The findings from HNTB’s commissioned poll, America Thinks: Funding Congestion Solutions – 2018, were revealed earlier this week. America’s infrastructure received an overall D+ grade in the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card and HNTB’s poll reveals the impact of the poor grade on the public and the increasing desire for infrastructure improvement. The results show that Americans are seeing a noticeable increase in traffic congestion and as a result they are willing to pay more to get the infrastructure they want and need. HNTB reports that Americans are “frustrated with increasing congestion” and are in favor of user fees and higher taxes to fund infrastructure improvements. Specifically, 60% of respondents have noticed worsening traffic congestion in the last year. To solve this problem, 46% of respondents said they support user fees or tolls and 27% favor higher taxes to fund upgrades.
HNTB’s poll coincides with the recent release of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) Public Spending on Transportation and Water Infrastructure, 1956 to 2017 report. The historical infrastructure spending data shows that federal government spending has only slightly increased over the years; while state spending has greatly increased over time. ASCE reports that 27 states have raised their gas tax in the past 5 years. As we move into election season, five more states are joining the ranks by putting their own infrastructure spending solutions on November ballots. Find out if infrastructure is on the ballot in your state and take a look at what you can do to help.
The recent reports from HNTB and CBO illustrate the need and want for improved infrastructure systems. States are stepping up and the public is voicing their concern, but it’s time for an infrastructure package at the federal level.