With the familiar dread of my 5pm drive home on the New Jersey Garden State Parkway hovering, I have decided to blog about the state of U.S. highway infrastructure. A gloomy topic on a sunny day.
Yesterday, I received Walker Industrial‘s spring newsletter called “Outlook,” which provides a brief, but potent picture of the traffic and roadway problems facing the nation right now. With so many relocating and expanding companies looking for easy access to transport routes for their shipping and distribution centers, I found it troubling, though perhaps not surprising, that our major cities and ports are suffering from the severe congestion of their surrounding highways, many of which are operating at 90% or more of their traffic capacity. Almost the whole stretch of Interstate 95 from New York City to Richmond, VA is exceeding its capacity, as are highway connections snaking around Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta, among others. Road congestion is also slowing up port activity in New York, New Jersey, and southern California, according to the Walker report.
Here is the kicker: in 2005, President Bush commissioned a team to examine the U.S. highway infrastructure problems. Three years later, the findings still have not been released—that’s a long time to be sitting in gridlock!