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5 Findings and Recommendations natuRe oF the PRoblem The BRAC 2005 round differed fundamentally from previous base realignments. Unlike previous BRAC rounds, which primarily dealt with base closures, BRAC 2005 concentrated tens of thousands of additional personnel at a number of bases located in metropolitan areas with already inadequate transportation infrastructure and experiencing substantial congestion. The date when BRAC decisions must be fully implemented (September 2011) is far too soon for the bases and surrounding commu­ nities to avoid significant added traffic congestion for military personnel and other commuters during peak travel periods. The resulting traffic delays will impose substantial new costs on surrounding communities and the military. The BRAC 2005 round is being implemented under an extra­ ordinary set of circumstances. The nation is fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even as it maintains a substantial troop presence in Iraq, major redeployments are causing sharp spikes of increased personnel at domestic bases, including those affected by BRAC 2005. In the post­9/11 environment, the federal government, particularly the military, is impos­ ing security requirements on its facilities to protect them from domestic terrorist acts. Security imperatives are resulting in a concentration of civilian and military personnel in more secure locations within metro­ politan areas but away from downtowns and other areas of concentrated commercial activity where transit is an option. In the last three years, the nation has experienced the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which has had direct consequences for federal, state, and local transportation budgets. The BRAC 2005 consequences for communities located near military bases are occurring when these governments are unusually strapped for funds. Moreover, the civilian transportation programs the Department of Defense (DoD) expects to help support transportation improvements— particularly the federal surface transportation program—are more than a year past due for reauthorization, in part because sufficient funding can­ not be found to meet the needs of states, metropolitan areas, and transit authorities. A near­term resolution of this problem is not at all likely. Federal, state, and local civilian authorities would have struggled to respond to the BRAC 2005 impacts on transportation networks under 81

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases normal circumstances. In the current context, existing programs and processes are unable to cope with these new and unexpected demands, particularly within the constrained time frame. Many of the bases affected are located in built­up areas within metropolitan regions that already experience heavy congestion in peak periods, which will worsen with additional travelers. The processes required under federal law for envi­ ronmental review, citizen participation, and long­range planning often require a decade or more before funding can be committed and construc­ tion initiated. At several bases, the required facilities and services will not be in place when personnel are relocated, which may result in severe congestion on facilities serving these bases. The necessarily and largely secret process used in BRAC determi­ nations and troop redeployments has compounded demands on civil infrastructure. By all appearances, the Commission did not have a full accounting of the transportation impacts or costs that would be imposed on communities. Once the decisions became known, the affected commu­ nities did not have time, especially under current economic circumstances, to locate funds or rearrange long­planned and agreed upon capital plans to support the new demands on their transportation networks. Addressing traffic congestion in dense metropolitan areas is a chal­ lenging and complex process. With the addition of military traffic, it becomes even more difficult. The requirements of the military mission and the needs of the surrounding communities must be taken into account when developing strategies to improve the transportation system. Finding 1 Increased highway traffic generated by base growth due to BRAC 2005, policies to grow the size of the military services, and rapid rede- ployments have worsened or will worsen traffic congestion in some metropolitan areas. The potential problems are quite serious for civil- ian and military users of transport systems in these areas. Even before military redeployments of large numbers of personnel, major metropolitan areas were facing increased traffic congestion, greater traffic delays, and declining trip­time reliability. These areas have been struggling to man­ age their traffic congestion, improve reliability, and increase safety using a range of transportation options. Personnel increases at a number of bases located in these major metropolitan areas have exacerbated this congestion and threaten to make the situation unmanageable in some locations. As transportation networks reach their saturation points, any additional traffic has a disproportionate, nonlinear impact on delay and can degrade facili­ ties from reduced speed to stop­and­go conditions. 82

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Findings and Recommendations The consequences are somewhat different from relocations of civil­ ian workers to more secure military locations. Fort Belvoir North, the Mark Center, and much of Fort Meade are office complexes without mili­ tary operations, whereas Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Fort Bliss, and Eglin Air Force Base are operating bases made up largely of military personnel. In these cases, civilian workers, many of whom were previously able to rely on transit to get to work, are having their jobs relocated to areas where this option is limited. Surveys of Defense Information Systems Agency employees being moved to Fort Meade in Maryland show that most of them plan to continue commuting from their current residences in Virginia. In other cases, the congestion is caused by the concentration of military personnel and their families, many of whom will be living in housing off the base, often far off the base where housing affordability matches military incomes. These men and women will become new com­ muters on already congested facilities, often commuting long distances. In either the case of relocated civilian workers living in the region or of military people moving into the region, the impacts on traffic may be significant but have different options for responding. Finding 2 Military personnel and civilians working for the military are adversely affected by growing congestion. Longer and more arduous commutes risk loss of retention of senior, highly skilled civilian workers. Military personnel face severe congestion accessing Joint Base Lewis–McChord every day. Military training plans are disrupted by the inability to carry out exercises during periods of heavy traffic congestion. Joint Base Lewis–McChord must carry out troop movements to the training facil­ ity at night to avoid congestion. Personnel and visitors to the National Naval Medical Center face severe congestion on Rockville Pike (the major state route connecting the base to downtown and I­495 and I­270). Personnel traveling to and from the Mark Center will encounter extreme congestion and lengthened trip times. The cost of this conges­ tion is not accounted for in the BRAC 2005 assessment of the impacts of military personnel relocations. institutional misalignment The BRAC 2005 process has illuminated a significant misalignment between military decision processes and expectations and civilian transportation­planning and funding allocation processes in BRAC cases and more generally. 83

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases Finding 3 There is a substantial institutional misalignment between base plan- ning by the military and planning by civilian authorities responsible for regional transportation infrastructure that the military depends on. Bases are counting on civilian resources to address their off­base transporta­ tion needs, but no process is in place to ensure that those needs will be met. There is also not an adequate process in place for funneling the right kind of information (such as information on congestion and subsequent costs to the military) up the chain when BRAC and other military base decisions are made. These difficulties are compounded by several other issues: • DoD policies and guidance regarding base–community collabo­ ration and regional planning are inadequate. The required base master plans do not regularly relate to the regional plans of the surrounding communities, nor do they anticipate large­scale troop relocations. • Base commanders do not regularly communicate or work with surrounding communities to resolve transportation problems. In some cases, base commanders are engaged, depending on the perspectives of the commander, but that engagement is not ensured once a commander is reassigned. • Post­9/11, the government is relocating some facilities to remote and more secure locations. In metropolitan areas, this reloca­ tion results in moving people to places accessible primarily by automobile and difficult to serve by transit. This policy direction is the opposite of what many metropolitan agencies are trying to accomplish to reduce energy consumption and attain or maintain Clean Air Act requirements. In some metropolitan areas, plan­ ners are seeking to increase the density of development to reduce vehicle trips and service costs. • The role of DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) is useful but reactive. OEA provides technical assistance and funding for impact studies only after the decision has been made to relocate personnel. The OEA staff have expertise and familiarity with DoD and community­planning processes that would be useful to apply much earlier in the process. Recommendation 1 Military base master plans should be developed in cooperation with the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) transportation- 84

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Findings and Recommendations planning process to ensure that (a) military transportation needs are integrated into the overall regional transportation context, (b) the bases’ impacts on surrounding communities are accounted for in civil- ian plans, and (c) military base expansion plans are consistent with civilian plans. Every base has a master plan and capital budget that is consistent with the military budgeting cycle. These plans focus on military construction needs on the base. In the future, these master plans should be developed in cooperation with the MPO planning process so that projects to improve base transportation access can be included in MPO’s long­ range plans and shorter­term transportation improvement programs. Base master plans should include not only capital costs but also operating costs for transit service and travel demand measures. Master plans should be updated on a reasonable time schedule. Funds should be allocated to the bases to cover an adequate master planning process. Recommendation 2 DoD should require base commanders to address off-base access con- gestion problems and should provide them with guidance, expertise, and resources. It should allow commanders who do good planning and save money in energy and other base operating accounts to keep such funds and apply them to base and off-base transportation needs. DoD should also require base commanders to collaborate with communities to address base impacts on these communities. Currently, base com­ manders make decisions about the extent of cooperation and collaboration with surrounding communities. Base commanders should work toward resolving traffic congestion caused in part by base expansion. At present, there is little policy guidance for them to accomplish this activity. More­ over, there is little economic incentive for them to address off­base issues. However, enhanced use leasing revenues and operating and maintenance and employee compensation accounts provide funds that could be used to improve base access if dedicated for that purpose. DoD should develop guidance and procedures to help base commanders collaborate and coop­ erate with surrounding communities to address issues resulting from base activities. In many communities, the military is the largest single employer. Large private sector firms that dominate employment in a region play a significant role in public sector plans. The military has a similar role to play. Recommendation 3 The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) should direct MPOs to include military base transportation needs in their planning 85

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases processes. To assist in accomplishing this activity, USDOT should require MPOs to include military representatives on an ongoing basis as liaisons on decision-making boards of MPOs with other major stakeholders. MPOs are responsible for developing plans to address the transportation needs in their metropolitan regions. MPOs’ plans should account for the travel needs of military bases in their areas. Projects that are required to meet these needs should be placed on the long­range plan and transportation improvement programs. These projects would be required to meet the same legal, environmental, and regulatory requirements of any project in the plan and program. In developing better communication, the public sector will have to respect military needs for security and be able to protect sensitive information. Security clearances for some MPO staff may be necessary. Recommendation 4 The role of the OEA should be increased; the agency should pro- vide ongoing support to military and civilian planning agencies and not be brought in simply to help fix problems after decisions are made. Resources should be provided to enable this expanded role. OEA staff could develop the guidance to base commanders called for in Recommendation 2 and assist MPOs in understanding military transpor­ tation needs and processes. Ongoing assistance of this nature could help reduce the current mismatches between military planning and expecta­ tions and civilian planning and funding capability. OEA should develop technical procedures, manuals, training courses, and website resources as well as provide technical assistance to military bases on transportation planning. Finding 4 There is an additional disconnect within the military between planning and budgeting processes. Agencies and staff in DoD are not developing and sharing information or facilitating processes that would identify all the direct and indirect costs of traffic congestion and the range of related funding sources available to give base command­ ers resources that could help address base impacts. The only available funding source to address off­base impacts, the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program, is a small capital­only program limited to road projects. No segregated resources are available to pay ongoing operating costs, such as transit subsidies and travel demand measures, which is necessary 86

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Findings and Recommendations for addressing traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. Funds available to commanders are not aligned with their needs or obligations under Recommendation 2 to help resolve congestion caused by base expansion. For the DAR program, the time limitation on obligating funds is inad­ equate to provide local and state agencies time to find funds and make their financial commitments. (See Recommendations 7 to 13 below for recommendations on funding.) Finding 5 The outcome of decisions made to relocate civilian workers and troops suggests that insufficient attention was paid to off-base impacts. To the extent to which BRAC 2005 relied on informa- tion collected on surrounding community transportation capacity during the BRAC information-gathering phase, it may have been misinformed. The information calls made to inform the BRAC analy­ sis process do not reach individuals at the metropolitan level aware of potential off­base impacts and constraints, which can result in sub­ optimal outcomes. In the BRAC process, information is sought from personnel on bases who are not necessarily aware of metropolitan area traffic, constraints on capacity expansion, and long­range improvement plans. This situation can result in a lack of appreciation of the carrying capacity of regional infrastructure and the difficulty of expanding it to meet military needs. Recommendation 5 When considering moving personnel into congested metropolitan areas, DoD should take into account regional congestion impacts and mitigation costs at a greater level of detail than in the past. DoD should greatly improve the quality of information considered when deciding whether to move military and civilian personnel into congested metropolitan areas. Infrastructure receiving capacity is considered now, but the sources turned to for information are not as knowledgeable as needed. The information should account for the capabilities of surrounding communities to absorb additional traffic and the costs imposed. These costs should be considered whenever DoD analyzes the costs and benefits of relocating personnel and assets to bases in metropolitan areas. This kind of information should be required in any future BRAC rounds that consolidate base personnel in metropolitan areas. 87

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases natuRe oF RequiRed solutions The expansion plans of bases in metropolitan areas create the same set of issues that new private developments create and require the same set of strategies. Some strategies to be employed may affect only a small percentage of travelers, but such shifts can be important for network performance. Facilities in metropolitan areas are congested for complex reasons, including inadequate funding and the difficulty and cost of expanding facilities. Institutional realignments, such as those recom­ mended above, will also be necessary along with improved funding described in the funding section. Finding 6 Transportation programs to reduce congestion that may appear to be small can have large benefits. The disproportionate, nonlinear impact of increased traffic in congested networks also works in reverse. Programs and policies that adjust the travel behavior of a small percentage of travel­ ers in congested settings have a disproportionate benefit for traffic flow, which means that travel demand management programs that allow work­ ers to shift the time of travel, shift mode, change route, or work from home can have important effects on regional congestion and delay levels. Finding 7 A broad range of transportation strategies are required to address metropolitan area congestion and access needs. Metropolitan planning agencies across the nation recognize that automobile access alone cannot meet all travel demand needs in built­up areas. Highway networks in densely developed metropolitan areas are critical for the economic vitality of these regions, but once development occurs around these facilities they become extremely difficult and expensive to expand to meet rising demand. Moreover, requirements of the Clean Air Act have shifted many areas’ priori­ ties toward transit and travel demand management. In areas with saturated networks in peak periods, travel demand must be managed to motivate travelers to shift travel times and change modes to avoid peak congestion. Recommendation 6 A wide range of options should be used to ameliorate traffic conges- tion and travel time delay caused by base expansions. Transportation 88

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Findings and Recommendations demand management measures should be used, including high­occupancy vehicle and high­occupancy toll lanes, ramp metering, parking manage­ ment and pricing, carpooling and vanpooling, transit benefit programs, bus shuttles, telework and telework centers, and variable work hours and schedules. Expanded transit services will be necessary in some cases. Infrastructure­intensive alternatives should be included, although they may be difficult to deploy and will take years to implement in all but the simplest cases. Finding 8 Short- and long-term strategies will be needed to address traffic con- gestion problems. In the short term, transit services can be expanded and travel demand measures implemented in affected communities. Within a few years, marginal capacity enhancements can be made by adding ramps, access lanes, and additional gates as well as access roads serving them. Finding 9 Looking toward the future, changes in institutional processes and improved communication and planning could avoid the severity of congestion impacts expected and being experienced because of BRAC 2005 and other military policies and decisions. Recommen­ dations 1 to 7 above are intended to provide longer­term solutions to military expansion plans in metropolitan areas. Funding A variety of existing and new funding sources will need to be tapped to better serve military transportation access needs in the future and to avoid imposing large costs on surrounding communities. Immediate needs will require extraordinary responses. Finding 10 A variety of funds are available to improve transportation facilities and services; these funds are always highly contested but are unusu- ally so in the current budget environment. The DAR program has provided about $20 million annually in recent years, but the program is funded through the military construction (MILCON) budget, which is 89

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases being pressed to provide barracks, training facilities, and other military base necessities that are of more immediate importance to base com­ manders than off­base traffic congestion. Enhanced use leases, which permit bases to retain lease income from private developments on base land that serve the military, and base operating and maintenance budgets could provide partial sources of funding for transportation improvements. Employee compensation accounts could also assist in areas such as transit subsidies. About $200 billion is spent annually by all levels of government for highway and transit capacity, maintenance, and operations, but these funds are not adequate to meet the demands placed on them, particularly in this period of constrained government budgets. Multiple demands on existing federal­aid funds make it difficult for some states and regions to apply such funds to problems caused by military growth. Finding 11 Other than the DAR program, the military traditionally accepts no responsibility for transportation congestion and transportation- related environmental impacts outside the gates of its bases. As indicated above, in some cases military personnel are adversely affected through the potential consequences for retention of valued workers and disruption of training for soldiers. The normal way to address the impact of large­scale private developments in communities is to require them to pay some form of an impact fee in addition to the fuel and other taxes they pay. Communi­ ties have increasingly required new private developments to pay their share of the public infrastructure required to serve them. These fees are assessed over and above the user fees that fund transportation programs and other taxes businesses are required to pay. Absent these payments, communities can prevent the development from being built (which is not an option when DoD is the developer). As the cost of new infrastructure and the difficulties and delay associated with building new infrastructure have increased, many communities have become less willing to ask exist­ ing residents to fund the costs of transportation improvements necessi­ tated by major new developments. Recommendation 7 DoD should pay its share of base access transportation needs in a region, regardless of where they occur, on par with costs imposed 90

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Findings and Recommendations on private developers. DoD should pay its share of the cost to improve transportation networks to handle the increased travel demand of mili­ tary bases in metropolitan areas. To determine the military share, a transportation impact study would be required to determine the transportation improvements needed to meet the increased travel demand resulting from increased personnel at military bases. It would ascertain the share of that demand resulting from military travel and from other traffic. The cost of those transporta­ tion improvements would then be allocated to the military and other users based on their share of increased travel. In practice, the allocation of cost responsibility is complex and requires careful analysis and model­ ing in some cases. In addition, there is no single, established methodol­ ogy for carrying out the analysis. Whatever analytic process is used, it should be consistent with the principles listed below. The following principles should apply in defining cost responsibility: • The military should make the same contributions that a devel­ oper would have to make, if any, including whatever concessions are routinely provided. Thus, any required fee should be mod­ eled on how impact fees are imposed on the private sector. If a region welcomes private developments without charging fees or receiving exactions, then they should not expect DoD to provide support for transportation improvements for base expansion. The principle is that DoD should face the same consequences as a private developer. • The military responsibility should extend only to restoring the level of service to what it was before the new traffic was added. • The geographic area of responsibility should be defined by com­ mute sheds rather than some predefined distance from the base perimeter. • Military cost responsibility should be conditioned on the civil sector contributing its share. (Projected growth in civilian traffic would need to be included in assigning cost responsibility. It is not expected that a DoD impact fee would cover the whole cost of needed improvements if it is not the only source of future traffic growth.) • Nonlinearities of impacts and costs should be accounted for and reflected in the impact fee. In allocating costs imposed on traffic flow, the impact of the last marginal user tends to be the most disproportionate; thus, assigning the responsibility for this impact imposes a disproportionate cost. Given projected traffic growth from the civil sector, the incremental growth between the 91

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases military and the civil sector should be shared based on projected growth on the civil side and the new traffic added because of the military. Finding 12 The DAR program is inadequate for addressing military base trans- portation impacts in metropolitan areas. The DAR program eligibility criterion of a doubling of traffic due to military demand is not appropri­ ate in metropolitan areas with already congested facilities. Moreover, as the only DoD transportation capital program to address off­base impacts, the limitation of funding to road improvements does not reflect metro­ politan areas’ dependence on transit for serving a proportion of work trips in peak periods. Recommendation 8 The DAR criteria should be updated to respond to base transpor- tation needs in dense metropolitan areas. The doubling­of­traffic criterion should be eliminated for projects in metropolitan areas and replaced by the principles for determining cost responsibility listed in Recommendation 7. Recommendation 9 DAR funds should be fenced within MILCON so that once funds have been committed for a transportation project they cannot be pulled back to serve some other purpose, short of an emergency. In addi- tion, the 5-year constraint on obligation of funds should be extended parallel to USDOT funding. The required “fencing” of funds can be done by DoD as policy or it can be specified by Congress. Funds for base access requirements should be increased and segregated in a separate fund so that they do not have to compete with other MILCON projects. The cur­ rent 5­year limit on expenditures should also be eased to allow states and regions to develop plans, complete environmental reviews, allow for citizen participation, and commit other funds for the projects. Recommendation 10 A new DoD capital and operating assistance program should be created for nonhighway capital improvement projects to mitigate 92

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Findings and Recommendations base transportation impacts in a MILCON account dedicated to this purpose. As with the DAR program, this funding should be fenced. A number of bases have developed traffic management plans that include more transit and shuttles, telecommuting, variable work hours and schedules, and other traffic demand management techniques. These projects, however, are not eligible for DAR funding. The recommended funding program might be administered by USDOT with funds provided by DoD, in parallel with administration of the DAR program by FHWA. As with the recommended changes to enhance the DAR program, funds for this program should be fenced from other military purposes. Finding 13 Personnel increases at military bases benefit surrounding commu- nities. Increases in base personnel provide an economic stimulus for surrounding communities. Many base personnel live off base where they shop and engage in other activities. Further, these expenditures contrib­ ute tax revenues. In practice, few communities would resist the reloca­ tion of military personnel to their area despite the traffic disruptions they might cause. Recommendation 11 State and local agencies should pay their share of base access trans- portation needs. Military travel demands on metropolitan transporta­ tion networks are only part of the travel requirements of these networks. State and local agencies are responsible for serving these other demands. State and local agencies should also pay their share of transportation improvements to serve the military travel demand in their region. State and local agencies may have to change their transportation priorities and reallocate funds from other projects in their capital plans to meet the new demands. Recommendation 12 Military bases should work through states and MPOs to seek regular local, state, and federal transportation funds. Although severely con­ strained in the near term to address immediate needs, federal, state, and local transportation funds should continue to be sought for military base transportation access projects. If base–community planning processes are better aligned in the future, as recommended above, military transportation 93

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FedeRal Funding oF tRansPoRtation imPRovements in bRac cases projects will have a better chance of being incorporated into long­range transportation plans and being funded through traditional civil trans­ portation funding mechanisms. For the near term, funds should also be sought from USDOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants. Finding 14 There is substantial evidence that in an unusually short period an extraordinary amount of new traffic will be added to already con- gested facilities serving some military bases around the country. These problems cannot be addressed with current funding and processes, nor would they be addressed by the recommendations made above. Some corridors, such as the section of I­395 serving the Mark Center, cannot be expanded with new lanes, but problems can be eased with expanded transit, improved exit and egress lanes, and travel demand measures. I­5 serves Joint Base Lewis–McChord as well as being the main freight artery for the state of Washington. Its capacity constraints are significant and expansion would be extremely expensive. Similarly, I­395 and I­95 in Northern Virginia are already heavily con­ gested in peak periods and will be overwhelmed by the additional traffic from personnel increases at Fort Belvoir and the Mark Center. Waiting for projects to address these problems to be funded through the normal transportation cycle, given continued delays in reauthorizing federal surface transportation programs and the much diminished size of state transportation budgets, means that severe congestion problems around growing military bases could go unaddressed for years. The committee cannot estimate the amount of financial assistance needed in affected areas and recognizes that virtually no amount of money will result in free­flow traffic conditions; however, some improve­ ments are possible. The committee examined only a few case studies and did not have the resources to conduct detailed analyses of options in the cases it examined. It is convinced, however, of the potential exceptional severity of the impacts in these locations and presumes the same could be true in other locations. Recommendation 13 Congress should consider either (a) a one-time, out-of-budget cycle, special appropriation or (b) a reprogramming of uncommitted stimulus act funds to address the transportation problems caused by 94

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Findings and Recommendations BRAC 2005 relocations. The intent of these funds would be to initiate projects as soon as possible that would reduce the severity of congestion impacts within 3 years. Both operating and capital funds for construc­ tion of facilities as well as support for increased transit services and travel demand measures should be included. Thus, the projects to be funded should be those that • Are capable of being initiated within 1 year and can be completed within 3 years, • Will have demonstrable benefits on reducing traffic congestion in adversely affected corridors regardless of mode, and • Are partially funded from local or state funds. Congress should charge the Secretary of Transportation with devel­ oping an estimate of needed funds, in consultation with affected com­ munities, and making a recommendation to Congress for funding. The estimate should be developed within 45 days. To ensure that the highest­ priority projects are supported with these funds, the projects should be selected by the Secretary based on those that best meet the criteria listed above. To expedite the environmental review of these projects, the Secre­ tary should include them on his list of priority projects for environmental streamlining. 95

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