Comparing the Presidential Candidates on Infrastructure

Written by Josie Summa on 10/10/12 • Categorized as transpo talk

About Author: Josie Summa is President and Principal Search Consultant at Redmond Consulting, Inc., a professional search firm operating within the engineering, planning and consulting markets serving public transportation in North America.

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While passage of MAP-21 put an end to three years of transportation funding extensions, continued hard work and difficult decisions are crucial to avoid repeating the whole exercise two years from now when funding once again expires. No one believes that the bi-partisan effort signed into law this summer goes far enough or deep enough to stop the slide of our nation’s infrastructure quality.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report, we’ve slipped from having the 2nd best infrastructure system in the world in 2002 to ranking 14th this year. Even worse, the same report reveals that our macroeconomic environment has plummeted from #2 in the world in 2002 to #111 (out of 144) this year.

This means that whomever is elected president in November will face the challenge of meeting critical infrastructure needs with increasingly strained resources. While President Obama and Mitt Romney differ in their philosophical approaches to solving infrastructure and transportation problems, both have established track records of supporting needed public works projects and taking steps to encourage funding. However, we find it frustrating that, during the course of the campaign, neither candidate has come forward with a formal plan to address the problems our nation’s infrastructure faces.

A recent report by ARTBA briefly outlines a comparison of what both men have said and done in terms of transportation and infrastructure since 2009, yet reading it still leaves us with unanswered questions. Perhaps you’ve found a great resource which can help inform your fellow voters on this issue. Please contribute to our shared pool of knowledge by adding it to the Comments section.

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