After discussing RV industry priorities with Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao at a recent White House briefing, the RV Industry Association’s (RVIA) federal affairs team participated in an in-depth follow-up meeting with DOT senior advisors.
RVIA News & Insights reported that the team discussed specific transportation-related priorities affecting the RV industry, including the reauthorization of the FAST Act, a transportation funding bill, and the key programs administered by DOT, as well as the growth in confidence and trust between the RV industry and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
One topic of discussion that piqued the interest of the staff was utilizing current DOT programs to help address America’s outdated Eisenhower-era federal campground infrastructure, crumbling roads and bridges and deferred maintenance needs plaguing our federal land agencies. These issues are piling up and negatively affecting the $114 billion RV industry and the RV campers that frequently must navigate inadequate roads and limited access to RV camping opportunities on iconic federal lands.
RV Industry Association staff discussed one solution to help address our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure in and around our parks which involves increasing the Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) funding and revisiting how it is allocated to federal land agencies. This program was established to improve transportation facilities and address the highest priority transportation-related needs for federal land agency partners, which include the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service.
DOT staff were also receptive to the idea that improving transportation assets in rural gateway communities and within the National Park System—paved roads, parking lots, tunnels and bridges—presents an extraordinary bipartisan opportunity to boost the enjoyment and educational benefits of America’s vast public lands while also supporting and expanding rural American jobs and our economy.