By Chris Adams

Emil Frankel sees his work in transportation policy as covering everything from “the most global to the most mundane.”

But mostly, he sees it as something that affects everybody – every day. “It’s the kind of thing that people talk about because it affects their lives,” he said.

An expert based at the Eno Center for Transportation, Frankel has a long career at both state and federal levels, including stints in the Connecticut and the U.S. departments of transportation. He gave reporters in an NPF session a tutorial on the evolution of funding for the nation’s roads, and on how the Highway Trust Fund faces serious challenges in an era of tight fiscal policy.

What Frankel sees are aging, deteriorating and congested transportation facilities. But he doesn’t see a good method to deal with them. Instead, Frankel said, the nation has a “reactionary attitude towards crumbling infrastructure” and a political environment that doesn’t favor doing anything about it.

The Eno Center has a library that both analyzes current transportation proposals and provides historical reports that show how policy has evolved. Included are sections on highway funding issues and on aviation and air traffic control issues.