Monday’s Headlines Are Willing to Pay More at the Pump

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Gas prices are emerging as a political issue, but drivers need to get over it.

  • Centrist Democrats in Congress are proposing suspending the gas tax. That’s a bad idea because there’s no proven link between rising gas prices and President Biden’s approval rating, and it will just require spending other revenue on transportation instead. (Bloomberg)
  • Instead, the government should be raising gas taxes and redistributing the money back to consumers, preventing oil companies from reaping price-gouging profits while also encouraging less driving. (The Hill)
  • Historically, gas prices were much higher back in 2008, anyway, the economy is good and climate change is a more important issue (Wisconsin State Journal). Even $4 a gallon would be a fair price (Tampa Bay Times).

Other news:

  • The pandemic and a new focus on social justice has pushed transit agencies to rethink their priorities, such as by refocusing service away from affluent areas and toward ones where car-less residents and essential workers live, and by going fare-free. (Governing, Streetsblog)
  • Experience shows that, given a choice, most states are going to spend their infrastructure funding mostly on roads. The U.S. DOT should take steps to prevent that. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Detroit is removing I-375, a freeway that slashed through a Black neighborhood, but replacing all the Black-owned businesses it destroyed will be much harder. (Grist)
  • The Biden administration will extend its mask mandate on planes and public transit at least through mid-March. (Reuters)
  • Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, former campaign rivals, teamed up to tout the infrastructure bill in Charlotte last week. (Roll Call)
  • New York’s Citi Bike bike-share has gotten so popular during the pandemic that users are having a hard time finding places to park their bikes. (NY Times)
  • New bike racks in Philadelphia also prevent drivers from illegally parking in front of fire hydrants. (Inquirer)
  • A Denver committee recommended dropping the residential speed limit to 20 miles per hour. (9 News)
  • The Tampa city council voted to close a loophole in a law requiring developers to build sidewalks or pay into a trust fund. (Florida Politics)
  • Portland finished a safety improvement project on dangerous Hawthorne Avenue. (KATU)

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