Behold, a list of links that’s turned into a list of short paragraphs:
1. The greater DC area is considering a “massive new toll system” – 1,650 miles of “variably priced” lanes – along with a “500-mile rapid transit bus system” along the toll roads (in my opinion, a BRT would be a much better idea within the city). Of course, the devil’s in the details – “the plan does not suggest actual toll rates,” and the head of the task force admits “he wasn’t sure if there could ever be enough public and political backing to push the plan forward.”
2. (Legal!) private commuter vans have started running in New York City along canceled bus routes on Monday. The city has chosen one operator for each of the five old bus routes taking part in the program, to be phased in over the next two weeks. No word on whether it was the TLC that limited it to one company per route or whether only one applied. After being rehired by the MTA, the workers from TUW Local 100 retracted their bid for one of the contracts.
3. Chicago suburb Evanston has legalized food trucks, while in the Second City itself they’re still practically illegal (no cooking, cutting, or prep of any kind allowed – just serving food that was made elsewhere).
4. Canada, too, has a weak street food scene according to the Toronto Star food editor. The city is taking very tentative steps toward liberalization – it approved less than two dozen new trucks out of almost 800 applicants, with health regulations that look pretty onerous to me.
5. Only 4% of the Seattle DOT’s budget comes from gas taxes, according to one blog. To be honest I find this number suspiciously low, and I’d be interested to hear what Randal O’Toole, at The Antiplanner, has to say about it. We often disagree, but I do respect his ability to cut through confusing budget figures.
Edit: Randal O’Toole indeed confirms that the SDOT numbers do appear sound, but reminds us that they are for locally-financed roads only and not state and interstate highways, which are mostly funded out of user fees.