Frances Huessy -
VEIC has articulated its policy position on federal transportation infrastructure and the depletion of the Highway Trust Fund, in the context of the GROW AMERICA Act.
But what about Vermont? If the Highway Trust Fund becomes insolvent before any long-term bill is passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, where does Vermont stand in terms of its transportation baseline?
- 45% of the state’s roads are in "poor" or "mediocre" condition, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The range nationwide is 17% (Indiana) to 73% (Connecticut and Illinois).
- 7.5% of the bridges in Vermont are "structurally deficient" according to 2014 data from the Federal Highway Administration.
- Vermont’s roads add high costs for motorists. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the annual total extra vehicle repairs / operating costs due to driving on roads in need of fixing is $424. Nationwide, the range is $60 (Georgia) to $601 (New Jersey).
- 31% of the state’s energy use is in road transportation that depends on fossil fuels (gasoline and diesel), the sales of which currently fund the Highway Trust Fund.
VEIC advocates a general re-thinking of how transportation infrastructure should be viewed—and therefore, how it should be funded. VEIC cites three ways to reduce the economic and environmental costs of transportation use within the state:
- Promote public transit, biking, car- and van-pooling, and walking
- Reduce emissions by improving fuel efficiency and increasing the use of alternative, cleaner fuels
- Ensure adequate carbon-based revenue solutions to address critical highway (roads and bridges) infrastructure needs through existing taxes, new excise taxes, user fees, tolls, congestion pricing, fees for vehicle miles traveled, or other funding mechanisms.
VEIC believes these recommendations offer significant value in Vermont. Read the full VEIC White Paper: Transportation in Vermont, Policy Options