Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-240; ISTEA, pronounced Ice-Tea) is a United States federal law that posed a major change to transportation planning and policy, as the first U.S. federal legislation on the subject in the post-Interstate Highway System era. It presented an overall intermodal approach to highway and transit funding with collaborative planning requirements, giving significant additional powers to metropolitan planning organizations. Signed into law on December 18, 1991 by President George H. W. Bush, it expired in 1997. It was preceded by the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 and followed by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) in 2005, and the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) in 2012. ISTEA also provided funds for non-motorized commuter trails; the first trail to be so funded was the Cedar Lake Regional trail which was built in 1995 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
High Priority Corridors
ISTEA defined a number of High Priority Corridors, to be part of the National Highway System. After various amendments from other laws, this is a list of the Corridors:
High-speed rail corridors
The legislation also called for the designation of up to five high-speed rail corridors. The options were studied for several months, and announced in October 1992. The first four were announced by United States Secretary of Transportation Andrew Card, while the last was announced by Federal Railroad Administration head Gil Carmichael.
- October 15, 1992: The Midwest high-speed rail corridor with three links from Chicago, Illinois to Detroit, Michigan, St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
- October 16, 1992: The Florida high-speed rail corridor linking Miami with Orlando and Tampa.
- October 19, 1992: The California high-speed rail corridor linking San Diego and Los Angeles with the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento via the San Joaquin Valley.
- October 20, 1992: The Southeast high-speed rail corridor connecting Charlotte, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington, D.C..
- October 20, 1992: The Pacific Northwest high-speed rail corridor linking Eugene and Portland, Oregon with Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
However, there was not significant funding attached to these announcements: $30 million had been allocated to several states by 1997 to improve grade crossings, but that was a very tiny amount in comparison to the billions required for a true high-speed network. Aside from a few places in California and the Chicago–Detroit Line, most areas outside the Northeast Corridor continued to be limited to 79 mph (127 km/h) until $8 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was distributed in January 2010.
- "Chronology of High-Speed Rail Corridors". Federal Railroad Administration. Department of Transportation. July 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
- "CFS Report To Congress". High Speed Ground Transportation for America. Federal Railroad Administration. September 1997. pp. 1–4 (ch. 1). Retrieved 2010-02-17.
- Zach Rosenberg (February 1, 2010). "At Long Last, Clear Messages for High-Speed Rail". Autopia. Wired Blogs. Retrieved February 13, 2010.
- H.R.2950 (Public Law No: 102-240) - corridors are in section 1105
- A Guide to Metropolitan Transportation Planning Under ISTEA - How the Pieces Fit Together (USDOT)
- FHWA - NHS High Priority Corridors