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Indiana toll road trouble

Although public-private partnerships (PPPs) for transportation infrastructure are often portrayed as losing propositions for the public, the private partner is sometimes on the losing end of the deal as well. As reported in an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, the private partners that won the

San Diego to buy bankrupt toll road (Is it a good deal?)

As reported recently by the LA Times, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is considering purchasing the South Bay Expressway (State Route 125), located near the US-Mexico border, for $345 million. The 10-mile toll road was initially expected to exemplify the benefits of

Road pricing: public perceptions and program development

As state and local governments grapple with reduced revenue from traditional sources, deferred maintenance needs, and traffic congestion, many are searching for ways to generate revenue and reduce congestion without making major capital investments. An NCHRP report released earlier this year,

How do you get there from here?

Fuel taxes are no longer a good way of funding the transportation system. With increasing fuel efficiency and new fuels powering transportation, the fuel tax as we know it is not sustainable. Two national commissions set up by the U.S. Congress recommended replacing fuel taxes with a

Higher gear: To fund transportation, congress should tax travel, bot fuel

Paul Sorenson, Liisa Ecola, and Martin Wachs argue for funding highways by using a tax on miles traveled, rather than the current method of a tax on fuel: “Better fuel economy is good for the economy, energy independence, and reduced air pollution. But better fuel economy also means that

And in the same year that Eisenhower introduced the National Highway System

Time Magazine in 1955 gushed about toll roads: “EVERYBODY agrees that the U.S. needs more and better roads, but almost nobody agrees on how to pay for them. While the argument rages, Texas has gone ahead and devised something new: the nation’s first privately owned and privately financed

Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Advisory Commission

The Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Advisory Commission’s recent report found that “due to increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, Pennsylvania now collects less fuel tax revenue per mile traveled than it has at any time in the past. This has led to a serious decline in the amount of money

Failure to act will cost money, a lot of money

“The nation’s deteriorating surface transportation infrastructure will cost the American economy more than 870,000 jobs, and increase transportation costs by $430 billion by 2020,” according to a report conducted by the Economic Development Research Group of Boston for the American Society

The next roundabout?

A new intersection design is being introduced at high volume highway interchanges in states across the U.S. The diverging diamond interchange (simulation), described by Tom Vanderbilt in a recent Slate article, reduces queue lengths and significantly reduces the number of conflict points where

Smart transportation (and guidebook) a winner for both Pennsylvania and New Jersey

SSTI praised the joint efforts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in producing an exemplary Smart Transportation Guidebook when we reviewed PennDOT’s Smart Transportation program. Now a recent article by Angie Schmitt in DC Streetsblog (“From Sprawling New Jersey, a New Way Forward for State

CAFE standard sound off

The new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard has been released and there is no shortage of opinions on its worth. Here is a roundup of various responses to the Obama administration’s new fuel efficiency standard:   It’s great! An NHTSA press release touts the benefits of saving $1.7

Transportation and health: Policy interventions for safer, healthier people and communities

A newly published report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Partnership for Prevention, in conjunction with Booz Allen Hamilton and the Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC) at UC Berkeley examines the impact of transportation policies in three critical

Traffic volume trends: VMT down in 2011

The U.S. Federal Highway Administration has released the latest issue of Traffic Volume Trends, a monthly report based on hourly traffic count data reported by the states. According to the report, travel on all roads and streets decreased by 1.9 percent in May 2011 as compared with May 2010.

Is declining car use a long-term trend or just a short-term reaction to the recession?

In ‘Peak Car Use’: Understanding the Demise of Automobile Dependence, published last month in World Transport Policy and Practice, Peter Newman and Jeff Kenworthy, of the Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute in Australia, summarize recent data suggesting a long-term shift

Pricing, our only feasible path to reduced congestion?

A recent article by Benjamin Orr in The New Republic, previewing a forthcoming article by researchers, Gilles Duranton and Mathew Turner, at the University of Toronto that looks at data to test the claim that it is impossible to build our way out of traffic congestion. Duranton and Turner found