By Kerry O’Hare, Vice President and Director of Policy, Building America’s Future
With the Fourth of July right around the corner, millions of Americans are making plans to hit the roads, runways or rails to celebrate the nation’s 241st birthday. AAA has said that it expects 44.2 million people will travel at least 50 miles from home – a nearly 3 percent increase over last year’s record for the holiday. While most of that travel is expected to take place on our roads, air travel is also expected to increase for the eighth consecutive year.
If you are planning to drive, there is some good news and bad news. The good news is that gas prices are four cents cheaper than last year – a historic low for the summer travel season. The bad news is that you will be joined by 37.5 million other drivers, which can only mean one thing: traffic jams. In 2014 alone, inadequate roadways that resulted in increased congestion cost motorists $160 billion in wasted time and fuel, or $960 per motorist.
Those planning to fly are not immune to congestion either. Overcrowded airports, many of them in with inadequate runways and in need of modernization, can add to the frustration of travel. A recent report by the Airports Council International – North America outlined the nearly $100 billion in needed upgrades at America’s airports over the next five years. This is a 32 percent increase since 2015.
So, instead of feeling helpless and frustrated by all the congestion and delays, join the over 15,780 users who have downloaded I’m Stuck, the free mobile app from Building America’s Future. Our app allows you to send an e-mail to your Member of Congress and two Senators urging them to take action and pass a long-term transportation bill. I’m Stuck users have already sent 14,822 e-mails to Congress.
The opportunity for action on a long-term infrastructure plan has never been better with President Trump touting his intention to offer a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. It’s time to share your frustration about the current state of our infrastructure – which the American Society of Civil Engineers has graded a D+ – and let your Congressional representatives hear from you by using I’m Stuck. There is no better way to celebrate America’s birthday!