Tuesday’s Headlines Are Far Out, Man

High-speed rail under construction in CA's Central Valley. Photo via CAHSRA
High-speed rail under construction in CA's Central Valley. Photo via CAHSRA
  • With gas-tax revenue dwindling, Oregon and Utah have started taxing drivers by the mile, and more states might follow (Washington Post). One of them is Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Wolfe recently announced he wants to phase out the gas tax and find an alternative (NBC 10). The idea is also gaining steam on the federal level (Bloomberg). The National Highway Trust Fund is currently only kept afloat by frequent bailouts (Eno Center for Transportation).
  • While some believe Vision Zero is an impossible goal, advances in car safety and street design, plus unarmed traffic enforcement against drivers and other measures like more investment in transit, can put it within reach, writes former Streetsblog editor Angie Schmitt, who is totally on a roll right now. (Planetizen)
  • Zoning changes and Complete Streets will make North Charleston safer for walking and biking. (Post and Courier)
  • Fewer people are using Philadelphia’s Indego bike-share to commute during the pandemic, but more people are riding recreationally. (KYW)
  • South Phoenix residents, suffering from economic and racial disparities, are pressing for safer streets. (Arizona Republic)
  • The price for a Honolulu rail line has risen again to $12.4 billion, creating a $3-billion funding gap. (Civil Beat)
  • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is still cutting transit service despite receiving $2 billion in federal funds. (Boston Herald)
  • Houston officials want to keep e-scooters off the sidewalk — both riders and the vendors renting out the devices. (Chronicle)
  • A coalition of transportation groups is urging Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to spend money earmarked for widening I-94 on repairs and transit instead. (Milwaukee Independent)
  • A California authority wants to exempt widening I-5 from environmental review, speciously claiming that the project will reduce congestion and pollution. (Streetsblog LA)
  • Colorado Public Radio profiles a Littleton woman whose transit commute has grown to over two hours, with three transfers, due to pandemic service cuts.
  • Vox explains how a map of potential high-speed rail lines went viral among Gen Z.


What Can We Learn from Oregon’s Mileage Tax Experiment?

A few weeks ago, the Obama Administration had a rather embarrassing public difference over the idea of a mileage tax to replace the gas tax. It’s certainly one of the most contentious notions out there, but most of the debate is based on hypotheticals. Now, as reported by Streetsblog Network member Worldchanging, the Oregon Department […]

Could Gas-Tax Bonds Pay For the Next Federal Transportation Bill?

House infrastructure committee chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN), facing steep political odds in his push to pass a new six-year federal transportation bill this year, has begun to pitch an outside-the-box solution to the financing shortfall that is still stalling congressional action: Treasury bonds. (Photo: Pop and Politics) Oberstar’s proposal would plug the hole in anticipated […]

Obama Dismisses Gas Tax “Gimmick”

With primaries in North Carolina and Indiana less than a week out, Barack Obama seems to have taken Streetsbloggers’ advice with this ad explaining why a suspension of the federal gas tax, as called for by Hillary Clinton and John McCain (among others), is a sham. It’s a masterful spot: the swelling orchestral score, the […]