The big question for planners since the outset of the pandemic has been how cities and communities will change, and what role planners will take in implementing those changes. Here are four potential ways for urban planning to respond to the crisis.
(Opinion) After devoting more than a century of planning and engineering effort to the movement and storage of cars above all other considerations, U.S. cities have suddenly, temporarily shifted priorities.
Having completed a pilot program last year, the Washington State Transportation Commission will hear a report in October and vote in December on phasing out its 49.4 cents per gallon gas tax, fourth highest in the nation but not indexed to inflation.
On July 1, Illinois and Ohio increased gas taxes by double digits: 19 cents per gallon and 10.5 CPG, respectively, followed by California at 5.6 CPG, all due to legislation passed this year or in 2017. Diesel tax hikes were even higher.
Reducing the number of traffic lanes to improve bike and pedestrian safety can be inherently controversial when auto travel times are increased, and it can upset motorists further when they learn gas taxes are funding those safety improvements.
The 3 cent gas tax and 6 cent diesel tax increases are among the lowest of any states that have hiked fuel taxes since 2013, but combined with other revenue sources in the legislation, plus an upcoming sales tax ballot measure, it's historic.
On July 1, motorists in Ohio will pay an additional 10.5 cents per gallon to fill up, while truckers will pay 19 cents per gallon more on diesel fuel sales. Accompanying the tax hikes are two controversial provisions that DeWine chose not to veto.
Thanks to bipartisan cooperation and strong leadership from Gov. Kay Ivey, the Heart of Dixie passed it first fuel tax hike in 27 years. The 21 cents per gallon tax will increase by 10 cents in three increments by 2021 and then indexed to inflation.
Gretchen Whitmer has outdone the new Democratic governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, who proposed a 20 cents tax hike. Like Walz's budget, gas tax revenue would replace some general funds directed to road spending, thus benefiting other state programs.
After Minnesota's new Democratic Gov. Tim Walz proposed a 20-cents gas tax hike over two years, even leaders in his own party were caught off-guard, but one-third of the tax increase will replace the diversion of general funds to roads.
Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, who took office on Jan. 7, wants to hike the state's 28.6-cents gas tax, 15% lower than the national average, so cities like Duluth won't have to ask voters to pass sales tax increases to fund local road repairs.
Democratic candidate Tim Walz was not shy about his intention to hike the gas tax to pay for improvements for roads and public transit, and he was predictably slammed by his Republican opponent. Similar scenarios played out in Wisconsin and Michigan.
The day after California voters soundly rejected a repeal of a one-year old 12-cents gas tax increase and new annual vehicle registration fees. the Riverside County Transportation Commission launched a study to extend toll lanes on Interstate 15.
It was not your basic fuel tax hike. Utah voters were told that raising the tax would help education by redirecting revenue from the General Fund to schools that currently goes to transportation. Yet voters also passed decidedly liberal initiatives.
Missouri legislators approved a bill at the end of the legislative session to place a 10-cents per gallon gas tax increase on the ballot to fund road repair. It had the support of Gov. Mike Parson but was rejected by nearly 54 percent of voters.
Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker charges that his Democratic opponent, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, will hike gas taxes by as much as a dollar a gallon to fund road repair, on top of raising income and property taxes.
Californians will determine whether to repeal recent fuel tax and user fee increases; Missourians to vote on a 10-cent gas tax hike over 4 years; Coloradans whether to hike the sales tax, and the most interesting measure will be decided in Utah.
After the Rhode Island General Assembly passed controversial legislation in February 2016 spearheaded by Gov. Gina Raimondo (D), the first two of what will be 13 truck-only toll gantries became operational on June 11. Results are looking good.
The Hoosier State is on a roll, infrastructure speaking. Having passed its largest highway investment package last year based on a 10-cents per gallon gas tax hike, it initiated a study to determine the revenue potential for tolling interstates.
California voters will likely decide on whether to repeal a 12-cents gas tax increase while Missouri voters will decide whether to increase the state's 17-cents per gallon gas tax, fourth lowest in the nation, by 10-cents per gallon over four years.
It is an understatement that Increasing fuel taxes is challenging. If there is an opportune time to do it, it's when gas prices are relatively low, when the state decides to cut other taxes, and when there's bipartisan support.