Department of Transportation Report Outlines Efficient Transportation Choices
A May 2012 report by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) outlines efficient transportation opportunities for American consumers. "Efficient Transportation for America" responds to President Obama's call to build the foundation for clean energy economy. Therefore, the DOT is developing an energy efficient transportation system across all modes of transportation.

The report is available
here.
New Hampshire Transportation By The Numbers: Meeting the State's Need for Safe & Efficient Mobility
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The Road Information Program (TRIP) has released an updated report on New Hampshire's infrastructure that highlights the need for increased investment. "By The Numbers" focuses on those key facts and figures that define New Hampshire's road and bridge system:

  • 37% of state-maintained roads and highways have pavements in poor condition
  • The state needs an increase of $74 million annually to maintain the roads and bridges in current conditions
  • Nearly one-third of bridges in New Hampshire are characterized in poor condition
  • Motorists spend, on average, an extra $323 per year on vehicle maintenance because of poor roads

This is just a brief look at the findings of the report. The full report is available to read/download below.

New Hampshire Transportation By The Numbers
The Road to Nowhere: Federal Transportation Infrastructure Policy
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The Council on Foreign Relations recently completed a report comparing America's infrastructure investment with the rest of the world. A scorecard summarizes the findings of the report, including the following:

  • America ranked 24 for infrastructure quality worldwide in 2011.
  • America is currently spending $48 billion annually on infrastructure maintenance and improvement, compared to the recommend $96- $118 billion.
  • In 2008, the trust fun stop covering U.S. highway transportation infrastructure costs.
  • 66% of America voters say fully funding transportation infrastructure is either extremely (27%) or very (39%) important.

To see the scorecard,
click here.

To read and download the report,
click here.

From CFR.org. Reprinted with permission. For more analysis and progress reports on transportation infrastructure and foreign policy, visit CFR.org.
New Hampshire: A State of Disrepair
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Roads are the backbone of our economy. Below is a link to a short video presentation by NH Potholes to explain the disrepair our state's infrastructure is in, and how the state has fallen behind.
Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America's Heartland
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America’s rural heartland is home to approximately 50 million people and its natural resources provide the primary source of the energy, food and fiber that supports the nation’s economy and way of life. According to a new report, the roads and bridges that serve and connect the nation’s rural areas face a number of significant challenges, including inadequate capacity to handle the growing levels of traffic and commerce, limited connectivity, the inability to accommodate growing freight travel, deteriorated road and bridge conditions, a lack of desirable safety features, and a traffic fatality rate far higher than all other roads and highways. The report, “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland,” was released September 1, 2011 by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. It defines Rural America as all places and people living outside the primary daily commuting zones of cities with 50,000 people or more.

New Hampshire’s rural roads and bridges are among the most deteriorated in the nation, the rural traffic fatality rate thirteen times higher than on all other roads. “Ranked in the top twenty for the nation’s worst rural roads and bridges, it is clear that the State of New Hampshire needs to make these key pieces of our infrastructure a higher priority. The state’s Department of Transportation will soon begin planning the next Ten Year Transportation Improvement Plan, and I hope that projects to improve rural roads and bridges will be considered in response to this report,” stated Gary Abbott, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of New Hampshire.

According to the TRIP report, America must adopt transportation policies that will improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions to provide the nation’s small communities and rural areas with the level of safe and efficient access that will support quality of life and enhance economic productivity. This can be done, in part, by modernizing and extending key routes to accommodate personal and commercial travel, improving public transit access to rural areas, implementing needed roadway safety improvements, improving emergency response times, and adequately funding state and local transportation programs to insure sufficient preservation and maintenance of rural transportation assets.
Building America's Future: Falling Apart and Falling Behind
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A new report by Building America’s Future highlights the inefficiencies of America’s infrastructure and how it impacts the economy. The report offers a comparison of the investments being made by international competitors, as well as suggesting a new transportation policy. The report also shows that transportation investment in relation to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been dwindling over the years. This indicates that infrastructure maintenance is not a top priority for the U.S. government. Leading to a conclusion that new transportation policies must be developed, the report provides the following recommendations:

1. Adopt a 10-year national plan for making strategic investments in our nation’s infrastructure (with a focus on transportation).

2. Pass a 6-year transportation bill updated to compete in the 21st century global economy that sets clear priorities and makes hard choices based on increasing economic return and mobility.

3. Create a National Infrastructure Bank that can leverage private dollars and invest in the best big projects, including those that span state boundaries or encompass multiple modes of transportation, once the economy improves consider raising the nearly 20-year old federal gas tax and indexing it for inflation, and look at all the revenue options such as congestion pricing, carbon auctions, fees based on miles traveled, or reserves built into capital markets.

4. Set clear criteria for all funding, encourage state and local innovation through competitive grants, streamline the project delivery process to ensure projects are started quickly, and carefully audit the results to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget, and yielding promised results.
Understanding the Gas Tax
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As the budget battle rages on in Washington, funding for some of America’s most important initiatives continues to stall. One example of this includes funding for transportation infrastructure. Below is a link to a short presentation to help the traveling public understand how infrastructure investments get funded in the U.S. and how the U.S. has fallen behind.
2011 ASCE New Hampshire Infrastructure Report Card
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The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the 2011 New Hampshire Infrastructure Report Card. This new version updates the report card from 2006. Overall, the state has received a C, or fair rating, for its infrastructure. New Hampshire received this same grade in 2006. The state does fair better than the nation, which received a D- in 2009 for overall infrastructure.

The accompanying report highlights the current state of New Hampshire’s infrastructure, and recommendations to improve the systems.
Moving NH Forward: The Condition and Funding of NH's Roads, Highways, & Bridges
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In June 2010, A Safer Road to Tomorrow participated in a press conference with The Road Information Program (TRIP) to release TRIP’s latest report on the road conditions in New Hampshire. “Moving New Hampshire Forward: The Condition and Funding of New Hampshire’s Roads, Highways, and Bridges” outlines the current problems with New Hampshire’s infrastructure, the important link between the economy and a well maintained infrastructure, and the current funding situation on a federal level.

Attending the press conference were Safer Roads partners, NH Chiefs of Police, NH Good Roads, the Business and Industry Association, and the Associated General Contractors of NH; Executive Councilor Ray Burton; Representatives Candace Bouchard and David Campbell; Department of Transportation Commissioner George Campbell; NH Automotive Dealers Association; Nashua Regional Planning Commission; the Road Agents Association; the Local Government Association/NH Municipal Association; the American Council of Engineering Companies; Pike Industries; and the Brain Injury Association.
On A Crash Course: The Dangers and Health Costs of Deficient Roadways
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The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC), in conjunction with the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), has released a report which shows the connection between inadequate roads and accidents. It states that more than half of all highway fatalities can be linked to the poor road conditions. This number is greater than the number of fatalities caused by drunk-driving, speeding, and not wearing safety belts. Each year about 22,000 people die at a cost of $217 billion because of the deficient roads. The $217 billion can be translated into a taxpayer cost of $12 billion. The cost of the accidents is more than three times the amount of money the federal government is currently investing in roadway improvements.

In addition to highlighting the needs for infrastructure repair, the report also details several solutions. While several of the suggestions seem simple, the report also notes that significant road improvements are needed in most areas. This includes widening shoulders, replacing or widening narrow bridges, and clearing more space adjacent to roadways.


© 2012 A Safer Road To Tomorrow