NC Chamber Urges State Leaders to Act
You have probably noticed, but traffic on North Carolina roads is getting worse and the safety of our roads and bridges is declining. In North Caroline, deficient roads and bridges and high congestion cost drivers $6.5 billion annually in additional vehicle operating costs, lost time and wasted fuel. Even more alarming, 30 percent of bridges in the state are structurally or functionally obsolete (NC ranks 37th worst in the nation for bridge safety).
North Carolina is growing – the population expected to increase by 3 million people over the next 15 years – which only means these problems are mounting. With a do-nothing approach, North Carolina is heading toward a transportation crisis and won’t be able to maintain and improve the safety and efficiency of our statewide transportation system.
Our state needs to be proactive to address this problem before it’s too late! In a letter to the General Assembly, the North Carolina Chamber urged state leaders to take action in 2015 to implement reforms to address the current transportation revenue uncertainty in order to address safety and congestion concerns, and encourage economic growth. Additionally, North Carolina must be proactive and look years and decades ahead to create stable and diversified revenue model that will meet the demands of the growing population.
We are working with more than 30 statewide organizations on the Coalition for a Prosperous Future to advance comprehensive solutions around this critical issue. In a guest column in the Winston-Salem Journal, Scott Sewell, chairman of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, shares his perspective on the need for both short- and long-term solutions to address transportation funding challenges. Sewell stresses, “Our citizens need to understand that keeping our economy strong and enhancing our quality of life by not being caught in endless traffic jams means we have to find a way to fund the transportation systems we need.”
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber