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U. S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Washington, D. C. 20591         FHWA - - 87
[[stamp]] MAY 27 1967 [[/stamp]]


The Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration said today that a new level of priority is being applied to the problem of airport access roads in the major urban areas of the country. 

Federal Highway Administrator Lowell K. Bridwell said the airport access problem is being melded into a recently-inaugurated national program to increase the capacity and safety of highways and city streets. 

Known as the TOPICS program, it permits the use of Federal funds and technical support to modernize city streets through traffic engineering improvements and makes some streets eligible for Federal aid which previously have not been eligible for such aid. 

Administrator Bridwell said instructions have gone out to the FHWA's 10 Regional Offices "emphasizing the need for consideration of airport access in the development of the TOPICS program."

"No TOPICS program should be advanced beyond the planning stage," the instructions said, "unless adequate attention has been given to this (airport access) high priority item." 

Because airports are generators of heavy highway traffic, Mr. Bridwell said "traffic engineering techniques can play a part in accelerating the movement of vehicles to and from terminals. Getting from an airport to a city's downtown sometimes takes longer than the air flight."

He pointed out that improvement of airport access is in accord with the Department of Transportation's concept of a fully-coordinated transportation system.

The FHWA's Bureau of Public Roads in coordinating the effort to improve highway access to airports. It has identified 87 urbanized areas with population of 200,000 or more for initial attention. Studies are being launched immediately of problems relating to the transportation between the central business district and airports, including such items as travel times during the peak and off-peak hours.

A review is being made of the Federal-aid systems serving airports, and a determination will be made of any required revisions or additions to the system that might be required to improve airport access.

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