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Old 02-19-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,878 posts, read 28,170,320 times
Reputation: 25998

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This article on Streetsblog is super interesting.

Why Is It Still So Hard to Find Out How States Are Spending Transpo Money? | Streetsblog USA

Looking at both transparency of data on spend on transportation projects. And an overall count on how money is being spent by state.

Totally enlightening, and it is terrible how in general government isn't mandated to be open about how money is spent.

Perhaps if things were more open, we wouldn't have disasters like what happened in Miami:Miami-Dade: The brain drain and transit - Other Views - MiamiHerald.com
(In a nutshell, voters approved a 1/2 cent tax to fund transit, and the money has been used for highways mostly, and not much on transit.)

Full report by state on spend:
http://www.advocacyadvance.org/docs/..._AllStates.pdf
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
13,442 posts, read 15,055,220 times
Reputation: 11925
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
This article on Streetsblog is super interesting.

Why Is It Still So Hard to Find Out How States Are Spending Transpo Money? | Streetsblog USA

Looking at both transparency of data on spend on transportation projects. And an overall count on how money is being spent by state.

Totally enlightening, and it is terrible how in general government isn't mandated to be open about how money is spent.

Perhaps if things were more open, we wouldn't have disasters like what happened in Miami:Miami-Dade: The brain drain and transit - Other Views - MiamiHerald.com
(In a nutshell, voters approved a 1/2 cent tax to fund transit, and the money has been used for highways mostly, and not much on transit.)

Full report by state on spend:
http://www.advocacyadvance.org/docs/..._AllStates.pdf
Also helps to know what projects do and do not rise to the level of being included in the STIP, which is generally only projects receiving federal dollars or requiring federal authorization.

There's a good amount of money available for bike/ped at the federal level. That's basically meant as a carrot for when a local road that would otherwise not rise to the level of receiving federal dollars can apply and receive them for ped improvements or bike lanes. A huge problem for more local projects is that to receive federal funding, they have to be in the STIP. However, the vast majority of local projects don't rise to the level of being included in a MPO (metropolitan planning organization, urban areas) or RTPA (regional transportation planning agency) plan. They're cut off from that funding because they aren't large enough projects to rise to a regional level. For example, 2nd street in San Francisco had federal funds lined up but couldn't qualify for them. They couldn't get the programming done at the MPO level to get into the STIP. So 2nd street didn't get the bike/ped improvements. It's extremely frustrating, but that's the problem with top-down funding models. It's a very slow process.

It doesn't include transpo subsidies. California STIP includes $243 million in subsidies to transportation agencies for capital improvements, $152 million for subsidizing mass/rail transit operations, roughly $530 million for intercity rail and bus subsidies. That's $900 million. The total STIP fund is $3.4 billion.

In a nutshell, this report gets an "F" for thoroughness. I'd also like to see a list for streets that just include sidewalks. We all know most streets do not have bike lanes, and while I'm entirely for more bike lanes most streets do not NEED bike lanes. It would be a complete waste of money to paint bike lanes on my street. There's a couple streets nearby, however, that could really use them.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/transprog/c...813/16_4.7.pdf

Last edited by Malloric; 02-19-2014 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
16,485 posts, read 20,022,997 times
Reputation: 22422
Las Vegas has never emerged from the 60's, and most people seem to like it that way, no embarrassment whatsoever! We don't even have a light rail plan on the drawing boards! They spend money on bike paths, but not along our major street/avenues where they're needed the most. Most of the bike paths are designed for leisure only!

They should rename this city Mohican (Last of the Mohicans?)!

It's all about roads, roads, roads here!
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:13 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,989 posts, read 98,847,978 times
Reputation: 31402
At the moment, they're spending it on BRT.
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:42 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,706,647 times
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Highways are a form of transit. Personally, I will vote for taxes when they are going to be used to prepare/increase the roads, but I won't vote for taxes to cover bus service.

PS. I do agree that there should be more transparency. If I can't tell what the money is going to be spent on, such as if it just says "transit", I vote against it.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
26,878 posts, read 28,170,320 times
Reputation: 25998
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Highways are a form of transit. Personally, I will vote for taxes when they are going to be used to prepare/increase the roads, but I won't vote for taxes to cover bus service.

PS. I do agree that there should be more transparency. If I can't tell what the money is going to be spent on, such as if it just says "transit", I vote against it.
Wow. That's all I have to say.

You probably don't have to worry, because measures to fund transit probably go mostly to roads anyway.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,781 posts, read 7,343,913 times
Reputation: 4305
Quote:
Originally Posted by lurtsman View Post
Highways are a form of transit. Personally, I will vote for taxes when they are going to be used to prepare/increase the roads, but I won't vote for taxes to cover bus service.

PS. I do agree that there should be more transparency. If I can't tell what the money is going to be spent on, such as if it just says "transit", I vote against it.
In Ohio, only public transit gets voted on. ODOT has no problem spending billions of dollars on a few projects around the state, as the state sees fit. (usually some form of highway widening) But, my local public transit agency has to pass a 0.25% sales tax every 5 years to collect about $7 million/year to operate.

Gov. Kasich gave back $400 million in federal funds to create a passenger rail connection between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, because the estimated $17 million/year operating cost was too much.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
327 posts, read 238,427 times
Reputation: 276
Quote:
Gov. Kasich gave back $400 million in federal funds to create a passenger rail connection between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, because the estimated $17 million/year operating cost was too much.
Same exact reason Gov. Walker in Wisconsin gave for giving back $ to fund a Minneapolis-Madison-Milwaukee-(Chicago) regional line. These governors don't object to other federal dollars used exactly the same way, but now they use these as wedges in a left v. right political issue when transportation is really not such a thing.

Now, Wisconsin doesn't have light rail or any new rail projects on the horizon (exception MKE Streetcar) and Minneapolis is opening an extension of their light rail AND a BRT line.

It's ridiculous.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
46,054 posts, read 28,281,035 times
Reputation: 7824
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccdscott View Post
Same exact reason Gov. Walker in Wisconsin gave for giving back $ to fund a Minneapolis-Madison-Milwaukee-(Chicago) regional line. These governors don't object to other federal dollars used exactly the same way, but now they use these as wedges in a left v. right political issue when transportation is really not such a thing.

Now, Wisconsin doesn't have light rail or any new rail projects on the horizon (exception MKE Streetcar) and Minneapolis is opening an extension of their light rail AND a BRT line.

It's ridiculous.
Basically we will continue to see cities in blue states pass by cities in red states because of these Republican governors playing politics with their states.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
13,442 posts, read 15,055,220 times
Reputation: 11925
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
In Ohio, only public transit gets voted on. ODOT has no problem spending billions of dollars on a few projects around the state, as the state sees fit. (usually some form of highway widening) But, my local public transit agency has to pass a 0.25% sales tax every 5 years to collect about $7 million/year to operate.

Gov. Kasich gave back $400 million in federal funds to create a passenger rail connection between Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati, because the estimated $17 million/year operating cost was too much.
Cleveland to Cincinnasti is 250 miles. How much was the project supposed to cost? Unless it was a heavy rail system running on existing tracks with very few train stations (basically Amtrak, which probably already exists) $400 million wouldn't get very far. Average light rail construction is around $50 million per mile. $250 million wouldn't even cover 5% of that.

http://www.tmacog.org/Transportation...11/Ohio_3C.pdf
Ah found it, yup freight rail line. There's not Amtrak service already? Interesting.
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