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Figure 3: Share of commuters that ride transit and drive alone at the city and metropolitan scale, selected cities
Brookings Now

Charts of the Week: Transportation infrastructure

This past week marked yet another “Infrastructure Week,” per the White House, yet a $2 trillion concept between the Trump administration and House Democrats foundered due to contention between the president and Democratic leaders. Meanwhile, Brookings experts continue to research and provide analysis on a variety of issues related to infrastructure, including roads, water, and broadband. Here is a sample of recent material focused on transportation.

US INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING IS DECLINING

Joseph Kane and Adie Tomer from the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings observe that “real infrastructure spending nationally has fallen over the past decade, from $450.4 billion in 2007 to $440.5 billion in 2017,” and represents about 2.5 percent of GDP. Read their piece for more findings on changes in spending on infrastructure in the U.S.

Figure1

ONLY 58.6 PERCENT OF PUBLIC ROADS ARE IN GOOD CONDITION

“American roads are also creating significant financial risks,” write Ranjitha Shivaram and Adie Tomer, as poor road conditions “lead to a higher rate of vehicle breakdowns and costs to private motorists.” Read more of their analysis of how America’s infrastructure systems–including roads and the water sector–are putting people at risk and harming economic activity.

Chart: Pavement condition of public roads

OVER 85 PERCENT OF AMERICANS DRIVE ALONE OR CARPOOL TO WORK

Peoples’ choices about how to move around their communities–whether getting to work or doing errands–can depend on the density of their built environment. Adie Tomer says that “too often, the country’s transportation network and related land uses leave individuals with little choice about how to travel.” Learn more about how Tomer sees innovation improving “the extent and quality of the American infrastructure experience.”

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