As part of the budget submitted to congress at the end of 2013, US road networks were given more investment during the last twelve months than at any point over the last ten years. Recently released information suggests that all that capital has been spent now, so we thought it might be a good idea to find out where it has gone. While there is some information available online, we chose to get in touch with a representative from the US Budget Agency to find out what they knew. As you will see in a moment, they gave us a full breakdown of all the money spent and provided percentages for each avenue. Have they used your tax money wisely? Let’s find out.
Road repairs and standard maintenance made up 35% of the budget for 2014. Representatives from most states submitted applications in early January of this year. Most of them were given at least a few thousand dollars to start making improvements. The number of accidents on US roads due to potholes and similar issues has been increasing for quite some time. Hopefully, the added investment will mean the figures slowly start to decrease as we move into the new year.
A somewhat shocking 15% of the budget for 2014 was spent on painting our roads. Authorities have taken it upon themselves to apply some new paint and make the roads look a little more appealing. That doesn’t sound like so much of a bad idea, but wait until you see how little they spend on new lighting.
There are many roads in the US that have no artificial lighting at all. For that reason, we see a significant number of accidents and injuries each year. You would think that congress would acknowledge the problem and sort it out, right? Well then, you’re going to be disappointed. Only 10% of this year’s budget was spent on improving visibility on our roads. Most of that was used simply to replace existing light bulbs. Some experts think Obama seems more concerned with immigration at the moment than ensuring his citizens are safe.
Signs and warnings
We now come to the highest percentage of this year’s budget. The amount of money spent on new road signs and traffic warning signs made up a staggering 60% of all the cash spent on making our roads safer in 2014. While we all agree that our roads need well-designed signs to help us get around, that is a very large amount of investment that could have been spent on more urgent matters.
As you can clearly see, congress have done their best over the last few months to improve road networks in the US. So long as they continue to spend this much capital on alterations for the next few years, we should all notice vast improvements. However, they didn’t use their budget in the best way if this was a one off. No matter what you think about the government and the way they spend your tax dollars, at least you know the truth now.