Cross-Cutting Topics

Learn how Cross-Cutting Topics Embrace Uncertainty

What Are Cross-Cutting Topics?

Cross-cutting topics raise questions without easy answers. The three topics below are called cross-cutting because they have implications for each of the six statewide goals. Each cross-cutting topic highlights some of the most pressing uncertainties that transportation agencies face today as they work to build and operate a 21st century transportation system that meets the mobility needs of people and goods, and which we can reasonably afford to build and maintain.

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Technology & Innovation

Technology and Innovation have already changed how we think about transportation—how we travel, how we get things, how we pay to get from here to there.

Explore technology & innovation ideas
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System Resiliency

System Resiliency is the ability of our communities and businesses to adapt and bounce back in the face of extreme adversity.

Explore system resiliency topics
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Paying for Transportation

Paying for Transportation: available funding doesn’t always align with the need, and funding mechanisms can be inefficient.

Learn more about paying for transportation

The further we look into the future the more likely we have blind spots that prevent us from knowing what is just over the horizon.

Our crystal ball is murky at best when looking 20 or more years out. This is especially true when considering the rapid and transformative nature of transportation technology and how it shapes the ways we think about and provide transportation facilities and services. It is also true when we think about the potential effects that climate change, extreme weather events, and natural disasters will have on our infrastructure and the best ways to increase system resiliency.

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Instead of relying on our past as an indicator of what the future holds, 2040 and Beyond embraces the uncertainty associated with technology and resilience.

We’ve identified these uncertainties as cross-cutting topics, with implications across the board for how we understand, plan for, design, and deliver transportation infrastructure and services in the future. In addition, we advance ideas emerging from ongoing work about how to pay for transportation, since sustainable, rational funding is the means to achieving all of our other objectives.

The point of planning is to shape the future we want rather than only react to what happens. 2040 and Beyond poses some questions and big ideas in relation to these three cross-cutting topics that can advance our understanding, preparedness, and ownership of the new horizons these uncertainties foretell and the next steps and some options available to advance that understanding.