State of US highways bemoaned


The American Society of Civil Engineers thinks that it is high time that something is done about US infrastructure, and in particular, the urban highways that Americans use daily to commute to and from their jobs. It has pegged a price to the commute to prove its point.

Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., president of ASCE, said, “Congestion is costing us nearly a full work week and almost 40 gallons of gas a year—at a cost of $808 per average motorist. Couple that with the barely passing grade of D- our roads received in ASCE’s 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure and you can easily see that we are failing to maintain even our current substandard conditions.”

Caldwell continued, “The nation’s roadways are an integral part of our way of life, and are vital to our economy. Bold thinking and leadership are part of the solution, but we must also be willing to make the hard decisions when it comes to infrastructure funding.”

She concluded, “Our infrastructure is in crisis, and the American public needs to tell their elected officials—local, state and federal—that they will no longer tolerate wasting time sitting in traffic instead of spending that time with their families. We have to demand decisive, innovative and meaningful action from our elected officials now, or suffer the safety and economic consequences of inaction.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Sooner or later, America is going to have to get around to shoring up its crumbling infrastructure, although getting a project of the necessary magnitude seems far-fetched in the current political situation. That means Americans stuck in traffic will likely be around for awhile, which is exceptionally good news for those in the radio business.

In our neck of the woods, we have a bridge over a seriously turbulent piece of aquatic real estate that is in serious need of replacing – and in short order, it’s not going to be optional. Perhaps you have similar pieces of roadway, bridgework, etc. near you. The side-effect of putting private companies and their employees to work, so they can buy stuff and help put other people to work, doesn’t seem like that bad a thing to us, especially since we have to do this anyway.

But back to our theme: Constricted highways are great for radio – the more time people are in their car, the more time they have to tune in. But you’d better make sure they have a good reason to do so, and decent traffic reports always worked for us when we were commuting. (Thank you, WTOP!)

The good news – when the roads and bridges are finally being repaired, it will mean: More delays! More time for radio to benefit from stalled commuters, and to get their act together in the unlikely event traffic ever becomes unsnarled.