New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Christopher Clement has long pointed out that when it comes to our infrastructure, we’re not doing too well. Nearly 40% of the state’s roads are considered in poor condition, and almost one hundred and fifty bridges are red listed. Although Clement remains ‘revenue agnostic’ over where the funding comes from, others have a clear idea: raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been raised in New Hampshire in over twenty years. Supporters say this would be the most comprehensive and fair solution.
Granite State motorists are driving more fuel-efficient vehicles, which means they’re buying less gas. Motorists purchased almost 60 million fewer gallons of gas in 2012 than they did in 2005. That translated into an $11 million decrease in revenue.
A year after failing to agree on how to pay for a long list of road and bridge improvements, lawmakers will take another shot at bolstering the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure this session.
Several bills are on the table, including one that would channel proceeds from a casino into the state’s highway fund.
As discussed on The Exchange this morning, the state legislature is gearing up once again for a debate about raising the gas tax. One big issue behind the debate is the deteriorating state of New Hampshire's roads.
Here is a look back at some reporting on the issue by Emily Corwin last spring, including this video explainer, and below, five reasons our roads are deteriorating.
We sit down with New Hampshire Transportation Commissioner Chris Clement. It’s been a busy summer for him. He’s overseen the celebrated opening of the Memorial Bridge…and continues to search for money…to complete the widening of I-93. Meanwhile, there’s talk of freight rail expansion in the North Country…and new passenger airline service coming to the Seacoast.
Christopher Clement - Commissioner for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.
As lawmakers consider raising the state's gas tax, you may be wondering: are New Hampshire's roads getting worse? Why are they getting harder to pay for? And, does it really matter if we have a few more potholes?
NHPR's newsroom answers those questions in this animation:
Today, we sit down with the Department of Transportation Commissioner, Christopher Clement, covering everything from road and toll projects to ways of funding transportation improvements and taking a look at what Commissioner Clement hopes to accomplish in 2013.
Christopher Clement - Commissioner of the NH Department of Transportation
It’s been an uneasy relationship, with cyclists saying cars rule the roads, and drivers saying cyclists flout the law. In recent years, these groups have made some headway when it comes to relations, with more bike lanes and more education on avoiding collisions. But conflicts still flare up and many say there’s still plenty of room for improvement.