Gridlock

You've probably seen the ads on tv or the billboards, warning Nevada drivers about the gridlock to come.

This is the first warning for drivers here in Nevada. Our roads need to be updated and maintained and for now that's not happening.

"If we do not do something immediately and I mean immediately, then we are not going to be able to afford the major gridlock."

Jack Harker is a board member of the Nevada Highway Users Coalition. A group of local business people who is advocating transportation funding and improvements. According to the group, the gas tax has not been updated in Nevada since 19-92 and as a result, the buying power of that revenue has declined 42-percent.

In a packed room this afternoon, members of the coalition listened to Lane Beattie. As president and C-E-O of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce, he successfully was able to convince Utah lawmakers to let voters decide on a sales tax for road improvements. That voter approved initiative passed in 2006.

"You just have to have a strong message, you don't have to have to be creative with the message, people understand this you have to articulate it to them and show them the issue and before it becomes too late, and I think that is what we were successful with in Utah."

Beattie says transportation troubles have a far reaching impact. Not just for you behind the wheel, although that's important. But tourism, the environment, and the economy all are affected. The challenge Beattie says it getting Nevada residents to understand that. In Salt Lake City he says the public awareness was spearheaded by the business community.

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