RCI, River Ridge, one-way streets and a gas tax too low.


Last night, I finally got around to surveying the Regional Cities Initiative, and found it profoundly auto-centric — no surprises there.

ON THE AVENUES SPECIAL EDITION: When it comes to the RCI, can the RDA opt out of the RFRA?

The usual economic development suspects see $250 million in River Ridge investment as a goal worth surrendering local autonomy in multiple counties to attain. I’m seeing several thousand cars with one occupant each trying to make their way through densely populated urban areas lying between them and their destination, thus increasing the value extractors’ pressure to preserve one-way street networks as de facto interstates, thereby maintaining the degradation of our cities.

But worse of all, I see the usual economic development suspects forever ignoring the realities of the preceding paragraph, because it’s all about them and their world view, and the remainder of us be damned.

That’s why I’m running for mayor. Can we at least begin a rational discussion which acknowledges more than one side?

By the way, Americans pay too little in gas tax.

Even Doubled, America’s Gas Tax Would Be Low by World Standards … And yet opposition to raising it remains fixed and fierce, by Eric Jaffe (City Lab)

The federal gas tax that pays for America’s highways hasn’t been raised in decades, but that doesn’t stop some determined lawmakers from trying. The latest effort comes via Senator Tom Carper of Delaware, who has introduced a plan to raise the tax four cents a year for four years then index it to inflation so it remains effective over time. The move would ultimately bring the fuel tax to 34 cents a gallon—nearly double the existing rate of 18.4 cents.

That might seem like a big bump, but even a gas tax twice as high the current one would be incredibly low by global standards.