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Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Subsidizing Congestion: The Multibillion-Dollar Tax Subsidy That’s Making Your Commute Worse

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
TABLE 1: CAPSULE HISTORY OF PARKING AND TRANSIT TAX BENEFITS

TRANSITCENTER
Ultimately, the effect of the tax benefit for commuter parking is to subsidize traffic congestion by parking roughly 820,000 more cars on America’s most congested roads in its most congested cities at the most congested times of day. It delivers the greatest benefits to those who need them least, typically upper-income Americans, and costs $7.3 billion in reduced tax revenue that must be made up through cuts in government programs, a higher deficit, or increases in taxes on other Americans.

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Transportation Policy and Funding in the Post-Election Climate

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 15
The mid-term elections have put an end to any lingering hope of passing a long-term transportation bill during the congressional lame duck session. Such hope was recently expressed by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and two Democratic senators, Tom Carper (D-DE) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…But with the November elections heralding a fiscally more conservative political climate and with Congress preoccupied with a whole lot of unfinished business, passing a massive multi-year multi-billion funding bill for transportation during the lame duck session will be the last thing on the lawmakers’ minds.

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Mapping Freight: The Highly Concentrated Nature of Goods Trade in the United States

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Figure 2. Top 1 Percent of Trade Corridors Based on Value, Domestic Corridors Only, 2010

METROPOLITAN POLICY PROGRAM
BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
Each year, the United States moves over $20 trillion in goods weighing over 17 billion tons between hundreds of metropolitan, non-metropolitan, and international regions. It does so using an extensive network of freight assets: over 4 million miles of highways, local roads, railways, navigable waterways, and pipelines; hundreds of seaports and airports; and thousands of intermodal facilities to tie the network together. Without this network, it would be impossible for regional economies to trade goods and reach their full economic potential.

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Options For Increasing Surface Transportation Revenue

Monday, November 10th, 2014
Policy Optimality Considerations for Federal Revenue Options ($ in billions)

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS (AASHTO)
In an attempt to provide a viable solution to the surface transportation funding debacle, this post offers a matrix of dozens of possible methods of funding surface transportation in the U.S., including the few that are already being implemented along with the many that have yet to be explored.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jacky Grimshaw, Vice President of Policy, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Jacky Grimshaw on The Infra Blog

Jacky Grimshaw joined CNT in 1992 and has since developed its capacity to engage in public policy advocacy, transportation research, public participation tool development, GIS mapping, and community economic development.

“Sometimes the bottom up is the only way to move those folks up there at the top…I think part of the challenge is to always try and help people see how they can make a difference, how they can get the elected officials to behave differently so that we really get these problems solved.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Aaron M. Renn, Urban Affairs Analyst and Founder of The Urbanophile

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014
Aaron M. Renn on The Infra Blog

Aaron M. Renn is The Urbanophile, an opinion-leading urban affairs analyst, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer on a mission to help America’s cities thrive in the 21st century.

“Fundamentally, we have to take a hard look in the mirror and realize that, to some extent, the systems that we have in place in America are a reflection of the values of the people who live here…The public needs to take a look in the mirror and say this is what we’ve chosen as a society.”

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Obama’s Disappointing Legacy on Transportation Policy

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 14
For a long time, the nation’s transportation policy escaped critical scrutiny. Not any longer. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — hardly a partisan anti-Obama cabal —has published a hard-hitting but carefully balanced critique of the Administration’s handling of the federal transportation program. Authored by Rebecca Strauss, associate editor of CFR’s “Renewing America” policy briefs, the article singles out a series of failed policy initiatives, notably Obama’s signature high-speed rail project (“it has turned into an embarrassment”), proposals for a $10 billion infrastructure bank and a $50 billion “Fix-it-First” program (both ignored by Congress); and failure to submit to Congress a legislative proposal for a multi-year surface transportation program for the first five-and-a-half years of the presidency.

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Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Figure 2. Change in Number of Trips per Capita among 16 to 34 year-olds, 2001 to 2009

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUNDExecutive SummaryOver the last decade—after 60-plus years of steady increases—the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, […]

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Getting to the Route of it: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
The Route of It

ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
TRANSITCENTER
…Could regional governance be at the root of problems faced by transit systems in other regions? Some regions have struggled to create universal farecards with updated technology. Other regions have targeted investment to new projects while neglecting the core network. Many regions struggle with coordinating service and interfaces between different operators or transit modes. If regions attempt to solve these problems without resolving their governance issues, they—like Chicago—may be fighting a losing battle.

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Will There Be a “Tipping Point” for High-Speed Rail in the U.S.?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 13
Count me among the skeptics…Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood liked to justify a national HSR program by drawing a parallel with the commitment to build the Interstate Highway system. But the analogy is misleading. What made the Interstate highway program politically feasible and financially sound was the concept of a user fee collected from millions of highway users and dedicated exclusively to the program. A national rail program could not hope to have this kind of revenue stream. Instead, it would need to depend on massive federal subsidies for years to come.

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