A bit of good news from the airline industry: there have been zero airline fatalities in three of the last four years. Here is the USA Today article with more details, and a fascinating chart showing annual airline deaths over the last decade:
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today he was confident a multiyear bill to reauthorize the nation's surface transportation programs can be passed by Congress and signed into law by the August summer recess.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn loves to use this chart to show the apparent inefficiency of the Viaduct tunnel. If you follow transportation policy or the Viaduct issue, you have seen it many times. It compares cost to how many cars would use it with two other road projects in Seattle.
He then argues we should not replace the Viaduct with a tunnel because it costs too much and provides too little benefit.
McGinn's efficiency argument against the tunnel is hypocritical when the mayor also supports light rail, which is even more expensive and carries fewer people.
Washington Policy Center took McGinn's chart and added some context by including a comparison to Central Link light rail costs and ridership, which McGinn supports.
Washington Policy Center was asked by the Governor’s staff to give our ideas on ferry reform. There is currently no bill in Olympia but the Governor recently outlined her proposal on reforming Washington’s ferry service and creating independent ferry districts.
I appreciated staff’s openness to our recommendations and the potential of working collaboratively to create good policy and reach a more sustainable ferry program.
In case you are following the new Congress and their new rules set to be voted on tomorrow, Dr. Ronald Utt from the Heritage Foundation has a good summary and his take on the controversial proposal to change how the accumulation of surplus dollars is treated in the Highway Trust Fund:
According to federal rules, government agencies cannot sell advertising space on their websites. However, WSDOT officials have found a way around the feds and will now sell ads on some of the state ferry's websites.
No word yet on whether the WTC will defer to the legislature or move ahead with the fare increase that was recently approved. This could also impact the WTC's ability to raise toll rates. Without these two responsibilities, what else is left for the WTC to do?
Every quarter, the state Office of Financial Management releases its transportation revenue forecast, which projects how much money the state collects in transportation taxes and fees.
Over the last few years, these forecasts had shown revenue was far less than previously thought; particularly in the area of gas tax collections, which greatly impacted the Nickel and TPA gas tax projects.
Earlier I wrote how there is currently more demand for street parking than there is supply in downtown Seattle. This is a signal that either price or supply is too low.
Seattle officials proposed a priceside treatment. Their thought is higher prices will reduce demand. But as I point out, there are negative consequences to this approach: fewer consumers with less money to spend. Besides, people want more parking, not less. So I proposed that a supplyside treatment is a better approach.