Author Topic: It’s Time to Rethink America’s Failing Highways (make them utilities)  (Read 335 times)

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Offline endicom

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National Review
Robert Poole
June 12, 2018

Our nation’s major roads are effectively a utility like any other. It’s time we treated them as such.

Here are two recent events you might have missed:

In March, House speaker Paul Ryan was widely quoted as saying, “The last thing we want to do is pass historic tax relief and then undo that, so we are not going to raise gas taxes.”

The next month, in California, Republicans submitted 54 percent more than the required signatures to put on the November ballot a measure that would repeal the 2017 state law increasing gasoline and diesel taxes.

Meanwhile, roads in Los Angeles are in such bad shape that it costs the average driver $892 a year in additional vehicle wear and tear, some 25 percent of all U.S. highway bridges are either too narrow or structurally deficient, and chronic traffic congestion costs Americans $160 billion per year in wasted time and fuel.

More... https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/reform-americas-failing-highway-system-make-interstates-utilities/





Offline endicom

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He advocates private ownership, funding with revenue bonds and gives examples of where this is or has been the case.

He includes this interesting tidbit - "The Trump infrastructure proposal included a number of provisions to make the U.S. a more attractive market for such investments, but that is now in the hands of Congress."

Online Frank Cannon

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If states would use road money for roads and stop using it to fund the pension plans for lazy govt workers roads would be tip top.
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Offline driftdiver

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Not too long ago there was a plan to sell our roads to foreign governments.   Essentially its a bond type program, where the foreign govt puts up tolls and gets the revenue but has to maintain the road.

a very very bad idea
Fools mock, tongues wag, babies cry and goats bleat.

Offline GtHawk

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If states would use road money for roads and stop using it to fund the pension plans for lazy govt workers roads would be tip top.
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Online Applewood

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If states would use road money for roads and stop using it to fund the pension plans for lazy govt workers roads would be tip top.

If the roads and bridges were operated as a utility, in PA they would be under the thumb of the state's public utility commission which regulates gas, electric and other utilities in this state.  It also controls the rates utilities charge consumers. 

This state's PUC has never met a rate increase it didn't like.  I can see it now.  Under the PUC, every year there would be an increase in taxes, tolls and fees ostensibly to fund the improvement and maintenance of the "infrastructure."  But the roads and bridges will still be in sorry shape and the money will still go to the bureaucrats and those government pension plans. 

Um...no.  Bad idea indeed.


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