Nearly 4 million miles of roads
and 200 million vehicles keep Americans moving, but our mobility comes
with a price. Highways are a major cause of public health and haphazard
development problems. With shrinking budgets, massive traffic congestion,
and a backlog of maintenance needs, most states are looking for ways to
control spending and achieve economic prosperity. As it turns out,
building more highways is not only environmentally destructive, it can
also make travel more time-consuming and expensive.
As cities grow, the spider-like road
network means that wildlife, forests and streams also undergo fundamental
change. More than one million vertebrates are killed on our roadways every
day. In fact, road kill is the number one way that humans kill wildlife
in our country, and it has pushed some rare species -- such as the panther
and grizzly bear -- closer to extinction.
In 2000, New Jersey passed innovative
transportation legislation with overwhelming bi-partisan support.
The “Fix it First” bill achieved the goals of cutting traffic congestion,
protecting green space, and prioritizing repair. By increasing accountability
and planning, New Jersey has gone a long way towards balancing the state’s
infrastructure needs with the public’s need for safe, efficient and ecologically
This website offers the tools necessary
for you to introduce and pass legislation to bring transportation reform
to your state, including a model bill, talking points, a fact pack, press
coverage, links, and additional background information.
SERC would like to give special thanks
to Trisha White at Defenders of Wildlife for her assistance on this issue.
For more information about her Highways and Habitat Campaign, click