Hint: even if you get a road for free, you still have to pay to maintain it.
Tampa has an epidemic of leaking and bursting pipes. But don’t worry, the city’s taking action! …by proposing an eightfold increase in the amount it spends on maintenance for the next 20 years, half funded by new debt. How did we get to this point?
Love to hate congestion? We’ll never fix it by obsessing over speed or traffic delays. We need to rethink our whole transportation debate, starting with this premise: it’s not about how fast you can go. It’s about what you can get to.
The unproductive use of infrastructure has put most cities, even those that are superficially prosperous, in a position where they won’t be able to afford to maintain what they’ve built. The signs of this crisis are everywhere—if you’re willing to look.
We’ve been taught that a growing city inevitably needs wider highways. Even those who oppose specific road projects often accept this premise. But is it actually true?
Why does infrastructure cost so much to build in the U.S.? The fundamental reasons aren’t technical. We’ve structured our postwar economy to use overspending on infrastructure as a way to induce short-term growth.
Pine Island, MN (population 3,000) has huge dreams, yet they can’t take care of their basic systems. Who pays the price?
There’s every reason not to build a freeway through a poor, mostly-black neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana. So why is the state government taking money away from needed maintenance to push this bad project forward?
Early in my career, I helped plan a highway bypass for a small town that I was sure would generate a positive return on investment in the form of economic growth. The only problem? The actual numbers we calculated told a different story.
America has an excessive infrastructure problem—and perhaps nowhere is that more clear than in places like the massive, center-less city of Palm Bay, Florida.
If the city fixes the street outside of your home and increases the value of your real estate, you should have to pay the city back some of that windfall…right?
As a planner by training, I’m disappointed to see the American Planning Association parrot propaganda about the supposed need for a flood of new federal money for infrastructure. This approach is not conducive to good planning.
States have been neglecting basic road repairs in favor of costly road expansion. Yet the problem is still misleadingly framed by some as primarily about not having enough money.
The drumbeat from the lobbying organizations behind Infrastructure Week is, as usual, that we need to build more in America—and it scarcely seems to matter what we build, where, or why. This view is as shortsighted and dangerous as ever.
If electric vehicles become the norm, our fuel tax-funded infrastructure might suffer. What should cities do?
Your daily commute sucks. Is it also making you go broke?
If your city is struggling to pay the bills, could joining forces with the rich county next door be the answer?
When it comes to infrastructure spending, politicians on both ends of the political spectrum get it wrong—but in different ways.
Why do places like Cobb County, Georgia keep spending more and more, while their municipal budgets go further and further into the red? This week at Strong Towns, we’re going to dig into the tale of Cobb County: a poster child for the Ponzi-scheme approach to growth.
If you want your community to prosper, stop building new infrastructure.