Do you see what I don't? The gaps in the new U.S. transportation plan

Wed, 2014-03-05 06:00 -- Jesse Berst
The good news: U.S. President Obama is pushing a bipartisan transportation initiative that purports to be a "vision for 21st century transportation infrastructure." The good news part deux: The initiative includes funding ideas.

The bad news: The initiative is overwhelmingly oriented towards 20th century approaches (where it has any orientation at all). Yes, it makes passing mention of multi-modal transportation. But virtually no mention of the smart technology that can a) squeeze much more from existing infrastructure and b) delay or defer the need for additional "traditional" infrastructure and c) underlie new transportation mechanisms that are far more cost-efficient and sustainable.

Indeed, it appears that the program will spend as much as $300 billion mostly to repave roads and repair bridges. What a crime to spend that much money to revisit the last century.  It appears that the smart transportation industry is still too fragmented and still has too little self-identity to organize to educate policymakers with a different, better vision. That's a loss for those companies, of course, but also for the country. 

Read the statement from the White House.  Am I missing something? Use the Comment form to share your opinion.


Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to learn about the benefits you receive when you join the Council for free.