On Monday, the Obama administration unveiled the initial findings of a 30-year transportation framework. A full report about the plan will be released later this year but the White House revealed some of the initial conclusions.
Some of the key points include:
- The report will outline the challenge of rapid population growth, particularly the need for infrastructure expansion in the South and West, while meeting demand for replacing roads, bridges and other critical systems in the aging Northeast and Midwest.
- An American Society of Civil Engineers report two years ago concluded that it would take a $3.6 trillion investment by 2020 to meet infrastructure needs, about $1.6 trillion short of current spending. The Miller Center said maintaining infrastructure at current levels required additional spending of $134 billion to $194 billion each year through 2035.
- The increasing number of people living in urban centers instead of suburbs may put a higher demand on transit, pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.
- “What people are viewing as this cute, cuddly bike and pedestrian movement could be a real game changer,” DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said.
- With shopping shifting from retail to online ordering, getting packages delivered on time could influence the traffic congestion issue that plagues major urban centers.
- If the United States moves toward becoming an exporter of natural gas, a shortage of pipelines will stress rail systems. The development of remote-pay systems by smartphone or E-ZPass may change the way people pay for transportation.
- With autonomous cars and, perhaps, trucks, on the horizon, daily travel may change profoundly in the next two decades.