For nearly six years America has not had a long-term transportation bill. While Congress has bickered and passed short-term patchwork bills, our nation's roads, bridges and public transit systems have deteriorated. Moreover, projects to modernize and expand our transportation infrastructure have been delayed or postponed, some indefinitely.
The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that we have a backlog of $87 billion in rail and bus maintenance alone. But we need to do more than maintain what we have.
Currently, Americans spend about 5.5 billion hours stuck in traffic every year, which costs households an estimated $120 billion annually. We need improved and expanded transportation, including better public transit options for all communities.
Lawmakers should seize the opportunity to find consensus and pass a much-needed, long-term transportation bill. Republicans and Democrats alike use the same roads, bridges, trains and buses. If Congress can't reach an agreement on something as basic and historically bipartisan as transportation it is failing to meet the needs of hard-working families at home.
I am participating in National Stand Up 4 Transportation Day to help make sure Congress gets the message. I hope others in our community will do the same.
William Dusold, Severna Park