Sometimes kids just get it.
My family and I try to eat dinner together every night, just like my family did when I was a kid. We all talk about our day. The kids tell us what adventures they've had, who they've played with and any other thing that is on their mind. In turn, my husband and I talk about what we're doing at work, our travel schedules, and other things that we need to cover. It gives us all some uninterrupted family time - something that all of us need.
I have been travelling quite a bit and was talking about my presentation one night at dinner. My kids, who still aren't really sure what I do, were trying to get more information. I told them I talk to people about roads, bridges, airports, transit, riverports, and rail lines and tell them how our transportation infrastructure contributes to our quality of life and our ability to be competitive as a state.
My son, who is 6, looked at me and said, "Well duh, if you didn't have roads and bridges and airplanes you couldn't get anywhere."
We all laughed - but he's right. Without the infrastructure we've built none of us - or any of the products we've made, mined, or grown - would get anywhere.
Kentucky wouldn't be third in the nation in auto manufacturing, third in the nation in freight movement via air, and home to three major air cargo freight carriers without our nearly 80,000 miles of roads and 14,000 bridges, 59 airports, 8 public riverports, state wide transit network, and our 2,600 freight rail miles.
Without our transportation network, we wouldn't have been able to export more than $29 billion worth of goods last year to Canada, France, and Korea.
Without the roads, bridges, airports, rail lines, ports, and transit system Kentucky wouldn't have a $13 billion tourism industry.
Without our multi-modal transportation system that includes a statewide transit network, thousands of Kentuckians wouldn't have been able to get to work, school, or to access healthcare.
Our infrastructure is the backbone upon which everything in our state is built. It provides us dependable access - no matter where we're located in the state.
Since my family, even my little 6-year-old- knows how important transportation is, I'll have to find something else to talk about at dinner.
But in the meantime, I'll keep reminding every civic group, Chamber of Commerce, trade association, and anyone else who will listen that without our transportation network, we can't get anywhere.