With Independence Day around the corner, now is a good time to reflect upon the freedoms we have enjoyed for the past 239 years. To this day, our national interstate highway system represents the freedom of mobility that we enjoy as Americans. This holiday weekend, AAA is predicting that nearly 42 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles from home on the nation’s roads and highways.
Given the dire condition and investment needs of our surface transportation, Congress must remember that ultimately they are responsible for maintaining and modernizing our transportation network.
Despite Congress’ constitutional responsibility to fund surface transportation, our lack of federal road, bridge and transit funding means has led many states to step up transportation funding themselves. Six states have increased their gas tax starting July 1, including Idaho, Georgia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Nebraska and Vermont. Earlier this week, Washington joined other states this year in passing a transportation bill that includes a gas tax increase of 12 cents per gallon. This is reflective of the trend noted recently in Huffington Post about the many states that have enacted transportation funding this year, while another 16 are in the process of doing so. These actions will "generate billions of additional dollars" for local transit and highway projects.
As motorists hit the roads this weekend, let’s hope that the traffic headaches they will certainly face will motivate Congress to come up with a funding solution to #FixTheTrustFund.
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