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Any info on this " TAP money also paid to widen and repave the trail from the 14th St. Bridge to E.Basin Drive."? It would seem that this is an addition pot of money dedicated at that stretch of trail that hasn't yet been spent. The NPS got a grant as well.

I think that's Ohio, not Oklahoma, that's fixing the Mt. Vernon Avenue bridge.

You're right. Google screwed me.

If he's worried about the budget, he could ask about the various tax subsidies to the oil and gas industries, and the subsidies to agriculture. But no Oklahoma politician is going to criticize those Federal programs, even though they dwarf all the money ever spent on bike trails.

I do agree that we need to reconsider the continued growth of Federal Highways. But, here again, its the South and West that are big beneficiaries.

Don't forget we subdize our roads since gas tax, tolls, and property tax don't cover them.

Not surprised by his thoughts. The economics of building bike infrastructure has been proven but cycling just doesn't have as powerful of a lobby as the highway lobby.

I'm particularly concerned about our persistence in building more and wider roads. Is anyone following the I-66 tolling proposal right now? After 2020, there's a traffic analysis study and if it hits specific triggers, it will be widened. Several highway lobbies, funding largely by construction companies have been lobbying NOVA and the county boards for their own interests with no data to backup there assertions that widening 66 will alleviate congestion long term. It will only induce demand for more cars, bringing more traffic onto our local roads, making it even less safer for cyclists.

If anyone is interested in speaking more about this with me, please contact me.

[email protected]

Today the Congress passed a bill to return control of education to the states. Perhaps its time to do the same for highways.

The problem with that is that highways are a national security issue that don't balance well without federal involvement. Highway needs are driven by both population and square miles. The first relates well to gas tax revenue, the 2nd does not. Wyoming is going to need a little help maintaining their highways, but NJ might not.

Rural dominated state legislatures might not be willing to invest in transit without federal aid.


While we subsidize roads at the state and local level, we did not always subsidize the interstate highway system, which was entirely funded by user fees.

For a long time, the gas tax revenues were partly diverted to mass transit and other uses. But now we are close to a situation in which the diversions are about equal to the subsidy from the general fund. I have not checked to see whether the subsidies are greater than the diversions.

There is a separate issue. Some states (probably Oklahoma) are subsidized by states with less roads but more drivers, because the formula is based on lane miles. For practical purposes, the diversion for transit goes to states that are otherwise cheated by the formula.

So if we cut the federal gas tax, ended the diversions, and ended the subsidies, states like Maryland could raise their gas taxes more and fund their own transit and bike-ped programs anyway. If Oklahoma really does not want to have federal dollars for trails or transit, that's ok with me as long as we also stop subsidizing their roads.

There might be a federal interest in the interstate highway system and Amtrak, but much of the cost is for extra lanes that just service local commuting. So socialist MD and NJ have tolls for new lanes and provide OK with a subsidy so that that free-market OK can avoid paying tolls to use their extra lanes.

Don't forget that the Interstates were built largely for national security reasons--to enable military equipment to travel quickly around the country in the event of a war. This is a federal interest.

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