“Sick of Aging Roads? Sick of Bus Delays? Sick of Congestion? —Tell Congress to Act!”
Those are the messages appearing on highway billboard and print ads in key states, and being delivered by thousands of grassroots activists who are urging Congress to complete work on the long overdue, multi-year highway/transit authorization bill.
The Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce-led Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM), two national groups advocating for significant new investments in transportation improvements, are working together to elevate infrastructure issues on the congressional legislative calendar this year.
The current federal highway/transit investment law, known as SAFETEA-LU, expired nearly a year ago on Sept. 30, 2009. It has been operating under a series of short-term extensions, the latest through Dec. 31, 2010. The federal government is the source of nearly 45 percent of all public capital investments in surface transportation.
Campaign advertising appeals to the general public, asking: “Sick of Aging Roads?—Tell Congress to Act!” Similar messages have been developed for traffic congestion, transit delays and unsafe bridges. Billboard advertisements have been running in South Dakota and South Carolina, and also will be posted in Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, Iowa and Maryland beginning during the congressional recess in August and running through September. As part of the campaign, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) held a news conference Aug. 31 with coalition partners in Columbia, S.C., to mark the ad campaign’s launch in that state.
The ads direct viewers to the Web site www.fasterbettersafer.org, where a comprehensive action kit, instructions for contacting members of Congress, educational videos and other materials about the highway/transit bill are available.
The TCC, co-chaired by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of America, is comprised of 29 national construction groups and labor unions with a direct market stake in federal transportation programs.
The ATM is a nationwide effort by business, labor, transportation organizations and concerned citizens to advocate for increased federal investment in the nation’s aging and overburdened transportation system.