State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Maine > Title23 > Title23ch3sec0 > Title23sec73

Title 23: HIGHWAYS




§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 State Planning Office 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 State Planning Office, 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.

[ 2003, c. 22, §1 (AMD) .]

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. 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 multimodal transportation capital improvement planning and program delivery. The goals are to:

A. Improve and modernize the interstate system to a good condition or better condition than on July 1, 2007 so as to maintain a free and safe flow of traffic; [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

B. By 2022, reconstruct those principal and minor arterial highways that are not built to nationally accepted design standards; [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

C. By 2027, reconstruct those state highway major collectors that are not built to the department's state design standards; [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

D. Reconstruct state aid minor collector highways in partnership with municipalities, to the extent municipalities elect to undertake such reconstruction pursuant to chapter 19, subchapter 6; [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

E. By 2027, achieve an even distribution of the service life remaining before the arterial and state highway major collector inventory needs major rehabilitation of drainage or structural features; [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

F. By 2027, achieve an even distribution of the service life remaining before bridges need major rehabilitation or replacement, excepting extraordinary-cost bridges as determined by the department or low use bridges or redundant bridges as defined in section 562; and [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

G. Maximize the benefit of capital improvements to freight and passenger transportation users while mitigating, to the extent practicable, energy and environmental impacts. [2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW).]

The department shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over transportation matters by January 15th 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.

[ 2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (NEW) .]


IB 1991, c. 1, §1 (NEW). RR 1991, c. 2, §88 (COR). 2003, c. 22, §1 (AMD). 2007, c. 470, Pt. B, §1 (AMD).