2019-08-27 National Governors Association

Governors Explore Measures to Reduce Traffic Congestion

NGA Chair Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Joins Governors Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire in Boston

Governors (from left) Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland and Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island discuss their states’ approaches to transportation and infrastructure with reporters in Boston.

Four governors, along with more than 150 policy advisors and transportation experts from across the country, met this week to discuss innovative ways to reduce traffic congestion, as part of a yearlong initiative of National Governors Association (NGA) Chair Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to push for the repair, enhancement and modernization our nation’s infrastructure.Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker hosted NGA in Boston, Aug. 26-27. The convening was the first of four stakeholder summits in support of Gov. Hogan’s 2019-20 NGA Chair’s Initiative, Infrastructure: Foundation for Success. More information on the initiative can be found at https://www.nga.org/infrastructuresuccess/.

Governors Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island and Chris Sununu of New Hampshire also participated in the summit.

Underscoring the need for congestion relief measures, days before the summit the Texas A&M Transportation Institute’s annual Urban Mobility Report concluded that traffic congestion has reached record levels in most U.S. cities. The report found that in 2017, congestion added 8.8 billion hours of travel time and 3.3 billion gallons of extra fuel consumption – with a total urban congestion cost of $166 billion.

In the absence of federal action on sustainable solutions to America’s infrastructure challenges, state and local leaders are working to ensure Americans’ safety and quality of life with modern, well-functioning roads, bridges and other physical assets.

“It was a pleasure hosting fellow governors for this NGA Infrastructure Summit to discuss the important and unique role states play in improving the nation’s infrastructure,” said Gov. Baker. “Continued economic growth has underscored the importance of our ongoing work in Massachusetts to make historic investments in the transportation system to increase capacity and improve reliability, and I look forward to continuing this dialogue and collaboration throughout the region.”

Infrastructure: Foundation for Success builds on state efforts to meet the infrastructure needs of the 21st century. Gov. Hogan’s initiative will help governors and other state leaders meet challenges with roads, bridges, airports, railways, transit, energy, water and broadband internet systems and other infrastructure by sharing lessons and ideas from around the country and working toward solutions.

“Through this first Infrastructure Stakeholder Summit, we proudly highlighted the great work of our governors and brought together leaders from government, business, nonprofits and academia to come up with new ideas to help solve the infrastructure crisis in America,” said Gov. Hogan. “In the states, there are still leaders who are willing to work together across party lines to take on the big problems, including the urgent need to rebuild, repair and modernize America’s infrastructure to meet the needs of the 21st century.”

“I was pleased to join Gov. Baker and Gov. Hogan today to collaborate on improving transportation across the Northeast corridor,” said Gov. Raimondo. “Reducing traffic congestion and making public transit more accessible and affordable will have a big impact on both our regional economy and our quality of life. Bipartisan cooperation among governors is essential to ensuring progress doesn’t stop at our state borders.”

“Responsibly developing our regional infrastructure systems requires the participation of all community stakeholders, not just government leaders,” said Gov. Sununu. “In New Hampshire, we have returned $36.8 million to cities and towns for them to invest in roads and bridges – a critical step to ensuring that New Hampshire remains a responsible steward of our excellent infrastructure. It was a pleasure to join Gov. Baker, Gov. Hogan, and Gov. Raimondo to discuss ways in which we can collaborate in a bipartisan manner to solve our nation’s infrastructure crisis.”

At the Boston summit, NGA provided a forum for governors and their advisors to exchange ideas and learn about effective transportation policy and technology approaches to mitigating congestion on the nation’s roads, railways, seaports and airports. Governors, private sector experts and other attendees engaged in panel discussions; a site visit to the Highway Operations Center and Boston’s Central Artery/Tunnel Project, which rerouted I-93 in downtown Boston upon its completion in 2007; as well as peer-to-peer exchanges and networking opportunities.

Following the summit, NGA will host its inaugural Transportation Policy Institute, which will offer governors’ advisors the opportunity to share ideas, network with peers and learn about a broad array of timely transportation policy topics.

National Governors Association

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 55 governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.