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What Infrastructure Crisis?

Interstate highways are actually improving, according to a recent analysis. What if the infrastructure crisis is a matter of perspective, and not some universal truth?
February 14, 2019, 5am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Los Angeles Streets

Matthew Turner, an economics professor from Brown University, believes that politicians, engineers, journalists, and citizens of all political persuasions are overstating infrastructure crisis in the United States.  

Daniel C. Vock writes an article introducing Turner's ideas on the nation's "crumbling infrastructure," as presented in a recent paper published by the Brookings Institution.

"Turner contends that, by many measures, the nation’s infrastructure is in as good a shape as it has been for decades -- or even better," explains Vock.

Turner’s analysis is admittedly limited. He focuses on the condition of interstate highways, buses and urban rail cars, which are among the most visible public transportation assets. That leaves out a lot of other transportation infrastructure, from local roads to subway tracks. Still, the analysis does highlight some areas where, counter to the doom-and-gloom rhetoric in Washington, America’s infrastructure is actually improving.

Turner presents the data to make the case that the country needs to shift the focus of its funding. " Rural interstates are lightly used but improving in condition, while urban rail cars are heavily used but not getting any better," writes Vock to explain Turner's argument.

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Published on Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in Governing
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