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Your question No. 3 is: “On what character of roads should the amount appropriated by the Federal Government be used?"
Answer. On the class of roads specified in my answer to your first question.
Your question No. 4 is: “Should the amount appropriated be limited to construction or maintenance, or be given jointly for construction and maintenance ?"
Answer. The Federal Government should contribute to the construction and maintenance. The construction should be by the National Highway Department and the maintenance under it's supervision and according to its specifications.
Your question No. 5 is: “To what extent, if aid is given, should there be Federal supervision?
Answer. See my answer to question No. 4.
Your question No. 6 is: “ Submit a detailed plan workable for Federal and State cooperation in construction and maintenance."
Answer. A national highway board, supported by the Federal Government, divided into appropriate departments; as, for example: Construction and maintenance, which might include the study and testing of materials, choice of materials for surfacing, methods of construction adapted to various kinds and volume of traffic, the placing of railways and interurbans on public roads, cleaning, dust laying or prevention, methods of carrying out road work, lighting, etc. Administration, or the collection and use of funds. Economics. Public safety on national routes; the use of various vehicles; influence of weight and speed; conditions to be fulfilled by horse, vehicle, and driver; rate of speed, etc.
A thousand and one problems that need uniform treatment for national routes could be studied and solved with such a department that would result in utter confusion if left to State determination.
In conclusion, in making provision for the selection of roads to be first improved, I take it that the rule of the “Greatest good to the greatest number” should prevail.
When a new railroad is first opened it carries mainly passengers, but the palace car of to-day divides the road with the traffic train of to-morrow, and so it will be with the roads. Railroad building in this country is almost at a standstill. For further development we must depend on the wagon road to a larger extent than heretofore, In 1912 the products of the farms amounted to over $9,000,000,000. Two thirds of this had to be transported over “wagon roads," at an average cost of 23 cents per ton per mile, while the railroads transport it for three-fourths of 1 cent a ton per mile, and with modern highways it can be transported for from 5 cents to 10 cents per ton per mile. Few factories can, to-day, live and compete that have to ħaul their output from factory to railroad, yet the farmer has to do this and the consumer pays the freight. Millions of tons of farm and orchard products rot on the ground for lack of a means of marketing the same.
The Federal Government can, in my opinion, do no greater thing for the benefit of the people of this Nation than to build and maintain national roads, not only for the good they will do in themselves, but as an incitement and guide for the States and counties to do likewise.
C. G. FISHER, OF THE COAST-TO-COAST ROCK-HIGHWAY ASSOCIATION,
(1) A general plan should be arrived at by the Government of the United States to build roads connecting the various States, so that interstate travel may not only be possible, but a pleasure to our citizens.
(2) The several companies that I am associated with pay taxes in Indiana on more than $1,000,000 worth of property, and we would be willing to stand an assessment for the construction of State roads, providing these roads are made permanent. We consider only concrete roads as permanent. It seems to me that the General Government should provide funds for 25 per cent of these connecting interstate highways, that the State Government should provide 25 per cent, and that the local counties through which the roads pass should provide 50 per cent.
(3) In my opinion it is not advisable for the United States Government or our local State government to spend any more money in the construction of gravel or loose-binder roads.
(4) I think all appropriations made for roads from this time on should not consider the maintenance, but should very thoroughly consider the installation of concrete roads, which will take care of themselves for 15 or 20 years, and in 15 or 20 years from this date there will be such a general demand for the maintenance of good roads already built that it will not be necessary for the United States Government to interfere.
(5) I think Federal supervision should be given to the building of roads in the following manner:
A general set of specifications for the construction of concrete or brick roads should be drawn, and no approval or assistance be given in the construction of any other type of road.
I think that the Federal supervision, as well as the State supervision, should be made to see that these specifications are rigidly enforced.
The writer has been for some time interested in the raising of funds among the automobile manufacturers of the United States, of $10,000,000, to apply for the construction of a coast-to-coast highway. I am in receipt daily of several hundred letters from interested citizens and communities, and you have no idea how much real demand and necessity exists for interconnecting roads between our principal cities and transcontinental roads.
Speaking purely from the standpoint of the automobile user, we have at the present time more than 500,000 automobile owners in the United States who are quite willing to pay a heavy tax for the use of their_automobiles, providing this money, is properly spent on roads. Between 250,000 and 350,000 automobiles will be built each year for the next 15 or 20 years to come, to say nothing of the 100,000 to 150.000 motor-cycles; then we have the building of between 30,000 and 60,000 trucks this coming year, and this is only the beginning in the truck business.
You are no doubt aware of the economy in building roads that will last, and of the economy in transporting merchandise over such roads.
We have received up to the present time subscriptions to our fund of more than $1,500,000, and has every reason to believe that we will succeed in raising $10,000,000 to be devoted to the building of a transcontinental highway.
CHARLES W. BARNES, PRESIDENT KANSAS STATE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION,
(1) Any general plan which your committee adopts I am sure will be a good plan for federal aid.
(2) I think the State and local authorities should be required to contribute an amount equal to that appropriated by the Government for the construction of the roads.
(3) In many of the States proper maintenance of dirt roads would go a long ways toward meeting the requirements, yet I believe that the ultimate road is.gravel, grit, or shell.
(4) The amount appropriated, in my opinion, should be combined in construction and maintenance. This would avoid the possibility of neglect and decay following construction.
(5) The failure of our road laws now is due to the fact that there is no general supervision.
And, in conclusion, please permit me the suggestion that in exchange for the rural-free delivery system the benefited and interested persons might very properly be required to maintain, at least partially, the post roads as they now exist.
JOHN C. NICHOLSON, SECRETARY AND TREASURER, THE MERIDIAN ROAD,
(1) I favor national aid for national highways under a bonus system. The road to be constructed and maintained under specifications furnished by the Government and only where the road to be used is largely used for interstate traffic.
(2) The National Government to reimburse the State or the counties building the road not less than 10 per cent nor more than 25 per cent of the actual cost of construction.
(3) Federal appropriation to be expended only on roads of a permanent character.
(4) Appropriation for maintenance as well as construction. (5) No Federal supervision, only reimbursement on inspection.
(6) Kansas is prohibited from granting State aid and I do not have a workable plan.
J. K. CODDING, WARDEN KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY, LANSING.
I will not attempt to answer your letter fully, because, as warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary, I am building roads with convict labor and shall confine my suggestions to what the Federal Government can do with that one subject. The United States Government has in her Federal and military prisons at Leavenworth a couple of thousand prisoners. A great many of those could be practically worked upon public roads from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley. This could be known as a military road and could be built and maintained by this class of labor. The men would be better by working upon the roads, and the two forts would be in direct communication and with a suitable military road. This road could be used by the people of the State, and it could be an object lesson of what the Government could be doing with its prisoners. I think, if the Government should take up the building of roads, it ought to be under the military department, built by military engineers, and the roads thus built be designated as Government roads, controlled and kept in repair by Government money. These military roads might be a part of the State system of roads.
C. F. OSBORN, COUNTY ENGINEER, HOWARD.
There are 105 counties in Kansas and nearly 105 different road problems.
Our part of the State, eastern and southeastern, contains the rough counties. Our county has a difference of altitudes of nearly 500 feet. It is largely pasture land, and we have only about 11,000 people, with a total valuation of about $14,000,000. Our people consider the road proposition largely a local matter. We are in the front ranks of the
a counties in Kansas in roads and permanent bridges. We have over 400 stone and concrete bridges and culverts, all paid for, and no debt on the county. While the "good-roads" leaders are advocating State and Federal aid, our “ people" take the opposite view. The goodroads sentiment is strong with us, and we have no trouble in getting all that we wish.
From my talks with people over the State (at our State conventions, etc.), I find that the great majority of the people are not clamoring for State aid or control. They seem to still wish to hold the road matters as a local proposition. But I also find that the great majority would like to see the Federal Government assist in keeping up their mail routes. We have only dirt roads, but for 10 months of the year these are the best roads in America. We can handle the greater part of the building of these roads up to the standard set for this class of roads, but the maintenance of these roads is another problem. The ideal manner of handling them is by constant use of the drag, and with this a patrol system, whereby the person handling the drag would keep in repair his section of road and never allow it to become very bad. Now, if the Federal Government would allow from $10 to $20 per mile for the upkeep of these mail routes annually, according to the class of road, it would put us in good shape to care for these roads. I take it that the Post Office Department already has its inspectors, and these or the postmasters could certify the fact that the townships or county has complied with the requirements set by the department, upon which certificate the aid could be paid.
This matter of upkeep being taken off the hands of the townships, they could then devote their energies and resources to building more of these roads, which in a short time would result in all our roads being kept up in a uniform manner.
We have the county-road system, under which the county cares for the main and heavy traveled roads between market centers, and with
the aid above suggested on mail routes the townships would be able to care for all other township roads and give us uniformly well-kept roads in all parts of the county. The incentive of this reward” from the Federal Government would have a wonderful effect in getting all mail routes built and in condition to receive the reward.
I believe such a plan has already been suggested in a bill before the last Congress, and I am very much in favor of this plan. It will be in the nature of a reward for good service, will save time in mail deliveries, will put the roads in better condition for the new feature of parcels-post matter, and will give everybody a road to haul his produce over. Incidentally it will accomplish what the “cross-country” enthusiasts wish; will make it possible to cross the country at any point instead of going to a main road miles away.
R. H. FAXON, INDUSTRIAL AND PUBLICITY COMMISSIONER, WICHITA
BUSINESS ASSOCIATION, WICHITA.
(1) As one of the pioneers in good-roads work in this and adjoining States, I have always held in remarks I have made at public gatherings, in the letters I have written, and the newspaper and inagazine publications I have inspired that Federal aid should come only jointly with that from the State. I believe it absolutely essential to the success of the undertaking, and I also believe it will maintain that nice balance between the State and the Federal Government that was intended in the beginning. I also do not believe that any State should be the recipient of a favor or a right from the General Government without sustaining an equal share in what was given. I believe also such a course would inspire better roads and quicker roads than otherwise.
(2) I have partly answered this in the above. I have said I think ihere should be equal division between the State and General Government within the State traversed. The State of Kansas is now prohibited under its constitution from extending any aid or supervising or constructing highways. The constitution of Kansas says:
The State shall never be a party in carrying on any works of internal improvements.
Five years ago I began urging the amendment of the constitution so as to exclude highways from the provisons of this section. It has been quite a struggle, but there is now such influence back of the campaign that I think the amendment will be submitted at the next general election. This will permit Kansas to take its place with other States in road work and to meet halfway, when the time comes, the Federal Government.
(3) Federal aid, when it comes, should be expended first in the construction of at least one transcontinental highway which should run from Washington to the Pacific coast and traverse the country midway between the North and the South. For instance, I have always personally felt that the old national road from Washington to Indianapolis, thence to St. Louis, and thence following the Boones Lick and old Santa Fe Trail to Santa Fe, and thence across to the coast, might be one of the early Federal roads established. Of course, ultimately there should be one from Chicago across the northern part of the country to the coast, and, if the Rocky Mountains