Wednesday’s Headlines Are Looking for an Exit

Transportation for America wants Congress to focus on maintenance, safety, and equity before wasting money on new highways. Image: Ken Lund
Transportation for America wants Congress to focus on maintenance, safety, and equity before wasting money on new highways. Image: Ken Lund

It’s not Infrastructure Week anymore, it’s Infrastructure Fortnight.

  • The bill isn’t all it’s cracked up to be because it includes way too much money for roads (Governing). Even Railway Age, while pointing out all the benefits for rail, concedes that disproportionate highway funding was to be expected.
  • On the bright side, the bill does provide an opening for the DOT to finally tackle the epidemic of traffic deaths in this country. (Washington Post)
  • Transit is 11 for 11 on local ballot measures this year. (Streetsblog USA)
  • An Australian startup that makes e-bikes for gig workers and couriers sees itself as an alternative to Rivian, a company that manufactures electric SUVs and pickups (Tech Crunch). Rivian, meanwhile, is getting megabucks from the taxpayers of Georgia to build a plant near Atlanta (AJC).
  • In contrast to the consensus at the Glasgow talks, European city leaders acknowledge that merely transitioning to electric vehicles isn’t enough to stem climate change. People need to drive less, period (Cities Today). Cities from Toronto to Tokyo have been preparing for a bike-friendly future since the pandemic started (World Crunch)
  • Miami Beach is raising roads to keep them from flooding as sea levels rise, but residents complain that’s actually making flooding on their property worse. (WUSF)
  • The infrastructure bill is reviving hopes of light rail in Las Vegas. (Sun)
  • Kansas City officials are touting gondolas as a way to connect the two sides of the city, which straddles a bluff across Kansas and Missouri, that would be cheaper than a streetcar. (Star)
  • Drivers have killed 101 people in Philadelphia this year, a third of them pedestrians. (WHYY)
  • The gas prices are too damn low! (City Observatory)


House GOP Won’t Let Transit-Oriented Development Get Federal TIFIA Loans

House Republicans introduced a six-year transportation bill this week, and while it’s not the utter disaster that past GOP proposals have been, advocates for smarter federal transportation policy are playing defense. Today, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee marked up the new bill. About 150 amendments were introduced, according to Transportation for America. All but a few […]

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

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. […]