So asks Eric Jaffe, who suggests that a fix-it-first road funding policy is most appropriate for an era in which Americans drive less. Jaffe’s argument is bolstered by evidence that some transportation authorities have already begun to adapt to the change in transportation habit. The Maryland DOT, for instance, recently acknowledged that “a return to strong annual VMT growth is unlikely.
“For sure, we need a new source of funding, with the busted gas tax nearing its demise,” writes Jaffe. “It’s also high time to challenge the idea that the amount of road funding we’ll need in the future is the same as what we’ve needed in the past.”