My strong belief is that America’s best hope for prosperity and economic viability comes from changing the way we approach problems, including the deteriorating infrastructure – highways, rails, and ports -- on which our businesses depend. Instead of seeing ourselves as 50 states with distinct problems in competition with each other for available resources, we need to recognize the importance of the nation’s metropolitan areas and the “mega-regions” in which they are clustered. Metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are actively engaged in an agenda that includes influencing policy-makers to view solutions from a regional and national perspective. We need to work together. We need to step beyond the local “turf” in which we traditionally operate. And we need to think long-term.
In my opinion, one of the best initiatives to come out of the Obama Administration is the new high-speed rail plan. Although this plan addresses public transportation issues – and does not relate to the railways or roads that carry our customers’ products to market – it is a huge step in the right direction. It offers regions throughout the U.S. the opportunity to connect, to cooperate, and to collaborate – which is how America will prosper.