By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Six in 10 Americans believe that traffic congestion is worse now than a year ago, and nearly three quarters (73 percent) say they are willing to pay higher taxes and tolls to fund infrastructure maintenance or construction to help reduce these delays, according to a new survey by ARTBA member firm HNTB. Support for increased revenue increased to 82 percent if the higher taxes and tolls are guaranteed by law to be used only for infrastructure spending, the survey found.

“Americans place a high value on mobility and recognize the need to fund their share of the costs through higher taxes or tolls to help reduce congestion,” said Kevin Hoeflich, HNTB toll services chairman and senior vice president. “As a nation, we need to explore every available alternative to provide a reliable and long-term source of revenue to build a world-class transportation network.”

HNTB’s “Funding Congestion Solutions-2018” found that even when a free route is available, 79 percent of those surveyed say they would still pay a toll if it enabled them to avoid congestion and have a predictable travel time. That’s a 10 percentage point increase from the results of a similar 2016 survey question.