Monday, June 29

Following the transportation dollars

If you lend your friend five dollars, it may not be worth your effort keeping tabs on it. But if you dole out $26.6 Billion for transportation infrastructure and job stimulus, it's probably a good idea to make sure it's actually doing what it's supposed to do. This is especially true after the media cycle has moved on. If you're an American citizen, the funds in the federal stimulus package are your money after all.

States were required to have 50% of the funds allocated by June 29th, so this is a good time to see where they stand. Smart Growth America has done much of the data collection and processing for us, and they have released a report today. Each State is ranked by how much of their money is spent on maintaining the current system versus building new capacity, as well well as the proportion allocated to public transit.

Virginia unfortunately does not score well. Only 60% is allocated for maintenance of bridges and existing roads, even though 54% of roads in Virginia are not considered "good" by AASHTO standards. Virginia is using 40% of the funds on building new capacity, new pavement that will presumably have to be maintained into the foreseeable future. These priorities rank the Commonwealth 39th in the nation. By way of contrast, Maryland has allocated 100% of road funds to maintenance. Virginia does rank 12th in the nation on percentage spent on public transportation or non-motorized infrastructure (5.2%). I was surprised to see that Montana wasn't too far behind Virginia, at 3.9%, with way less density overall.

1 comment:

CarFree Stupidity said...

Go Montana!

At the recent City Council meeting all about the new Zoning ordinance, Mr. Millar from the Planning office did a PP presentation and one of the stats he cited was that Missoula carries half of all transit ridership in the state of Montana for about 20% of the total moeny spent on transit in our state. I found that pretty amazing.