Gallatin's Report on Roads, Canals, Harbors, and Rivers
At its beginning the United States was so deficient in avenues of transportation—with roads in some areas practically impassable several months of the year—that political disintegration was gravely feared. So insistent were the demands for improvement that, acting on a Senate resolution of 1807, Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin prepared an analysis and program, presented in 1808. He urged the national government to build a series of canals along the Atlantic seaboard from Massachusetts to the Carolinas; build interior canals and roads; and establish communication between the Atlantic and midwestern rivers and with the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes. He thought that all of the improvements could be made for $20 million, and as the Treasury was steadily accumulating a surplus, that the debt could be paid in ten years. This proposed indebtedness, the first suggestion of the sort in U.S. history, was bitterly denounced by many, and President Thomas Jefferson did not believe the idea constitutional. While the subject was being debated, the War of 1812 approached and soon stopped all thought of the projects. After the war they were brought up again, and four roads were built, but no canals. Gallatin's report was prophetic in that most of the works he advocated were later completed either by the federal government, as was the Intracoastal Waterway, or by the states, as was the Erie Canal. The subject of internal improvements became increasingly divisive during the antebellum period, pitting Whigs, who generally supported federal funds for transportation improvements, against Democrats, who did not. Bibliography
Ewing, Frank E. America's Forgotten Statesman: Albert Gallatin. New York: Vantage Press, 1959. Kuppenheimer, L. B. Albert Gallatin's Vision of Democratic Stability: An Interpretive Profile. Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1996.
Walters, Ray. Albert Gallatin: Jeffersonian Financier and Diplomat. New York: Macmillan, 1957.
Cost and Safety Efficient Design Study of Rural Roads
in Developing Countries
by B L Hills, C J Baguley and S J Kirk
The DFID/TRL guide "Towards Safer Roads in Developing Countries" (TRL,1991) was produced by road safety engineers to help change the attitudes of highway planners and engineers in developing countries to the needs of road safety - in particular the needs of the pedestrian. It has been very successful in raising the awareness of the problem around the world, but there remains a reluctance amongst many planners and engineers operating in developing countries to adopt the recommendations. The reasons for this are a combination of (i) a lack of detailed design information of alternative safety features; and (ii) a common belief that incorporating safety is expensive, and that with limited funds available, this will result in a shorter length of road being built. This project was designed to bridge the gap between the needs of cost conscious and safety conscious highway planning and design in developing countries. It has attempted to identify those aspects of highway planning and design where safety can be maximised at minimal cost, with the aim of producing practical Cost and Safety Efficient design notes (CaSE notes) to show how this can be achieved. It was planned that these would eventually lead to the running of in-country training seminars in a later phase.
1. Existing data - A safety highway design study re-visited: As part of a programme of collaborative road safety research between the TRL (funded by DFID) and the Papua New Guinea Department of Transport, a geometric survey was carried out in 1990 of the Highlands (Okuk) Highway from Mt Hagen to Lae, a distance of 480 km. It particularly examined features such as drainage ditch design and side slope profiles that could possibly be a factor in the very high...