Traffic Issues Burden Critical Installations, Panel Says

Traffic Issues Burden Critical Installations, Panel Says

Defense installations are dealing with a variety of transportation issues inside and outside their gates, including the lack of adequate parking facilities and congested road networks, according to the report accompanying the fiscal 2019 military construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill the House Appropriations Committee approved last week.

“[Parking] deficiencies can contribute to traffic congestion and are serious problems on base,” the committee stated. “The committee is concerned that the department does not have a coherent strategy to address the growing parking requirements at installations that have seen significant growth.” The report cites mission growth at Fort Meade, Md., over the past decade as the reason parking has become “a serious issue” at the post.

The combination of insufficient parking and “inadequate local, state and federal roads” are causing delays for civilians and military members working at critical locations, such as the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, according to the report. The committee also underscores its concern that many of the Army’s access control points need to be modernized to maintain security while improving traffic flow, even as the department has made significant progress upgrading entry points since Sept. 11, 2001. The office of the secretary of defense is conducting a risk assessment of certain access control points and preparing a plan to update those facilities, the lawmakers note.

The committee directs DOD to submit with its FY 2020 military construction budget request an updated list of unfunded requirements for parking facilities, access control points and road construction at DOD facilities that have serious parking, access and road congestion issues. DOD also should submit with its FY 2020 budget request, a list of how those requirements will be incorporated into their construction requests for FY 2020-2024. In addition, the lawmakers ask for a report describing the locations where traffic congestion and insufficient parking facilities potentially impact the performance of national security missions, and outlining detailed plans to mitigate potential impacts.

The milcon spending bill includes $50 million in the construction accounts for each service to alleviate deficiencies in access control points, air traffic control towers, fire stations and antiterrorism/force protection deficiencies across their installations, according to the report.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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