Letters: Missouri DOT’s Misplaced Priorities

These Letters to the Editor appear in the July 27 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today. 

Missouri DOT’s Misplaced Priorities

This is in response to your article “Missouri to Solicit Innovative Means of Upgrading I-70” (7-6, ttnews.com).

The Missouri Department of Transportation has misplaced priorities. MoDOT spends the majority of funds in communities with fewer than 5,000 people — the Federal Highway Administration’s definition of “rural.”

This hurts both cities and trucking. Over the most recent 10 years, MoDOT overfunded rural areas by $3.2 billion and underfunded cities and interstate highways by a like amount, compared with other states.

Now, according to the agency’s January advisory, “Tough Choices Ahead,” MoDOT says it will fund interstates but not the remainder of National Highway System roads.

And, despite having the appropriate amount of highway funding for a state of its size, MoDOT says that traffic doesn’t matter. Note: None of our transportation taxes may be used for mass transit, unlike other states.

Compared with the rest of the United States, Missouri ranks No. 18 in land area, No. 18 in population and No. 18 in taxes for highways. Yet MoDOT ranks sixth-largest in minor rural roads, seventh-largest in total miles and eighth-largest in rural roads that are too local for federal funding — making them more expensive to maintain.

Minor rural roads represent 80% of Missouri’s road miles and more than 80% of the state’s funding. Do you remember the first stimulus project in the nation? It was a MoDOT project — a $9 million bridge built for 38 families (about one city block) in Tuscumbia, Missouri.

If trucking wants to see the National Highway System properly maintained by MoDOT, help us end this gross mismanagement.

Gwen Moore


Alliance for Rational Transportation in Missouri


The Cost of Safety

In reference to your article, “NTSB Calls for US to Mandate Collision-Avoidance Systems” (6-15, TTnews.com), this is the problem with government.

This quote shows the ignorance of our government officials: “You don’t pay extra for your seat belt, and you shouldn’t pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether.”

Hello, are you there, Christopher Hart?

Yes, you do pay for it. It is built into the price. It isn’t free. Why do you think cars are so expensive?

The answer, Mr. Hart, is technology.

Christopher D. Yonce


Graniteville, South Carolina