Archive for November, 2009

Words to Remember

Pay attention: Using Federal Highway Administration statistics, Subsidyscope has calculated that in 2007, 51 percent of the nation’s $193 billion set aside for highway construction and maintenance was generated through user fees—down from 10 years earlier when user fees made up 61 percent of total spending on roads. The rest came from other sources, including […]

What’s Going On With Me

No doubt you are all wondering what’s up in my life. The answer, as it happens, is kind of a lot. Some details! First, I will soon be taking on a new role at The Economist, as Online Economics Editor. I will still be blogging at Free Exchange, but I’ll also be setting up and […]

Creative Funding

From Bloomberg: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said his goal to speed up construction of 12 transit projects and ease congestion in the second-biggest U.S. city requires “creative” funding help from Washington. Villaraigosa is pushing a plan to complete about $20 billion of subway and rail-line work by 2019, 20 years sooner than an initial […]

Crime in DC

I think this post by Ezra gets things wrong in a lot of different ways: On Saturday night, much of Columbia Road was blocked off by sirens and tape. It says something about Washington that this didn’t strike me as particularly abnormal. Another shooting, probably. And that’s exactly what it was. But this time, it […]


Has S&P really taken historical Case-Shiller data offline? Really? Someone tell me I’m wrong. Information wants to be free, jerks.

On Car Sharing

I’m sure that in a very transit-oriented city like New York, car-sharing does generate some mode shifting from walking or biking or taking the train to driving, though I would guess that even in New York, the net effect of the service is less driving (in no small part because non-drivers are sure to find […]

Funding Transportation

Elana Schor reports on efforts to fund the next transportation bill and notes that the latest craze is a move to tax oil futures and (perhaps) all stock transactions. This strategy is gaining ground because oil markets and traders are very unpopular and (still worse) geographically concentrated, whereas users of transportation infrastructure tend to enjoy […]

Happy Days

Paul Krugman writes: For various reasons I’ve been doing a lot of walking around the past few days, in both Princeton and New York, visiting areas I haven’t looked at for several months. And I’m not sure what to make of it, but casual observation suggests a stronger recovery than anything I see in published […]

Papers of the Day

Two by the same authors, Jason Junge and David Levinson. First up, “Economic and equity effects of transportation utility fees.” Transportation utility fees are a financing mechanism for transportation that treats the network as a utility and bills properties in proportion to their use, rather than their value as with the property tax. This connects […]

More Stimulus?

Noam Scheiber points out the odd conclusions Democratic legislators seem to be drawing from yesterday’s election — that they need to go slower, do less, and worry more about the deficit. Why anyone would conclude as much is absolutely beyond me. If the American public is at all concerned about the state of the president’s […]