§73. Transportation policy

Link to law: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/23/title23sec73.html
Published: 2015

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§73. Transportation policy








1. Short title. 
This section may be known and cited as the "Sensible Transportation Policy Act."


[
IB 1991, c. 1, §1 (NEW)
.]








2. Purposes and findings. 
The people of the State find that decisions regarding the State's transportation
network are vital to the well-being of Maine citizens, to the economic health of the
State and to the quality of life that the citizens treasure and seek to protect.


The people also find that these decisions have profound, long-lasting and sometimes
detrimental impacts on the natural resources of the State, including its air quality,
land and water.


The people further find that substantial portions of the state highway system are
in disrepair and improvements to the State's roads and bridges are necessary to provide
a safe, efficient, and adequate transportation network throughout the State.


The people further find that the State's transportation network is heavily dependent
on foreign oil, that such reliance is detrimental to the health of the State's economy
and that the health and long-term stability of the State's economy require increased
reliance on more efficient forms of transportation.


The people further find that improvements to the transportation network are necessary
to meet the diverse transportation needs of the people of the State including rural
and urban populations and the unique mobility requirements of the elderly and disabled.


The people further find that the decisions of state agencies regarding transportation
needs and facilities are often made in isolation, without sufficient comprehensive
planning and opportunity for meaningful public input and guidance.


[
IB 1991, c. 1, §1 (NEW)
.]








3. Transportation policy. 
It is the policy of the State that transportation planning decisions, capital investment
decisions and project decisions must:





A. Minimize the harmful effects of transportation on public health and on air and water
quality, land use and other natural resources; [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










B. Require that the full range of reasonable transportation alternatives be evaluated
for all significant highway construction or reconstruction projects and give preference
to transportation system management options, demand management strategies, improvements
to the existing system, and other transportation modes before increasing highway capacity
through road building activities; [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










C. Ensure the repair and necessary improvement of roads and bridges throughout the
State to provide a safe, efficient and adequate transportation network; [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










D. Reduce the State's reliance on foreign oil and promote reliance on energy-efficient
forms of transportation; [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










E. Meet the diverse transportation needs of the people of the State, including rural
and urban populations and the unique mobility needs of the elderly and disabled; [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










F. Be consistent with the purposes, goals and policies of the Comprehensive Planning
and Land Use Regulation Act; and [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]










G. Incorporate a public participation process in which local governmental bodies and
the public have timely notice and opportunity to identify and comment on concerns
related to transportation planning decisions, capital investment decisions and project
decisions. The department and the Maine Turnpike Authority shall take the comments
and concerns of local citizens into account and must be responsive to them. [RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).]







[
RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR)
.]








4. Rulemaking. 
The Department of Transportation shall adopt a rule within one year of the effective
date of this Act, in coordination with the Maine Turnpike Authority and state agencies
including the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and the Department of Environmental Protection, to implement the statewide comprehensive
transportation policy. The rule must incorporate a public participation process that
provides municipalities and other political subdivisions of the State and members
of the public notice and opportunity to comment on transportation planning decisions,
capital investment decisions, project decisions and compliance with the statewide
transportation policy.


The Department of Transportation shall adopt a rule, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, that establishes linkage between the planning processes outlined in this section
and those promoted by Title 30-A, chapter 187, subchapter 2 and that promotes investment
incentives for communities that adopt and implement land use plans that minimize over-reliance
on the state highway network. This rule is a major substantive rule as defined in
Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.


[
2011, c. 655, Pt. JJ, §9 (AMD);
2011, c. 655, Pt. JJ, §41 (AFF);
2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV)
.]








5. Applicability to Department of Transportation. 
Transportation planning decisions, capital investment decisions and project decisions
of the Department of Transportation are governed by and must comply with the transportation
policy set forth in this section and rules implementing that policy.


[
IB 1991, c. 1, §1 (NEW)
.]








6. Capital goals and reporting. 












[
2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §1 (RP)
.]








7. Priorities, service levels, capital goals and reporting.  
The Department of Transportation shall classify the State's public highways as Priority
1 to Priority 6 corridors using factors such as the federal functional classification
system, regional economic significance, heavy haul truck use and relative regional
traffic volumes. The department shall also establish customer service levels related
to safety, condition and serviceability appropriate to the priority of the highway,
resulting in a system that grades each highway as Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor or Unacceptable.


To provide a capital transportation program that is geographically balanced and that
addresses urban and rural needs, the department shall include the following goals
as part of its capital improvement plans and program delivery. The goals are to:





A. By 2022, improve all Priority 1 and Priority 2 corridors so that their safety, condition
and serviceability customer service level equals Fair or better; [2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW).]










B. By 2027, improve all Priority 3 corridors so that their safety, condition and serviceability
customer service level equals Fair or better; [2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW).]










C. By 2017, implement a pavement program for all Priority 4 corridors that maintains
their ride quality customer service level at Fair or better; [2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW).]










D. Continue the light capital paving program on a 7-year cycle for Priority 5 corridors
outside compact areas as defined in section 754; and [2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW).]










E. By 2015, develop and implement a similar asset priority and customer service level
system of measurement for all major freight and passenger transportation assets owned
or supported by the department, including capital goals. [2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW).]







The department shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having
jurisdiction over transportation matters by March 1st of each odd-numbered year quantifying
progress realized and time that has elapsed since the goals were established. The
department shall recommend any remedial actions, including additional funding or revisions
to the goals, that the department determines to be necessary or appropriate.


[
2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §2 (NEW)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

IB 1991, c. 1, §1 (NEW).
RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR).
2003, c. 22, §1 (AMD).
2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (AMD).
2011, c. 610, Pt. B, §§1, 2 (AMD).
2011, c. 655, Pt. JJ, §9 (AMD).
2011, c. 655, Pt. JJ, §41 (AFF).
2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).