States Take the Lead in Implementing Driving Fees

With D.C. abandoning its leadership position in funding road infrastructure improvements, states such as Oregon and Minnesota are going forward with pilot plans to transition to road usage fees.

2 minute read

June 6, 2012, 6:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

Larry Copeland and Paul Overberg report on declining transportation revenues due to greatly increased fuel efficiency and prospects to ameliorate the trend by charging drivers for their road usage at the state, rather than federal, level.

"Minnesota and Oregon already are testing technology to keep track of mileage. Other states, including Washington and Nevada, are preparing similar projects."

A major impediment is the privacy issue. Mention "GPS" and "big brother" jumps into the minds of those wary of government snooping in private lives.

"Oregon is recruiting volunteers for a pilot program starting in September to examine other ways (not using GPS technology) of reporting mileage, including use of in-vehicle technology similar to that used to locate charging stations for owners of electric vehicles.

"In Minnesota, 500 volunteers in largely urban Hennepin and mostly rural Wright counties have been testing a system using software installed on smartphones, says Chris Krueger, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation. "We can collect trip info and be able to simulate what it would be like to have a mileage-based user fee," she says.

"MinnDOT will provide a report on their research when the pilot is complete in December. "We know that eventually there will be an issue of not having enough revenue from the gas tax," Krueger says.

"A federal miles-traveled tax is unlikely, Joshua Schank, president of the non-partisan Eno Center for Transportation in Washington, D.C., says. "So far, the federal government has been terrified of even talking about this. The federal government needs to take a leadership role in helping states do this. You want to have sharing of information, compatibility across state lines."

Thanks to Loren Spiekerman

Monday, June 4, 2012 in USA Today

Aerial view of snowy single-family homes in suburban Long Island, New York

New York Governor Advances Housing Plan Amid Stiff Suburban Opposition

Governor Kathy Hochul’s ambitious proposal to create more housing has once again run into a brick wall of opposition in New York’s enormous suburbs, especially on Long Island. This year, however, the wall may have some cracks.

March 20, 2023 - Mark H. McNulty

Empty parking garage at night with yellow lines marking spots and fluorescent lighting

Rethinking the Role of Parking in the American City

In cities big and small, the tide is turning against sprawling parking lots, car-centric development, and minimum parking mandates.

March 16, 2023 - The New York Times

A futuristic version of New York City, with plants growing neatly on top of modern skycrapers.

Friday Eye Candy: 20 AI-Generated Cityscapes

AI-generated images are creating new landscapes and cityscapes, capable of inspiring awe or fear.

March 17, 2023 - Chris Steins via Medium

View of street in Chinatown, San Francisco with cars parked along curb and red Chinese lanterns hanging above street

Study: Autonomous Cars Won’t Solve the Parking Problem

In hyper-dense cities where incentives to reduce car use and eliminate parking are already high, mass adoption of AVs won’t significantly reduce parking demand.

1 hour ago - Streetsblog USA

A group of wetsuit-clad swimmers gathers to talk in shallow water near the shore of the San Francisco Bay.

Proposed Pool Would Make an Olympic-Sized Play Area in the San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay is usually an undesirable place to swim, except for a hearty few. A development proposal seeking assistance at the state level would add a pool to the Bay’s waters to make the idea of going for a swim more appealing.

March 24 - The Mercury News

Chicago elevated train over busy city street surrounded by high-rise buildings

Chicagoland Transit Agencies Call for State Funding as Budget Shortfall Looms

Illinois transit agencies want to see changes to a law requiring them to collect half of their revenue from transit fares, arguing that low ridership and staffing shortages will lead to a massive budget gap without intervention.

March 24 - Crain's Chicago Business

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.