By Dale Evans

Quotes

The entire transit industry is beset by high overtime pay. More than 8,000 (that’s more than one out of nine) transit workers in New York City earn more than $100,000 per year. The highest-paid city employee in Madison Wisconsin is a bus driver. — Randal O’Toole

Highways in this country are typically designed to last about 50 years—if properly maintained (which is often not the case). Bridges can last 75 to 100 years, but often need replacement much sooner if their capacity is no longer sufficient. What this means is that a brownfield concession of 50 years or longer will very likely require substantial capital investment to reconstruct much of the pavement during its term of years. And unless economic growth stops, or cars and trucks become obsolete, most such highways and bridges will also require capacity expansion during a 50-year concession period. — Robert Poole

Top Headlines

Construction is complete on behemoth airship, first flight plannedW.J. Hennigan, LA Times, 1.04.13

Fiscal Cliff Deal Moves Nation Closer To BankruptcyE21, Economnic Policies for the 21st Century, 1.02.13

Cox and Archer: Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt. Hiding the government’s liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can’t. Chris Cox, Bill Archer, Wall Street Journal, 11.26.12

A Budget that can’t be balanced! Hal Mason,YouTube, 3.14.12

Documenting 24 Hours In The Lives Of Transportation Workers Across the Globe,Fastcoexist,

The incredible shrinking stimulus, Suy Khimm, Washington Post, 12.21.12

Taxes and Economics

Louisiana Governor Jindal proposes ending state income tax, Kathy Finn, Reuters, 1.11.13

The Top Transportation Issues to Watch in 2013, Baruch Feigenbaum, Reason Foundation, 1.08.13

The Dispersion of Financial Sector Jobs, Wendell Cox, New Geography, 1.08/13

Disney looks for cost savings, ponders layoffs – sources, Ronald Grover, Reuters, 1/07/13

Federal Food Stamp Program Spent Record $80.48 in FY2012, Patrick Burke, CNS News, 1.04.13

Fiscal Cliff Deal Moves Nation Closer To BankruptcyE21, Economnic Policies for the 21st Century, 1.02.13

Transportation Manifesto 2013, Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner, 1.02.13

Congressional Budget Office Shows Senate Bill Is $600 Billion Tax Hike, Heritage Foundation, 1.1.13

A Budget that can’t be balanced! Hal Mason,YouTube, 3.14.12

Secret and Lies of the Bailout. The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. An d the worse may yet to come. Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, 1/17/13

Advantages of Low Capital Gains RatesChris Edwards, Cato Institute Taxi & Budget Bulletin No. 66, Dec 2012

Innovators in Action 2012, Year in ReviewJarros Lemmu. Reason Foundation, 12.31.12

10 Facts on the Fiscal Cliff, Debt, and SpendingRomina BocciaFoundry by Heritage, 12.27.12

Cox and Archer: Why $16 Trillion Only Hints at the True U.S. Debt. Hiding the government’s liabilities from the public makes it seem that we can tax our way out of mounting deficits. We can’t. Chris Cox, Bill Archer, Wall Street Journal, 11.26.12

Highways & Bridges, PPP & Tolling, Driving Issues

Before and After Safety Study of Roadways Where New Medians Have Been Added,Final Report Contract No. BDK80 977-18, Lehman Center for Transportation Research, December 2012

Overall, the results showed a 30.3 percent reduction in the total crash rate after median conversion. Median conversion was particularly effective in reducing rear-end, angle, left-turn, and right-turn crash rates. Further review of three locations that performed particularly poorly revealed that the majority of crashes that occurred after conversion could not be attributed directly to raised medians.

Of the four types of median openings, uni-directional median opening on a four-lane facility was the safest and full median opening with left-turn bays on both directions on a six-lane

facility was the least safe. Further, compared to four-lane facilities, crash rates at median openings on six-lane facilities were consistently higher. Median conversion was found to result in a greater overall safety benefit for six-lane facilities compared to four-lane facilities.

A majority of the responding businesses preferred TWLTLs to raised medians for better access and ease of truck deliveries. Two-thirds of the responding businesses thought that raised medians were safer than TWLTLs.

Gov. Kasich’s Ohio Turnpike Mistake and the Future of Highway Funding, Robert Poole, Reason Foundation, 1.09.13

Should We Tax People for Being Annoying? Adam Davidson, NYTimes, 1.08.13

More Aiutomakers Move Toward Self-Driving Cars, Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner, 1.08.13

District traffic cameras to more than double amid record revenues. City’s take skyrockets at start of 2013 fiscal year. Alan Blinder, Washington Examiner, 12.25.12

Transit

The Transit Overtime Scandal, Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner, 1.10.13

Getting to Vegas, babyWendell Cox, Orange County Register, 1.07.13

Transit chief to announce $135 million for light rail, Tony Bizjak, Sacramento Bee, 1/05/13

Fiscal Cliff Deal Will Make It Cheaper to Use Transit in 2013, Larry Ehl, Transportaiton Issues Daily, 2.01.13

Honolulu rail transit a tribute to Senator Inouye and the people of Oahu, US Department of Transportation 12.19.12

Automobile Usage and Urban Rail Transit Expansion, Lunyu Xie, Environment for Development, December 2012

Documenting 24 Hours In The Lives Of Transportation Workers Across the Globe,Fastcoexist,

Property Rights, Housing, and Land Use

$450 Billion in Federal Subsidies Tilt U.S. Real Estate Market Toward Sprawl, Angie Schmitt, StreetsBlog, 1.09.13

Density Reduces Driving (Even  At Pretty High Densities), Michael Lewyn, Planetizen, 1.07.13

A Rental Crisis? Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner, 1.4.13

Energy, Environment & Technology

Lawsuit: Obama Steered Tens of Millions to Green Energy Cronies, Newsmax, 1.10.13

End Gas Tax? Yes! Pay for Roads with Sales Tax? No! Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner, 1/09/13

A tax whose time has come. Tom Schaller says federal gas tax increase is long overdue, and should be welcomed by liberals and conservatives alike. Thomas F. Schaller, Baltimore Sun, 1.08.13

Why Amazon is the only unstoppable monster in tech today. The king of the cloud already dominates digital media, but booming global commerce can fuel unlimited growth. Tim Carmody, The Verge, 1.7.13

Robots to the Rescue? The flip side of an entitlements crisis is a labor shortage.Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.,WSJ, 1.08.13

Dig It! Rare Earth and Uranium Mining Potential in the States, American Legislative Exchange Council,

Why Is Google at War with Microsoft? Larry Selzer, InformationWeek, 1.04/13

The Multiple distortions of Wind Subsidies. Producers get so much from the government that they can pay utilities to take their power and still make a profit. Phil Gramm, Wall Street Journal, 12.25.12

How Fossil Fuels saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity, Indur M. Goklany, Cato Institute Policy Analysis No. 715, 12.19.12

Depending on Energy, Not Energy Independent, Kenneth P. Green, The American, 12/17.12

Miscellaneous

Obama’s ‘No Drama’ Foreign PolicyRobert Kaplan, RealClearWorld, 1.10.13

General Details Pentagon Tensions With Obama on Afghanistan, Michael R. Gordon, NYTimes, 1.05.13