People and goods must have the ability to move quickly and efficiently from one location to another. If the U.S. population continues to grow then the problems we face today with congestion, gridlock, deteriorating roads and bridges, and failing levees will only get worse.
Consider the following:
- In 2011 Americans wasted 5.5 billion hours and 2.9 billion gallons fuel sitting in traffic at a cost of $121 billion. That comes to $818 per commuter (Urban Mobility Report).
- The average American commuter wasted 38 hours sitting in traffic in 2011. This is up from 16 hours in 1982 (Urban Mobility Report).
- It is estimated that the conditions of our roads play a role in one-third of traffic fatalities. Motor vehicle crashes cost the U.S. $230 billion per year – or $818 for each resident – in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays, workplace costs, insurance costs and legal costs (TRIP).
American households spend 9.8 percent of their budgets on transportation (USDOT). If we can efficiently get our goods to and from our ports that means lower costs, more sales for our businesses, and increased economic growth.
If we can ensure that our streets are safer for our communities and families, then more people will be able to get to their homes, places of work, and schools without worry.
If we can strengthen our levees, dams, power grid, and other critical infrastructure then we will avoid disasters that will cost lives and billions of dollars while providing reliability to millions of Americans.
If we can give people more transportation options and reduce congestion on our roads, rails and airports, then people will have more economic opportunity and a better quality of life.