Finding Our Way

December 5, 2016

“The reality about transportation is that it’s future-oriented. If we’re planning for what we have, we’re behind the curve.”
-U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx

Most problems are solved out of necessity. We will usually put off what we can until the problem becomes too painful, or when a habit we have becomes so ridiculously unsustainable that we must find another way.

Fairly soon, the conversation will begin about a major infrastructure package to build and rebuild roads, bridges, and airports across the country. Some say it could be as much as a trillion-dollar stimulus package. That’s a big number, and yet, this article from thought leaders at McKinsey says that the scale of the problem is roughly $57 trillion. We are in desperate need of a different path.

To correct some of the problems that infrastructure of the last century has caused at our ports, in our cities and neighborhoods, and in our air traffic system, we must find another way to achieve the goals. The technology exists, the next generation will certainly adapt, and the rest of us will adapt, too.

Will the investment make us more competitive? Will it improve the quality of living for people—improving their safety and accessibility to jobs, healthcare and education? Can the infrastructure be developed in a way that will allow it to adapt to rapidly emerging technologies?

While we cannot delay repairing and maintaining what we have, we must move quickly to catch up to our competitors and to once again claim title as an infrastructure leader and innovator.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update