Why Does Real Estate And Transportation Matter?

* Real estate and the infrastructure that supports real estate represent 35% of the assets of the country, the largest asset class.  Real estate is the reason for two of the last three economic downturns, including the present one, and can and must be a major engine of getting the country’s economy moving again.

* Of the 15 infrastructure categories, transportation is “first among equals”.  That is because “transportation drives development”.  The transportation system we the people select dictates the form of real estate development.  Build only roads and you get only drivable sub-urban development.  Build a balanced transportation with multiple means of transporting goods and people, you get places where high density, walkable urbanism can emerge and other places that are drivable sub-urban.

* Real estate developers and investors have not been at the table to discuss the Federal transportation system in the past since only building roads, the goal of the system for the past 60 years, has been consistent with the predominant way we were building; drivable sub-urban.  Real estate developers now understand that market demand has changed.  There is pent up demand for transit-oriented development, New Urbanism, redeveloped downtowns and suburban downtowns, lifestyle centers and other development products that require more transportation options than just roads.

* To get the economy and the real estate development industry moving, we must have a Federal transportation policy and program that has its vision a balanced system that is: customized to each metropolitan economy’s needs, building the modes of travel (transit, biking and walking) that are in most short supply today, repairing the existing road and transit infrastructure, connects the entire country with a high-speed rail system and recognizes that there are very limited Federal resources to do this so public/private partnerships must be employed to pay for the capital and operations of the transportation system.

* The country’s transportation system is “broke and broken” and the economy is in crisis so it is time for complete transportation reform.  The real estate industry and the economy need a new vision and direction for the American transportation system.