Letter to Harlow H. Curtice, Chairman, the President's Committee for Traffic Safety, on the Highway Modernization Program
Dear Mr. Curtice:
I was very glad to learn that your Committee for Traffic Safety is planning to give increased emphasis to the need for organized citizen support, in all States and communities, of the accident prevention possibilities of the new highway modernization program.
The 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act established a "grand plan" for the rebuilding of our obsolete road and street system. It provides substantial financial aid to the States over a thirteen year period for construction. In addition, the Federal government will do everything it properly can do to expedite the completion of the program. A safe and efficient road network is absolutely essential to curtailment of death and injury from accidents, as well as to the national defense and to our expanding economy.
Federal action is only the beginning, however. There is likewise the big and complex task of acquiring the necessary rights-of-way, of designing, building and operating the highways. These are responsibilities that belong primarily to the States themselves and their local communities. The 1956 Act wisely carried forward intact the traditional Federal-State partnership which has been so effective in the development of America's highway system.
On a program of this magnitude and urgency, obviously the State and local highway agencies face numerous problems which must be solved as promptly as possible. They will need all the help they can get. Most of all, they will need the kind of informed support which can only come from wide and thorough public understanding.
I am sure that through the leadership of your Committee and the many splendid safety organizations cooperating with it, a timely and valuable contribution can be made to this objective.
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER
Note: The President's letter was in reply to a letter from Mr. Curtice dated November 14, 1956. Both were included in the Augusta, Ca., release.
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Letter to Harlow H. Curtice, Chairman, the President's Committee for Traffic Safety, on the Highway Modernization Program Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/233924