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ARC Executive Director Doug Hooker Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee About Transportation Infrastructure Needs

Atlanta — Mar 24, 2021

Atlanta Regional Commission Executive Director Doug Hooker today testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation about the challenges and opportunities in developing the region’s transportation infrastructure.

“Wise investments in transportation infrastructure will boost our economy, support more equitable community development, and advance interstate commerce. These are goals that ARC shares with this committee, your colleagues in the Senate and House, and all of our government partners,” Hooker said.

At the hearing, titled “Driving the Road to Recovery: Rebuilding America’s Transportation Infrastructure,” Hooker focused his remarks on four key recommendations for federal officials:

  • Continue to support the unique role the nation’s Metropolitan Planning Organizations, such as ARC, play in convening diverse groups of public and private stakeholders, to address transportation issues in metropolitan areas.
  • Focus additional resources on addressing the challenges faced by the freight and logistics industry, which is vital to our regional and national economies.
  • Ensure that the FAST Act reauthorization recognizes the critical role that quality of life considerations will plan in building a stronger and more equitable economy when property integrated into transportation development.
  • Leverage the capacity of MPOs to convene broad stakeholder groups to plan for the future electrification and interconnection of our transportation system.

Hooker, who was invited to speak by Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock, underscored the importance of creating a more equitable transportation system that provides opportunities for all residents to thrive.

“We face the challenge of increasing housing costs for our workforce, our nation’s most important resource,” he said. “In Atlanta, almost one-third of homeowners and half of renters are cost burdened, meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes on housing or 50% or more on housing and transportation combined. Due to limited affordability, many employees are forced to undertake long and expensive commutes, which further congests our roadways and adversely impacts interstate commerce.”

Other panelists included Mark McAndrews, the director of the Port of Pascagoula, Toby Barker, Mayor of the City of Hattiesburg, Miss., and John Pocari, managing partner of 3P Enterprises.

Hooker’s full written testimony can be found at www.commerce.senate.gov/2021/3/executive-session.

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities. The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.  

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Contact Name: Paul Donsky
Contact Phone: 404-202-4662
Contact Email: pdonsky@atlantaregional.org

NOTICE: Gov. Brian Kemp has extended a public health emergency declaration and a statewide shelter-in-place order for older adults and medically fragile residents through June 12.

The Atlanta Regional Commission office at 229 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, is closed to the public until further notice. All employees are working remotely and conducting business operations. ARC employees can be contacted directly during normal business hours. However, if you need immediate assistance call 404-463-3100.

If you are seeking resources for older persons and individuals with disabilities, contact us at404-463-3333 or visit empowerline.org.

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