Congress continues to dawdle, postpone, pontificate, obfuscate and otherwise refuse to come to grips with reauthorizing highway and mass transit funding programs. Before heading off for August recess, both houses did agree on a three month extension of the current law, so at least states had funding for current projects during the peak construction season. You can see DC Velocity's latest report on the legislation's progress here.
Just as Congress went away without coming to grips with a long-term bill, along comes a timely new book on just how important fixing our infrastructure is to the health of the nation's economy. And the book, “Move: Putting America’s Infrastructure Back in the Lead,” comes from one of the nation's most respected and thoughtful business thinkers, Rosabeth Moss Kanter. A professor at Harvard Business School and former editor of Harvard Business Review, Kanter offers an analysis of what ails our transportation and other infrastructures and offers some thoughtful ideas on how to tackle them. It's book not just for transportation executives or those involved with managing transportation projects, but for anyone concerned with the long-term health of our economy.
I hope that someone of Kanter's stature addressing an issue that's usually given short shrift in the mainstream business press might help bring greater attention to the topic and help develop the sort of innovative approaches to dealing with some of the massive challenges. The book has already drawn important reviews in major publications, including the New York Times.
Now let's just hope key players in Congress take note as well, particularly of this from Kanter: “Infrastructure has no ideology. Bridges either stay up or fall down.”