Reflections on 2013 and some wishes for the year ahead
Greater investment in infrastructure
(February 7-13, “Infrastructure’s long economic shadow”): According to a new “study entitled “Failure to Act, “The results show that deteriorating infrastructure, long known to be a public safety issue, has a cascading impact on the nation's economy, negatively affecting business productivity, gross domestic product, employment, personal income and international competitiveness… Rural communities are at risk for being left behind in the decades ahead unless there is meaningful investment in our economic future. At a bare minimum, rural communities like ours need safe, reliable roads and bridges, clean air and water, enough electricity, enough jobs. We need investment in infrastructure if we are to have a good foundation for a bright economic future."
Update: Pennsylvania’s 2014 budget includes a large increase for transportation funding, including for roads and bridges.
A coordinated regional plan to bring broadband to the communities of the Upper Delaware River Region
(July 25-31, “A high-speed highway to a good rural future”) “We believe that without the concerted effort of government leaders, local business associations, school districts, health systems and others working together to bring universal broadband technology to our region, rural residents risk being relegated to some kind of economic dark ages. Very simply, we need to be able to compete with our city and suburban neighbors for jobs and economic development opportunities... Counties and municipalities that do not aggressively push for broadband now will end up playing catch-up to those with forward looking plans.”
Everyone using the Delaware River and its tributaries to wear a life jacket
(July 11-17, “Safe recreation on the river”) “Following on the heels of five drownings in 2011 in the Upper Delaware [River], 2012 thankfully saw zero such tragic accidents. Whether this is directly attributable to the significant water safety campaign, “Wear it,” initiated in 2012 by NPS [the National Park Service] and its community partners, the truth remains that an estimated 80% of drowning deaths can be prevented by wearing a lifejacket.”
Update: 2013 saw two drowning deaths in the Upper Delaware and one in the Lackwaxen River.