Assessing New York's Border Needs

Seaman, Mark, Todd Goldman, and Allison L. C. de Cerreño
December 2004 A joint effort with the University Transportation Research Center & the Rudin Center for Transportation and Policy Management

Canada is the United State's strongest trading partner, exceeding trade with Mexico and with the European Union. On land, this trade flows through 22 principal border crossings between the United States and Canada, with 90% of the value and three-quarters of the tonnage and truck trips originating in or destined for locations beyond the border states. Three of the six crossings are in New York State. However, up to one-half of the trips originate in or are destined for locations beyond the border states. Thus, while they generate economic value nationally, the burdens they bring are concentrated in border states. Recognizing the significance of the border states and the need for transportation corridors throughout the country to facilitate the projected growth in trade, Congress established the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program and the National Corridor Planning and Development Program in 1998. However, these programs have fallen short of their goals, principally as a result of under-funding and earmarking. If the current funding levels and practices of the Borders and Corridors Program continue, there is concern that freight volume at the key crossings in New York will continue to grow without the ability to effectively and efficiently service it. This study assesses the implications for New York State and for the country if New York's border and corridor needs are unmet.