Business roundtable; 24 Of 26
The following program is made possible through a grant from nation's business. This is business roundtable a program of current comment from leading members of America's business community. Today I am Cecil Mack assistant secretary for policy development the U.S. Department of Transportation and Herbert in-order president of the American Academy of Transportation will explore the topic the transportation crisis with series host Alfred Al Sealey dean of the Graduate School of Business Administration at Michigan State University. Our topic on this session of the Business Roundtable. There's a very important one. The transportation problems have been increasing rapidly in the United States in recent years with congestion in our cities. Some questions
about the problems with air transportation and with other modes of transportation. We're fortunate tonight to have two of our country's outstanding experts on this subject here to explore it with us. Mr. Markey Let's take the question of the problems in our big urban areas today with regard to transportation. There's tremendous congestion in the inner cities and many of the arteries leading in and out of these cities. How did we get where we are today with this problem. I think that there's no easy answer but a large part of the problem as a result of simply having a lot of people living together increasing incomes. The desire for mobility. And perhaps a lack of planning in the way our cities have grown. Here's the big development in the suburbs also possibly contributed to this that more and more people are living out around the periphery of our central cities although they work in the city.
Yes very much so. Urban transportation problem is largely one of peak hour congestion. And that in substantial measure is a result of people trying to come into work in the morning go out in an evening list in order. In this connection why is it that our public transportation system hasn't been able to take care of this problem. Why is it that we find more and more of the automobiles on the city streets and in these arteries leading into and out of these things to me I think the answer to that is simply that the automobile is the almost ideal form of transportation. Whereas our public service transportation and frankly buses. It sort of remained downtown systems or downtown oriented whereas our cities of decentralized This simply means that public service transportation is in many cases no longer responsive to individual demand and so where there is a choice you never to believe the
driver will take or the person coming into the central business district or going into an industrial plant. We'll take the best choice in this case. Many times it's used to make a mint in a corset one aspect of this problem is that we're in a very affluent society. Obviously you meant that more and more people get on more and more automobiles. Do you think there's any chance of getting them out of these automobiles into public transportation. This is desirable. Certainly it would be desirable to get some of them out. I think the only way we can really expect to get in the automobile is to make public transportation equally attractive. We're doing a lot of that. Some of our programs in which we are working to get national answers to this particular question. And so it looks on the basis that you have to look at total transportation demand. And the bulk of this that we're talking about in peak hours is largely business type of demand in which people do come to we call common plastic
generators where this is a industrial plant a downtown store a downtown office University location this side of thing. And so the procedure here is to try to determine these identity or user groups that require creeper Tasia in some fashion and then to make public service transportation responsive to this particular demand. Now the technique that we're using to do this is to get the names and addresses of the individuals coming to a common destination at a common starting time and a common quitting time. We then go ahead and plant these on a map and if these individuals live with us in close relationship to each other where it becomes feasible we're giving them a door to door pick up and an express to their particular destination. You say you are doing this is this actually going on someplace really is in the planning stage. It is going on in the past and in the programs we are embarked
upon. We are enlarging upon this type of technique and this spins out in several different variations you can have the so-called pick up and delivery type of technique. You mean this is by public transportation this is correct like a 45 passenger automobile would pick me up at my home and take me to movies I say precisely. We think this is feasible. Now a bus Occupy is about the space of two vehicles and so any time that you can begin to get a larger number of people using this form of transportation you will have some effect upon lowering congestion. Most Mackie I've heard many people allege that it's going to be impossible to get the American public in our big cities coming in from the suburbs back on public transportation that they just like the idea of driving their own automobile. Is there really a place for public transportation. Do you think anymore or have we just fundamentally changed our society in such a manner that this is a fundamental change or isn't it.
Oh I think that the preferences which people express if they're given a completely free choice will inevitably lean toward the automobile. But certainly what we have in every major metropolitan area today is serious enough to lead you to conclude that we simply can't go on this way indefinitely. There's a limit to the number of lanes of freeways you can build. There's a limit to the amount of air pollution which you can tolerate in motor vehicles. There has to be an alternative though at the same time there will continue to be more cars and more freeways. But the problems of the freeway and its impact on the environment. I have been responsible for the kinds of freeway revolts which we've seen in a number of cities where people have simply decided that they can't accept the consequences of this manifestation of our automobile society. What is the solution to this. Can we ban other words when we've got three lanes roads in the city do we go to six. In some places that will be the solution. I think in every
large city perhaps a million or more will have to find some kind of rapid transit system or perhaps fixed rail system. We will continue to use mostly bus for mass transit in most of our urban areas like it came in and it also deems healing on me. Another aspect or another possibility and that is simply taking better use of our investment through the means of electronic traffic control system. It's been demonstrated that you can if you apply some of the techniques of sensing traffic processing to a computer cutting down some of the accordion effects on the freeways using technology I mean by the accordion effect on a pretty ineffective. If you have a number of vehicles going down the freeway and the vehicle slows down then the succeeding vehicle goes to the tail end of this begin to go ahead and if you're far enough back you come to a screeching halt. Now the break up of the flow of traffic on the freeway is relatively
fast but the recovery is relatively slow and so you impair the capacity of now on a similar basis for example one of the ramps coming in. Oftentimes a person coming into the ramp at the wrong time will break the flow of traffic and Sam. Another technique that you can apply you simply to be to them in electronic way. What are we doing with most of these things if yes is weird. Matter of fact the Department of Transportation is financing quite a number of experiments and Mr. Norburn self is associated with one one of the programs which the department is financing to to fund broader application of the use of electronics the use of traffic control to help improve both the capacity of our system and the safety and I think one of the important things to keep in mind is that as we do improve the flow as we increase capacity we get a very substantial benefit in safety. There's a safety payoff to virtually all of the things which improve traffic
operation which is great because by its very nature you must begin to minimize or eliminate the disturbances to the system and to the flight. And these by themselves are tremendous accident creation tape. Well all of the forecasts that I find from pretty room would seem to be reliable sources are that our big cities are going to get bigger in the future we're going to be even a more urbanized society than we are today and the urbanization has been going on very fast the past 20 years in the United States. And as a result we're going to have larger and larger metropolitan units the inner core of the city where a lot of people work going to more larger and larger suburban areas around here. And again if the estimates of the automotive industry and some other experts in this field economists in the automotive field are correct of the number of automobiles that we're going to manufacture and sell in the next five to 10 years are even reasonably
correct. We're going to have many more automobiles on our roads than we have today. Many more people in these cities. It seems to me you are you know really a pretty serious fix in these areas. I think if you look at it on a little longer perspective than just the next five or 10 years you can see how serious it really may be. Take a look for example at what would happen if the trend and motor vehicle population continued to the year 2000 at about the rate it's been going for the past 10 to 20 years. We expect to have a population of about three hundred twenty to twenty five million by the year 2000. We would also project just about three hundred twenty five million motor vehicles one per person. We only have 94 95 million. Now think of what that would mean another place you're going to think about what that means. Well what's the solution we are servants not what are we doing so
when you say long range solution is certainly more adequate planning. I think that when we began to go ahead and lay out studies there has to be greater consideration as to how we're going to service the cities in the past where you have a loud high rise apartments tremendous traffic generators to simply proliferate without any real planning as to how they're going to be serviced. I think the answer also I was in a better mix or better balance of our forms of transportation so that we do really provide alternative choices and alternative choices have to be attractive. And for example on public transportation as secretary Mackey mentioned. But you have to make this about as comfortable and convenient as a private automobile. Otherwise you're simply not going to get is that really feasible. We can't and don't see that sort of like the second one of this to notice comments that the more planning and in fact more responsibility in
planning at the state and local levels is essential. You can't let everything else develop almost at random or freely without planning and then expect to come in and provide all of the transportation of all kinds that everyone would like to have. The transportation planning has to meet the objectives of urban planning and cities have to determine what they want to be. Then we can provide transportation systems to meet those requirements. In the past we've gone quite the opposite the way we've let the cities grow up then we've tried to come in and build all the freeways that people might want without adequate zoning restrictions imposed or or anything of this. It simply won't work. In many cases too I think the answer may lie in non transportation solutions to what we now identify as transportation problems. For example the tradeoff between transportation and communications. Look at all the
people who drive into work every day. Perhaps one solution will ultimately be communication set which will allow them to plug into business machines and into communications networks. Maybe it's a different locational pattern for employment. Some of the problems involved in central city development now tend to cause all the people in the central city to go out to the suburbs to work. The people in the suburbs come into the central city. Many of the transportation problems really have a debate housing problems. We have to consider a very broad range of possible solutions. I think this planning stage is well underway in many many ways already. For example highway funds now can only be allocated after other comprehensive Rand Hughes studies this sort of thing. There is a grain cordon nation between the cities and the suburbs. I think that there are many healthy signs of this planning process is coming along and finally how are the
city's going to be able to finance. Well let's just take the kind of roads that they need. In the cities. Again it seems from what I've read that most every major city in United States today is in financial difficulty. They don't even have enough money to raise the wages of many of their workers which in many cities are relatively low compared with private business. Where are they going to get not. Well I don't either. Millions and some of the part larger cities I assume we're talking about built a billion dollars or more I'm going to make. Oh I think clearly a subway system for example in any city will cost anywhere from one of the half perhaps to five billion dollars. Where are the city's going to get this money because they're really at the end of their tax resources now in many cases. They can't be at the end of their resources or too many problems not just transportation but education health and all the rest. And there's no other source for taxes whether it's channeled through the federal government or not. What's the federal government doing in this in this
area and even quite a lot as a matter of fact NCUA and I wouldn't try to relate all of the programs. We have very comprehensive programs in both highway and mass transit high speed ground aviation which is a part of the same problem because airport access is a critical factor. We're also spending a great deal of money on the transportation budget alone. Just that part of the federal share is over six billion dollars a year. In other words the federal government recognizes that and this is a real problem in these urban cities and is attempting to do something about it. I would eventually all see the problems as we've been discussing them and the recognition of those problems were the main things that led to the creation of the Department of Transportation just a year ago. Well let's turn to another aspect of our transportation problem. Air transportation air transportation. If it was ever an infant a certainly a lusty infant
today and I guess many people would say it's come to maturity and we're moving to a very large number of people by air today compared with what we used to do. And actually the airlines have been increasing the percentage of cargo also that they have been having now as a result of this we find many of our airline terminals are congested and we're finding many times not the space but the planes to land after they land we find that there isn't space for them to depart their passengers at various gates again waiting for space or many times when you get over a field. We fly around for a long time in the air before we can land because of the congestion on the ground. Where are we in this problem. Well I think about this fundamentally really it seems to me that one of our problems again is simply on the basis that our individual modes of transportation of growing up individually. There's been in the past historically not a great deal of
consideration for the interfaces between the highway mode of transportation and the air form of transportation and it seems to me that one of the real reason was a real need for the Department of Transportation which created here two years ago we used to go ahead and to begin to look at these interfaces in a coordinated type of fashion and I'm sure that Secretary Mackey is much more qualified than I am to perhaps give him for the loss of the larger planes that really brought about some of the congestion and they want to make a mean when we move to the jet age in a sense with the much larger planes. Yes that's been a real traffic generator in itself. Jet aircraft may travel more pleasant and constant much faster. That's right and we just lost it. And then as a result now we're going to have much bigger jet planes or we're just well coming right along now just around the corner a 747 will carry anywhere from three hundred fifty to nearly 500 people 350 to 500 people and when would we anticipate we're going to have these fair number of these in regular service.
Oh I would think it would be be a number of and service. By 1969 1970. What are we doing to take care of this problem. It's nice to be when we discovered this number of people into our present inadequate facilities inadequate in many cities today. This congestion is going to be just too much. What are we doing here in the planning or what are we looking at the aviation field as one of the responsibilities are really quite complex. Cities the states and the federal government all share in the responsibility for the system. We're all doing quite a bit of planning. We have very extensive program to finance all requirements airports for the airways system again to be a tremendous pressure on local sources. Private market particularly for terminal facilities. I think you just have to expect the local
governments throughout the country to recognize more fully than they ever have before how important air transportation is to them and put high priority on the needs they have to meet the demands of their own air transportation requirements. Right after you're going to have this new generation of jets in the sense still basically jets but larger jets then we're going to get into the Supersonics aren't we. Don't let my persona and the hypersonic see how far away are these We hope the supersonic is not very far away. The British and the French are building one now and we have our own supersonic transport program as you know that is one where the Boeing aircraft company is has the contract. That's right the Boeing company is building the US supersonic transport. But we were expected to fly perhaps about the mid-seventies of a dinner service I think is
understandable in a commercial service. Yes that's why didn't the Boeing Company issue a statement just shortly a short time ago that due to certain technical problems that the schedule in terms of delivery of this plane was going to be delayed had to slow the program down somewhat. Perhaps about a year because of some technical difficulties. This is not unusual in a program of this size or this complexity it's really pushing the State of the art in many ways it must in order is well acquainted with its life. Technically that's a whole host of new technologies that really spin off of this metal working for example. United States supersonic aircraft will use large amounts of titanium in order to go ahead and handle this we've had to really develop whole new industries really. Whereas for example in some of the other type of things in terms of this is to keep the aircraft from disintegrating from heat that it generates a shooter that is it is a
difference I think fundamentally between the American supersonic and the Europeans are Prosonic on the basis that it's a little bit more ambitious and pushing the State of the art and in terms of speed to sort of thing. And so it spins off in many other ways it spins off in terms of electronics and flight control systems. It's sort of in many ways sort of a byproduct of much of our defense effort and much of our disciplines and techniques that are spun off are making this machine possible. How much faster is this machine going to go there than the Iggs present generation of jets just approximately. Well I'm not sure what it's envelopes times are because you have to look at block to block the type of times I would say roughly double the present times and perhaps I think in terms of cruising speed it'll be an Earth three times. About 800 miles an hour cruising speed of course it wouldn't be the elapsed time between points and birds they take off and get down. Well that raises an interesting question that I've heard raised other places
the United States government is assisting in the development of this plane through its monies as well as private industry monies is there a real need for this plane. Do we need a passenger plane that will go that fast. What does it matter if we cut the time let's say and a half or more than in half between New York and San Francisco this vital. My own personal opinion it's not only vital it's it's inevitable. If you look at the history of aviation history of transportation speed with safety has always been the fundamental objective to get there faster. I suspect you see only the people at a very similar question before the age of the jet. And probably before the age of the airplane and the railroad as well. Another you think it's inevitable that we ought to move constantly to improve the speed then of any kind of transport. My opinion it is inevitable. I think too it's worth pointing out that the government has put its money into this program in such a way that it expects to get it all back
with interest. It's not a gift to any company. It's a part of the development plan that's right. Of course it'll have some spin off I assume in the military. Course I'm really surprised that these kind of people I think it will have as well as hammerin a fit for have a vast array of industry and what's this going to do to the noise barrier that also already is causing so many problems around some of our principal airports today with more and more people complaining about the noise level of jet planes. The design characteristics of the SS to indicate that we'll have no more in the way of aircraft noise than we have present jets. That's certainly more than a lot of people would like and we're trying to reduce it. But there's also the question of the sonic boom which you can't get away from in. It's there's simply no answer to the sonic boom question. I suspect that we're going to have to learn to live with it. No I don't think we'll we will. I don't like Bill except that I think it's more likely that
unless we find a solution which we're not really aware of yet we will find the aircraft restricted in the kinds of flight paths it implies certain over land areas that simply avoid it. Let's turn to another aspect of this general question of transportation. It's been a great deal of comment among our citizens in the press in government circles and in automotive circles in recent years about the so-called safety issue with regard to transportation and automobiles are automobiles Safer What do we need to do. And there are many arguments both pro and con and as many arguments both pro and con with regard to the role of government. In this safety issue what really causes most accidents. Where are we in this issue. Where are accidents really caused by the driver or is it the automobile or is it the amount of traffic is it the speed is it the defect in the highways or what is this
anyway Mr ordered. I think it's a combination of factors. Certainly you can look at the driver and you can look at him individually but it's a combination of the driver in the vehicle and the highway environment. That really is the thing that we're looking at. So I don't feel that you can put your finger on any single factor as a number of people appear to want to do and say this is the total solution because in my opinion it just isn't. I think that there are a whole number of things that are cause and I think that these are beginning to be looked at. I think that there are efforts underway to improve for example the design of our highways to make them safer certainly we know that our freeways are four times more safe than our city streets. Certainly there are efforts in so far as a vehicle is concerned to make it a safer vehicle. We're beginning to go ahead and. Develop all sorts of
techniques insofar as improving the overall city becomes a question of within constraints as to how much and how big a price are you willing to pay for increased safety. Mr. Makki What is the magnitude of this safety problem in automobiles in terms of accidents with the magnitude. There are several figures which I think give you a feel for the size of the problem. First of all we kill 53000 people a year in automobile accidents. That's been increasing steadily. In addition to that we disfigured or injured permanently. About one hundred sixty thousand. About 800000 are hospitalized every year and the total number of injuries runs in the neighborhood of 2 million. And that again is every year and you can see that in other words I mean this problem is getting worse instead of better. It has been getting worse steadily. There is some indication of a slight improvement in the
rate of accidents which we think we can attribute to some of the programs which have been developed under the. Two Highway Safety acts which were passed in 1966 new government programs you think were well underway do perhaps never solving this kind of a problem because of the human element but improving it certainly I think there's real hope. For example one of the federal safety standards now requires a collapsible steering wheel on all cars. The evidence that we get from the Mr. Maggie thank you very much I'm sorry but our time has run out. Thank you and Mr. Norton very much for an instant discussion on the Business Roundtable and participating in today's Business Roundtable. Where am Cecil Mackey assistant secretary for policy development U.S. Department of Transportation and Herbert in-order. The American Academy of transportation post for the program was Alfred L. C. Lee
- Business roundtable
- Episode Number
- 24 Of 26
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Episode Description
- This prog.: The Transportation Crisis. Guests: M. Cecil Mackey of U.S. Dept. of Transportation; Herbert Norder, president, American Academy of Transportation.
- Other Description
- A program of current comment from leading members of America's business community.
- Media type
Host: Seelye, Alfred L.
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-42-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “Business roundtable; 24 Of 26,” 1968-10-15, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 6, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-np1wjm06.
- MLA: “Business roundtable; 24 Of 26.” 1968-10-15. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 6, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-np1wjm06>.
- APA: Business roundtable; 24 Of 26. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-np1wjm06