WASHINGTON — The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO} has compiled a list of very distinct – and pressing – issues that loom at the local, state, and federal levels.
“We are urging Congress to write a balanced bill next year that meets the needs of preservation and new capacity, meets the needs of rural and urban America, and meets the needs for highways as well as transit,” said John Horsley, AASHTO’s executive director. “If we get a bill passed with these elements, we have a shot of meeting the country’s needs.
“It’s important to remember that for every dollar that we don’t spend today to preserve highways, five years from now it will cost us $7. In addition, President Obama wants exports to lead our national economic recovery. But you can’t move goods competitively to markets without a solid aviation, water, and rail system, and if we let those systems decline further, we won’t be able to sustain that export-led growth. Bottom line: It’s vital to the national economic recovery to have a world-class transportation system.”
Here’s a look at the top 10 transportation topics that we think will be part of the national conversation in 2011 – in the media, in government, and around the dinner table.
- Enacting a long-term transportation bill that will keep America moving.
- Paying for the transportation system we need. Ensuring Safer Roads. Moving on High-Speed Rail Grants.
- Bringing modernization and new technologies to our transportation network. Increasingly assertive environmental regulations.
- Social Media Continues to Rock the Transportation World.
- New support systems to bolster renewable and reliable energy sources.
- Wrapping up Recovery Act projects. What’s next?