America needs another vision for street travel
The problems with air travel are once again dominating headlines and the national conversation about the country’s transportation systems and infrastructure as the summer travel season approaches the July 4th milestone.
Air travel interruption has a huge effect and is properly a focal point of investigation. However, it is only one problem for travelers, the transportation system, and the travel and tourism industry in America.
It’s not making as numerous public titles, but rather those exploring our country’s streets are progressively confronting clogged, bottlenecked, and out of reach streets and thruways, frequently with no undeniable reason. Furthermore, with a record 43 million Americans getting in the driver’s seat for the July fourth occasion, these issues-and the effect they have on explorers and the economy-are probably going to be up front by and by.
The most popular, least expensive, and easiest way for tourists to see our country is by car. So, why has road travel been largely ignored in the nearly constant debate over our nation’s transportation infrastructure in Washington and elsewhere?
It’s the ideal opportunity for that to change.
In my capacity as chairman of the Travel and Tourism Advisory Board of the U.S. Commerce Department, I have made it a priority to include roads and highways in the national discussion about infrastructure. It’s well beyond time to help our country’s voyagers and economy by zeroing in on these essential foundation issues.
The majority of tourists take road trips to see the country for obvious reasons. Road travel is one of our best tools for boosting our tourism economy and ensuring that as many people as possible can see our nation’s wonders. It is also the most affordable mode of transportation.
Take, for instance, a Southern California family trip to Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a popular destination for families looking for an affordable and memorable getaway, despite its reputation for adult-oriented offerings and high-end experiences.
However, they must first arrive here.
From Southern California to Las Vegas, airfare for a family of four can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,200, including baggage fees.
An excursion to Las Vegas, in the mean time, can cost under $100 in fuel costs. The price can often make the difference between going somewhere and staying at home.
Sadly, many of the 16 million people who take I-15 from California to Las Vegas experience significant delays and congestion. What ought to be a three-and-a-half hour trip frequently stretches to 10 hours or more. On New Year’s Day, there was an 18-mile backup.
California and Nevada’s political leaders want to close the roadblock. There are no difficult engineering problems or issues with easements—road expansions and improvements could solve this problem. But there is still work to be done.
This project, like so many others, is an example of how projects that have a significant positive impact on the communities and industries around them get bogged down in bureaucracy without getting the attention, funding, or priority they need to succeed.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, passed by both parties last year, was a crucial first step toward changing that. Nonetheless, there is a lot to do.
There is still funding that needs to be appropriated, despite the fact that the $1.2 trillion bill provided the desperately needed investment in our nation’s infrastructure. We have an opportunity and a responsibility to ensure that this funding supports road and highway enhancement.
The National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is one place to start. The plan is currently being revised by the DOT with the intention of identifying and giving priority to projects that improve the transportation system and its function as the nation’s economic engine for travel and tourism.
One of the country’s main economic drivers is travel and tourism. It supports nearly 15 million jobs and has a trillion-dollar economic impact. Not only will investing in our nation’s roads and highways make traveling safer and more pleasurable for travellers, but it will also significantly boost economic growth and job creation in communities across the country.
We need more than just better roads and highways; we also need a fresher, more up-to-date vision of what road travel means in the twenty-first century. Accomplishing this starts with a more extensive discussion on the issue – one that incorporates creative arrangements that permit more individuals to go along America’s streets with less blockage and decreased discharges. As leaders in travel, it is our duty to contribute to the realisation of a road travel experience that is more seamless and sustainable.
Implementing a road travel strategy for the 21st century has obvious advantages for the community and the economy. Equally evident is the deteriorating state of road travel. We need to give our nation’s highways and roads the money and attention they so desperately need. America’s Interstate Parkway Framework was once the jealousy of the world. Roadways must be given top priority as part of our infrastructure if we want to keep the United States moving.
MGM Resorts International’s president and chief executive officer is Bill Hornbuckle. He additionally fills in as the director of the U.S. Division of Trade’s Movement and The travel industry Warning Board.
The viewpoints expressed in the commentary pieces published on Fortune.com are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Fortune.