Per capita driving has peaked in America, and with that new normal comes the question of whether or not we should be spending limited transportation funding on building new roads. If nothing else the driving trends support the wisdom of a “fix-it-first” policy that focuses on highway maintenance over expansion.
Iowa DOT chief Paul Trombino recently took that logical conclusion one step further. During an Urban Land Institute talk, Trombino told the audience he expects the state’s overbuilt and unsustainable road network to “shrink,” according to Charles Marohn of Strong Towns. Iowans should figure out which roads “we really want to keep” and let the others “deteriorate and go away.”