Weekly aggregator

News items of interest.

U.S. highway travel rises as economy recovers

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New Report: Road Funding From Non-Road Users Doubled in 25 Years   Subsidies have increased to about 51% of the cost of operating the interstate system. 

The report does not look at local roads, but they operate almost entirely on taxes that are not linked to road use, like sales and property taxes – little gas tax money filters down to the roads that are used most.

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Sec. LaHood: Gas tax likely to see debate in Congress soon

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I think inter-city passenger rail is the best solution to many problems of long-distance transportation.  There is some hope that we will shift in that direction:

Will Federal Stimulus Money Spark a High-Speed Rail Renaissance in the U.S.? 

Entering the Superproject Void

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This is an interesting article on big-picture issues in transportation.  The basic conclusions are that 1) no matter how rich or poor, people on the average spend the same amount of time traveling (0.75 to 1.6 hours); and 2) as people get richer, they travel farther, using faster (and more energy- and carbon-intensive) modes. 

The article does not even mention bicycles, but it supports what we already know:  biking will never be a significant part of the transportation mix without land use that is dense and mixed so that distances are small.  Even then, affluent people will probably blow their carbon budgets on vacation travel.

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