- According to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America’s roads are crowded, in bad condition, deeply underfunded and growing more dangerous. Roughly two out of every five miles of city highways are chronically congested, causing such frequent traffic delays that in 2014, cost the country $160 billion in wasted time and fuel.
- On highways, one out of every five miles is in poor condition. American roads are desperately in need of rehabilitation. Between 2014 and 2015, traffic fatalities increased by 7%, equaling 35,092 deaths.
- According to ASCE, the highway system has been chronically underfunded, resulting in $420 million in backlog for highway repair needs.
The ASCE's assessment of our current road conditions and the dangers and waste caused has led to an action item list of immediate changes needed. Increasing funding from both the government and the private sector to address the immensity of highway needs, as well as empowering the federal Highway Trust Fund by increasing the federal motor fuel tax and linking it to inflation, will help to ensure future sustainability.
Congestion must be addressed, whether through technology that grows existing capacity or through the creation of a multi-method, varied transportation system. Re-prioritze road maintenance to extend its working lifetime. Ensure that state and local government guarantees funding mechanisms for repair investment (through fuel or other taxes). Plan for long-term maintenance to replenish funding and innovate alternatives to the motor fuel tax, potentially developing a mileage-based user fee program.
Lastly, task the federal Highway Safety Improvement Program with new methods of improving road safety for all.