Transportation Secretary Wants to Take a Futurist Approach

by Rachel Baker on September 8, 2014

It will be fantastic if Secretary Foxx is successful at planning a thirty year outlook; but odds are, Congress will put up the blockade and he’ll be lucky to get funding for any budget. Thusly, causing the department to put their damage-control planning on the back burner in lieu of fire-fighting because a bridge collapsed.

Anthony Foxx takes a futurist turn at the Department of Transportation.

Politicians are often accused of failing to look past the next election. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx wants to look past the next fifteen.

Foxx is leading a DOT effort to create a 30-year outlook for the state of transportation in the U.S., an ambitious effort he hopes will shift the country out of its stubborn, single-track focus on the short-term needs of keeping solvent the Highway Trust Fund. Instead, he wants to take a broader look at how the country plans on moving an additional 100 million people by 2050 — and all the goods those Americans will buy.

In a sit-down interview with POLITICO on Friday, Foxx was blunt.

“We’re having the wrong conversation about transportation in this country,” he said. “There are a host of factors that are colliding, that are changing the ground underneath us. But yet our policies, not to mention our funding, aren’t keeping up. I think it’s very important for us to have a new reset.”

Foxx ticked off those factors: technological innovation, a population moving into denser metro areas and demographic shifts.

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