Revitalizing Road Travel: Unveiling America’s Need for a Fresh Perspective

**The Neglected Issue: America’s Congested and Inaccessible Roadways**

*Air Travel Woes and Road Congestion in America*

As the summer travel season reaches its peak, air travel disruptions are once again making headlines and dominating discussions about the country’s transportation systems and infrastructure. However, while air travel receives significant attention, the roadways in the United States are facing increasing challenges with congestion, bottlenecks, and inaccessibility, often without an obvious cause. With a record-breaking 43 million Americans expected to hit the roads for the July 4th holiday, the issues surrounding road travel and their impact on travelers and the economy are likely to take center stage once again.

**Road Travel: The Most Utilized, Affordable, and Accessible Mode of Transportation**

While road travel may not garner as much attention as other modes of transportation, it is by far the most utilized, affordable, and accessible way for travelers to explore and experience the country. Road trips offer an opportunity for families to embark on affordable and unforgettable getaways, such as a visit to Las Vegas from Southern California.

**The Cost-Effectiveness of Road Travel**

Comparing the costs of air travel and road trips, it becomes clear that road travel is the more affordable option for many families. Air travel for a family of four from Southern California to Las Vegas can range between $400-$1,200 or more, excluding additional costs like baggage fees. In contrast, a road trip to Las Vegas typically costs less than $100 in fuel expenses, making it a more feasible option for families on a budget.

**The Challenges of Road Travel: Delays and Bottlenecks**

However, despite the advantages of road travel, many travelers face serious delays and bottlenecks on the roads and highways. For example, the journey from California to Las Vegas along the I-15 can often stretch from a three-and-a-half-hour trip to more than 10 hours due to congestion and bottlenecks. These delays not only inconvenience travelers but also have a negative impact on surrounding communities and industries.

**The Need for Infrastructure Improvement**

While there is bipartisan recognition of the need for infrastructure improvement, many projects, including road and highway expansions, remain unresolved. Bridging the gap between recognition and action is crucial for enhancing road travel and addressing the bottlenecks and congestion that plague America’s roadways.

**Making Road Travel a National Infrastructure Priority**

Efforts to improve road travel and address infrastructure issues should be prioritized. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provided a significant investment in the nation’s infrastructure, but more must be done. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Travel and Tourism Infrastructure Strategic Plan offers a starting point for identifying and prioritizing projects that strengthen the transportation system and support the travel and tourism economy.

**Boosting the Economy and Job Creation Through Road Travel**

Investing in road and highway improvements not only enhances the travel experience for Americans but also provides a significant boost to economic development and job creation. Travel and tourism are vital economic drivers, contributing trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy and supporting millions of jobs. By investing in roads and highways, we can create a safer, more enjoyable travel experience while stimulating economic growth throughout the country.

**Embracing a 21st-Century Vision for Road Travel**

Improving road travel goes beyond addressing immediate infrastructure needs. A modern vision for road travel in the 21st century necessitates innovative solutions that reduce congestion and emissions while providing a seamless and sustainable travel experience. As leaders in the travel industry, we have a responsibility to advocate for and contribute to the development of this vision.

**Restoring America’s Roads and Highways to Their Former Glory**

The state of America’s roadways is deteriorating, and it is imperative that we prioritize investment and attention to address these issues. The interstate highway system, once the envy of the world, requires revitalization to keep America moving forward. By focusing on roadways as a top infrastructure priority, we can ensure that road travel remains a preferred mode of transportation for generations to come.

**About the Author**

Bill Hornbuckle is the president and CEO of MGM Resorts International and serves as the chairman of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Note: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

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