During the 2014 Legislative Session of the Georgia General Assembly, state lawmakers formed the “Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding.” The Committee studied the conditions, needs, issues, and problems associated with Georgia’s transportation infrastructure as well as the means of funding its construction, maintenance, and repair to allow the transportation systems in Georgia to keep up with the needs of a growing population and to address long-standing issues relating to road congestion, access to industry and economic development. Representative Jay Roberts of the 155th district and Senator Steve Gooch of the 51st were the co-chairmen of the Committee, which held eight public meetings at locations throughout the state from August to November. Among the findings and recommendations of the Joint Study Committee:
- Create a minimum of $1.0 – 1.5 billion in new annual transportation infrastructure investment to address the challenges facing the state and produce the following results:
- Ensure safety and good repair of Georgia’s bridges and roadways, throughout Georgia, both in rural and urban areas of the state,
- Mitigate congestion in the fastest-growing urban and business centers throughout Georgia, and
- Provide Georgians, Georgia businesses and visitors with multi-modal transportation options, ensuring positive, sustainable economic outcomes.
The full report is available here.
We are very please to see the Committee’s emphasis on economic development, transportation choices, safety, and easing urban traffic congestion. Bike-friendly streets and paved trails are proven, cost-effective approaches to solving these complex issues. Safe bicycling routes to school and transit reduce short-distance car trips and make accessing other modesmore convenient and comfortable. Cities that actively foster daily bicycling trips with protected facilities enjoy robust economic growth, innovation, and increased property values. Even small towns that invest in better bicycling reap tremendous benefits from active tourism and a healthier local populace.
We urge Georgia’s lawmakers to ensure that whatever state funding mechanism is created will include a meaningful commitment to build safe, family-friendly streets and roads.