Like phone lines, water mains, and your family home, highway infrastructure needs steady, reliable funding for maintenance, refurbishment, and expansion.
That’s why tolling agencies have worked so hard to counter the anti-toll myth that America’s aging roads were “bought and paid for” in the 1960s or 70s.
Fortunately, roadbeds have a vastly longer shelf life than a bunch of bananas. But as IBTTA Government Affairs Director Neil Gray pointed out in a recent photo essay, the sequence is the same.
1. I bought a bunch of bananas. They were “bought and paid for.”
2. In a couple of days, whether or not I ate any, they matured.
3. Given a few more days—again, whether I “used” them or not…
4. Ere long…
“Throughout this process, the bananas were ‘bought and paid for,’ and throughout the process, they were ‘usable’ to some degree,” Gray noted. But the photos show the bananas were on borrowed time.
“You can do your best to ‘maintain’ a perishable product—put them on a hook, store them in a special manner—but the degradation process is inevitable,” he wrote. “Just because a road is much more durable, it still exists in a tough outdoor environment, and it degrades whether it is used or not.”
Photo selection and artistic inspiration by Neil Gray. For more answers to the curious idea that our roads are “bought and paid for,” visit IBTTA’s Moving America Forward campaign page.