Posts Tagged "virginia"
Massachusetts event highlights the growing trend of states moving to enable more local transportation funding
“Let the voters decide.” It’s a mantra we hear all the time in politics, but not quite as much in transportation. Yet that’s starting to change, as nearly a dozen states have taken steps to empower local communities with new or enhanced taxing authority for transportation over the last few years, putting the question directly in the hands of voters.
With Congress finally wrapping up their five-year transportation bill in late 2015, the spotlight will burn even brighter on states in 2016. With 40 state legislatures now in session and six more set to begin in the coming weeks, how many states will raise new funding? How many states will attempt to improve how they spend their transportation dollars? How many will take unfortunate steps backwards?
This week Virginia DOT released a list of recommended projects across the state, the result of a new process to objectively screen and score transportation projects based on their anticipated benefits.
The second issue of Transportation for America’s “Capital Ideas” series, released today, takes a closer look at the states that passed new transportation funding and policy legislation in 2015, distilling it all into some notable trends, lessons learned, challenges, and recommendations for other states planning similar action in 2016.
Growing again after a long economic slump that left a huge backlog of unmet needs, a dozen or more states are moving now to raise revenue for transportation. What can they learn from the other states that acted in the last year or two? Our new report, out today, draws out seven key lessons.
Raising the gas tax is a political death sentence, right? Well, not necessarily. In at least two states where legislators raised gas taxes or other fees in the last two years, voters have responded by sending almost all of the supportive members of both parties back to their state houses. Could it be that voters are more supportive of raising revenue than we think?
With a large number of state legislatures convening as the new year gets underway, it’s worth a look back at an important trend from 2013: States stepping forward to raise additional money for transportation. With federal funding remaining flat in 2012′s transportation bill (MAP-21) and after years of deferred action during the long recession, a large number of states, metro areas and local communities moved to supplement federal dollars with new revenues of their own.
Is the per-gallon gas tax going the way of the full-service filling station? To look at the flurry of proposals coming out lately, you might think so. Since the start of the year, major new proposals from industry leaders, governors and state legislatures have sparked a new debate over the ways we collect revenue collection for transportation — at the federal, state and local levels. Industry groups have proposed creative ways to essentially raise the gas tax. At the same time, 2013 already has seen several ambitious proposals for funding transportation outside of the excise tax on gas.
Congress is heading towards a decisive, historic moment on investing in high speed rail for America. But the outcome is far from certain. In the next few weeks, Congress will decide whether or not to give the Department of Transportation $1.2 billion or $4 billion on high speed rail for the next year. $8 billion was allocated for planning and implementing clean, efficient, high speed train travel in the economic stimulus earlier this year, and with another $4 billion, we’d be making a historic $12 billion investment in high speed rail.Tell Congress to keep $4 billion in the bill at www.fourbillion.com
Here in Washington, DC last weekend, the 12-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian lane of the Woodrow Wilson interstate bridge over the Potomac River held its grand opening, filling with bikers and walkers joining the thousands of cars that cross the bridge each day. The bridge, connecting Virginia and Maryland on the southern part of the Capital Beltway, is a vital transportation link in the region, where Interstate 95 (and the large majority of truck traffic) bypasses Washington, continuing north or south along the eastern seaboard. But making the Wilson Bridge an intermodal success was not easy.