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Public Roads - Spring 1996

Editor's Notes

In this issue

by Bob Bryant

Many magazines that represent specific organizations publish an annual "directory"issue. Their directory is a catalog of facts, figures, and other interesting statisticsabout many facets of the organization. For example, the January 1996 issue of Soldiers,the official magazine of the U.S. Army, is full of articles, photos, maps, charts,graphs, and lists describing the major events in which the Army participated in 1995and information about Army personnel, budget, posts, unit locations, proper wear ofthe uniform, pay and awards, and more. Did you know that 159 soldiers are assignedto Suriname in South America or that more than 68,000 women are currently on activeduty - 13.5 percent of the active Army strength - compared to 13,000 in 1972?

Whenwe were planning this Spring 1996 issue of Public Roads, it was not our intentionto put together a directory. We were simply planning an issue in which all the articleswould be related to the National Highway System (NHS), the importance of the NHS DesignationAct of 1995, and the future Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). But to tell thestory of NHS and FHWA, we had to put these subjects in context, and what emerged wasa sort of directory that tells where FHWA has been, where it is now, where it's going,and how the future FHWA is affected by the landmark legislation known as the NationalHighway System Designation Act of 1995. This issue is also full of facts about NHSand FHWA.

Many subscribers and readers save directory issues as reference material. I hopethat you will find this issue of Public Roads to be a worthy addition to yourpersonal reference library. Overall, it is the most complete summary of NHS and insightinto FHWA and the federal role in surface transportation.

To fit all this information into our 60 pages, we had to make some adjustments.Several regular features of Public Roads are not included in this issue. "Alongthe Road," "New Research," "Recent Publications," and "TechnologyApplications" will be back in the Summer 1996 issue.

In the next issue

Public Roads, Summer 1996, will return to the normal format of the magazinewith articles on a variety of subjects related to federal highway policies, programs,and research and technology. This summer marks the 80th anniversary of the Federal-AidRoad Act of 1916, which established the federal-aid highway program, and the 40thanniversary of the Federal-Aid Highway Act and Highway Revenue Act of 1956, whichcreated the Highway Trust Fund and provided a mechanism for financing the InterstateHighway System. The stories of these historic acts will be included in the next issue.We'll also take a look at the traveler information showcase being used in Atlantathis summer to help visitors and residents beat the congestion during the Summer OlympicGames.

Public Roads is on-line

Public Roads and several other publications produced by the Publications Officeof FHWA's Office of Research and Development are now on-line in the Internet. Youare invited to visit the home page of the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center(TFHRC) to access electronic versions of Public Roads, the Research and TechnologyTransporter newsletter, the TFHRC Researcher's Directory, the 1995 Achievement Reportof TFHRC, and the 1995 FHWA Research and Technology Program Highlights report, aswell as some technical report summaries and lab profiles. The URL (Internet address)for the TFHRC home page is

What do you think?

Public Roads is continuously soliciting reader input and feedback. Let us knowwhat you think. Please send your comments about the information in the magazine andyour suggestions for articles. You can contact me by mail, phone, fax, or via e-mail: The addresses and numbers for the editorial office in McLean,Va., are included in the magazine "Masthead".

Bob Bryant