With Congress on recess and the new short-term highway patch hourglass beginning to slowly sieve, the symptoms of our nation’s aging infrastructure are gaining more attention from the media and states.
Just this week, a subway train derailed in Washington, D.C., causing extreme delays for daily commuters.
In response to the ubiquity of worn out infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched an Instagram and Twitter campaign, asking Americans to submit photos of worn-out infrastructure in their local communities with the hashtag #ShowUsYourInfraWear. The goal is to highlight the most pressing infrastructure needs that inconvenience the American public and they could be fixed if there were a long-term surface transportation bill.
On a legislative note, Senator Tom Carper from Delaware introduced a bill—believed to be the first-ever to use a hashtag in the bill title. This bill would incrementally increase the gas tax over the next four years, resulting in a 16-cents-per-gallon increase by 2020 that would then be tied to inflation. “At a time when gas prices are some of the lowest we’ve seen in recent memory, we should be willing to make the hard choice to raise the federal gas tax,” Carper said, in regards to the need to produce long-term funding to #FixTheTrustFund.
With long-term funding, not only would infrastructure needs be met, but the opportunity to invest in infrastructure projects, as identified in #GameChangers, would arise. This past Thursday was the 101st anniversary of the traffic light, which stood as one of the original game changers of our transportation world. If we want to see more innovations continue to improve our society, we need to be willing to make the investment.
It is essential that Congress work diligently in the next three months to find a long-term funding solution for surface transportation.
You can write your representative a letter or call their office and share the message to #FixTheTrustFund by the Oct 29 deadline.