Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials via PR Newswire
Rising congestion in popular tourist destinations, inadequate roads to serve growing agricultural and energy output, and emerging cities that are not connected to the Interstate system all require immediate attention and investment to ensure that America's rural areas stay connected. Yet too often policy discussions overlook the need to improve connectivity mobility outside metropolitan areas.
According to Connecting Rural and Urban America, a new report released at recent news conferences held in Little Rock, Ark., and Wichita, Kan., more investment is needed in America's rural transportation system to keep agriculture, new energy products and freight moving; improve access for the travel, recreation, and tourism industries; connect new and emerging cities; and to ensure reliable access to key defense installations.
"Improving connectivity and mobility for the 60 million Americans who live in rural areas is just as important as improving mobility for those who live in metropolitan areas," said John Horsley, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
"Rural states are essential to the nation's success, not only to meet the needs of their own citizens, but also to maintain their part of the national network on which the U.S. economy depends."
The AASHTO report offers a three-point plan to ensure the connectivity of rural and urban America in any reauthorization of federal transportation legislation.