The Importance of Investing in a Safe and Useful Sacramento Transportation Network

Our Sacramento injury lawyer knows that a strong infrastructure is an important part of a strong, successful community. Maintaining roads and providing public transit options allows a region to thrive and helps attract both businesses and residents. Of course, since we regularly work with victims of auto accidents, we also know that any infrastructure investment must include a strong emphasis on safety as well as convenience.

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Sacramento Infrastructure Projects
A report in the Sacramento Bee focuses on efforts to invest in Sacramento area infrastructure as a way to improve the regional economy. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson cited a number of projects that he considers key economic priorities such as a downtown transit hub, light rail access to the airport, and the construction of new bridges spanning the Sacramento River. He referenced a recent report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors calling for investment in infrastructure and transportation projects. Mayor Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento also spoke, promoting a project to improve the Port of West Sacramento and thus increase the international exporting of agricultural items. For her part, Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin focused on downtown revitalization and making the city a key hub for California’s high-speed rail system.

Mayor Cabaldon suggested one obstacle is the red tape involved in obtaining federal funds. Still, the importance of the efforts to improve the Sacramento economy is evident from the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ report. That study found the Sacramento region was among the nation’s lowest performing economies. The report forecast a 1.9% growth in the economy this year and the addition of 121,000 jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Safety & Efficacy in Infrastructure Development
The American Society of Civil Engineers (“ASCE”) reports that Americans spend a whopping 42 billion hours stuck in traffic annually. This translates to a cost of $78.2 billion per year, an average of $710 per motorist. Beyond the basic economic loss, the ASCE estimates that roadway conditions play a significant factor in approximately one-third of all traffic fatalities. The group suggests that 33% of the nation’s major roadways are in a poor or mediocre condition, with congestion an issue for 36% of major U.S. urban highways. In 2007, 41,059 people died in motor vehicle crashes and a staggering 2,491,000 were injured. These impacted very real lives and led to an additional cost of $230 billion annually in medical bills, insurance costs, and other accident-related losses.

According to the ASCE report, $70.3 billion is spent annually on highway capital improvements but the group estimates that three times that amount is necessary to achieve substantial improvement. The organization recommends a number of steps to improve the safety and efficacy of infrastructure projects. This includes emphasizing performance management, analyzing cost-benefit ratios, and increasing accountability. ASCE also recommends investigating funding options, conducting advanced highway research, and ensuring the continued competitiveness of our nation by securing and improving our infrastructure networks. Additionally, the group calls for a ten percent increase in funding for the Highway Safety Improvement Program and setting a national policy of eliminating all deaths on U.S. roadways
We applaud the efforts of local leaders to improve our region’s economy through infrastructure investment. We hope that those charged with carrying out the plans keep safety foremost in mind at all times. We see many lives cut short or dramatically changed by Sacramento highway crashes and transit accidents. While many accidents stem from negligent driving, roadway conditions are a significant problem and safety is always a worthy investment.

We serve Sacramento accident victims by helping them seek compensation through negotiation, settlements, and civil litigation. Please call our Sacramento injury law firm if we can help you.

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