos. Just as to the general policy.
The CHAIRMAN. Is that all you have to say, Mr. Enos?
Mr. Enos. Yes, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We thank you very much.

STATEMENT OF GEORGE C. DIEHL.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Diehl, it will be necessary that you be sworn. . Thereupon the witness was duly sworn by the chairman.

The CHAIRMAN. Please state your full name, residence, occupation, and the official capacity in which you appear before the commission—if you appear in any official capacity?

Mr. Diehl. George C. Diehl; civil engineer of Buffalo, N. Y.; county engineer of Erie County, N. Y. I appear this evening particularly as chairman of the good-roads board of the American Automobiles Association and also as chairman of the good-roads committee of the New York State Automobile Association.

The CHAIRMAN. Have you a statement that has been prepared to submit for the committee, or will you just give an oral statement ?

Mr. DIEHL. I have prepared no written statement and would prefer to merely state—possibly in a disconnected and in an impromptu manner—the ideas I have on this subject.

The CHAIRMAN. We will be glad to receive them.

Mr. Diehl. In the first place I assume your committee are to determine whether or not there should be Federal aid in highway construction.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee has to make out a .plan and make its recommendation to Congress for official action, whatever it may be.

Mr. Diehl. I would state, as bearing on the point whether or not the Federal Government should participate in roads, that for over 100 years throughout the United States the general policy of all the Štates was that the highways should be constructed and maintained at the expense of the locality in which they were situatedthat is, at the expense of the twonships. It was found-after a century of work—that the roads were scarcely any better than at the outset because the townships could not afford to construct the highways, and because it was not a sufficiently large unit to properly carry on the work. It was further found that the cities of the country benefitted from the road construction almost equally with the rural districts by reason of their being the market places. Therefore, it was demand desirable some 18 or 20 years ago to enact in the several States and counties legislation which sought to divide the expense of highway construction and maintenance between the urban and the rural localities. In counties which had a large city within their borders, a county aid law gave satisfactory results and a fair apportionment of the expense between the country and the city.

The greatest improvement which has been accomplished in this country to date—the only improvement which has resulted in a prop

« AnteriorContinuar »