Friday’s Headlines Are Working for the Weekend

  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials is a big fan of the surface transportation bill the House passed Thursday and its potential impact on climate change. But the bill — the subject of much partisan bickering — faces an unclear path in the Senate, where it might be folded into a much larger infrastructure bill. (Politico)
  • The U.S. DOT distributed $905 million in grants for 24 projects the agency says will reduce emissions. (Transport Topics)
  • Drivers go faster on empty roads because humans need objects for comparison to judge speed and distance. (State Smart Transportation Initiative)
  • A new treatment for asphalt can keep cities cooler by absorbing pollutants that trap the sun’s heat. (Vice)
  • Dedicated bus lanes, all-door boarding, transfer stations, headway maintenance and signal priority are five easy ways to improve bus service. (Commonwealth)
  • Uber and Lyft passengers have filed nearly 1,000 sexual assault claims against ride-share drivers. (Newsweek)
  • While the federal government has it on pause, the Texas DOT reopened public comment on widening I-45 through Houston. (Chronicle)
  • Minnesota is spending $57 million on two new bus rapid transit lines in hopes that better bus service will lure back riders. (Star Tribune)
  • A proposed Washington, D.C.-to-Baltimore maglev line is in a legal showdown with a developer over waterfront property the line needs. (Sun)
  • Toledo’s Vision Zero goal is to eliminate traffic deaths within 10 years. (Blade)
  • Kansas City is buying six new streetcars. (KSHB)
  • Montenegro owes China $1 billion for a “highway to nowhere,” and the expense might bankrupt the small Eastern European nation. (Jalopnik)

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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. […]