Connecticut Seeks to Leverage Transit to Build Roads
At a transportation forum held earlier this week, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy explained the state's transportation funding dilemma as such, reports Don Stacom: "Addressing Connecticut's transportation challenges is key to growing our economy, creating jobs, and making the state more competitive," Malloy said. "Fewer [federal] dollars will be coming to our state. What do we do about falling gas tax revenues? How do we build out Route 11 or the 395 interchange or the widening of 95 in the eastern part of the state?"
Malloy answered his own question with a nod to the revenue generating potential of private development around new transit stations. It seems ironic, though, that the Governor would pay for road projects with revenue generated by leveraging transit projects (in turn, potentially starving those systems of passengers and further development potential).
Nevertheless, speakers at the forum expressed optimism that "[t]he New-Britain-to-Hartford busway and the proposed Springfield-Hartford-New Haven commuter rail line will create opportunities for developers to build relatively high-density housing near stations to accommodate young workers and empty-nesters," notes Stacom. "The state can help coordinate that development and adopt policies that allow more public-private financing to relieve the strain on taxpayers, they said."