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Roads, bridges and transit pave way to competitiveness and quality of life

Every day in our region people from all walks of life depend on transit and our system of highways, roads and bridges. From getting to work or to the doctor to getting parts to factories and finished goods to market, our transportation system literally paves the way for our quality of life and the health of our economy.

We all agree on the need to take care of the system we have. And, we all want to get where we need to go more quickly, safely and easily despite a growing population. To succeed, we need to invest in maintaining and improving our streets, bridges, transit, sidewalks, trails and bike lanes.

Safe, well-maintained roads, bridges and transit are a big part of what distinguishes us from developing countries. They are an essential part of a modern economy.

Our businesses are better able to recruit and retain workers if their employees can get from home to work and back again without getting stuck in traffic. They can more effectively attract young talent if we have a range of appealing, affordable and convenient transportation options. And, our businesses gain a competitive edge when our freeways don’t look like parking lots.

Our success locally, regionally and at the state level, hinges on federal transportation investments. Unfortunately, the federal dollars critical to both on-going and new projects may be cut off as early August 29.

The fact is, while the federal gas tax rate has remained the same cars have become more efficient and we are driving less. While this is a positive policy outcome, it highlights the problem of relying on the gas tax in its current form to pay for decent roads, bridges and transit service. More importantly, construction and maintenance costs have grown by about two-thirds while revenues declined. Our current system can’t keep up.



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