Talking Headways Podcast: Highways and Partisanship

This week we’re joined by Clayton Nall, a professor of political science at Stanford University, to discuss his new book about the interstate highway system and political partisanship — The Road to Inequality: How the Federal Highway Program Polarized America and Undermined Cities. Professor Nall discusses how partisanship affects the way people think about transportation projects, and historical shifts in the politics of transportation policy.

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It’s Time to Stop Pretending That Roads Pay for Themselves

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If nothing else, the current round of federal transportation legislating should end the myth that highways are a uniquely self-sufficient form of infrastructure paid for by “user fees,” a.k.a. gas taxes and tolls. With all the general tax revenue that goes toward roads in America, car infrastructure has benefited from hefty subsidies for many years. […]

Talking Headways Podcast: Don’t Talk About Professors’ Parking Spaces

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This week we’re joined by James Corless, CEO of Sacramento's regional planning agency. We chat about the Sacramento area and the connections between its urban and rural economies, his past working on federal transportation advocacy, how mid-sized cities are nationally important for providing jobs and housing, and why it’s kind of ridiculous to do 30-year long range regional transportation plans.

The Highway Era Is Over. When Will Our Institutions Catch Up?

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The highway era is over. The construction of the Interstate Highway System is essentially complete. Americans will continue to log lots of miles on highways, but for the most part, the job of building them is over. We’ve already connected the places worth connecting by highways. The problem is that transportation agencies — especially state DOTs — haven’t caught up. In their training, organizational […]

Is Transpo Funding Fundamentally a PR Problem? Five Ex-DOT Chiefs Discuss

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How can you convince Americans that transportation is important enough to invest in? That’s the question that brought together five former U.S. Transportation Secretaries this week at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. James Burnley was deputy secretary and then secretary under President Reagan. He took the position that “75 percent” of the public “gives […]