Insufficient funding is creating a transportation crisis in the metro Washington region. However attempts to raise funds such as through increasing the gas tax are very unpopular with the public and can get caught up in political debates.
How can this quagmire be solved? One local jurisdiction Alexandria is considering a transportation tax on commercial and industrial properties to help pay for transportation initiatives. While it may not be a fix-all it’s an attempt to work around the edges to solve a major problem – fledgling infrastructure – that threatens the competitiveness and economic vitality of the region and the nation. While countries in Europe and Asia move forward on ambitious infrastructure projects the U.S. is cutting them.
To end on some positive infrastructure news over the weekend DDOT released details about the envisioned 37-mile streetcar system for D.C. parts of which are set to begin service in 2012.