U.S. mayors urge Congress to back long-term transportation funding bill
Approximately 85 percent of the U.S. population lives in metropolitan areas. These same regions generate 90 percent of the GDP in the U.S. and transport 70 percent of freight value throughout the nation. Experts estimate that U.S. cities will continue to grow, adding up to 66 million more residents within 30 years. These figures demonstrate that the U.S. must have effective transportation infrastructure, six mayors said in a posting Tuesday on the U.S. Department of Transportation's blog Fast Lane .
Mayors are known for working closer to the ground level than Congress does, and they are urging Congress that the U.S. desperately needs an infrastructure solution.
Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx sent Congress the GROW AMERICA Act earlier this year, which may serve to solve the infrastructure problems the U.S. faces. In a few weeks, Congress will decide whether to extend the transportation program for a short term, which has already proven inadequate. The mayors are urging Congress to consider long-term solutions instead.
City transportation departments and city planners are attempting to solve infrastructure problems, but they cannot plan past the current two month extension for federal transportation funding, the mayors said. Additionally, funding has not improved since 2009, which forces the U.S. to make do with minimal maintenance requirements.
Infrastructure is crucial to the economy. Businesses must have access to markets, deliveries, employees and customers in order to grow. People need working roads in order to complete a full day at their jobs.