Greater City Providence

News & Notes


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News & Notes Will pay-per-mile be a buzzkill for American road trips? [CNN]

During the next 20 years, projections show average vehicle fuel efficiency nearly doubling.

Revenues from the fuel tax will be slashed by half, according to the Iowa study.

Meanwhile, the cost of safe roads, bridges and transit systems will skyrocket. By 2020, says the American Society of Engineers, the price tag could be as high as $1.7 trillion.

Bottom line: two cents per mile would be enough to pay for the nation’s transportation infrastructure needs. That’s according to a 2009 nonpartisan commission headed by two former U.S. transportation secretaries.

Bring Back the Rooming House? [CitiWire]

Is it time to restore the old-fashioned rooming house – or something akin to it – in America’s cities?

Candidate strategies for more compact urban housing units abound. Smith suggests, for example, basement or attic flats that use the “excess” space in larger homes in which an aging homeowner wants to remain but has rooms that are idle and chores that need to be done. “A bargain can be struck,” he suggests, with a younger tenant who pays reduced rent in exchange for upkeep and light maintenance. The net result: “to turn an over-housed, under-maintained single-family dwelling into a multi-household home that benefits both parties.”

Parks and recreation departments try new fund-raising ideas [American City & County]

Park directors are calling on their creativity and business savvy to weather the recession. Many are expanding their use of volunteers, launching new programs and collaborating with local businesses to generate new revenue and maintain parks in tough financial times.

PICS: Santa Monica, Calif. Opens Nation’s Largest Bike Parking Center [Transportation Nation]

Santa Monica, Calif. has plenty of parking lots and garages, what with the beach, 3rd Street Promenade, and brand new shopping center. Now it also has the nation’s highest capacity secure bike parking center with more than 350 spots, according to LA Metro, the agency funding the project. The Santa Monica Bike Center open[ed] Saturday.

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces $275.3 Million for Connecticut’s First Bus Rapid Transit System [Federal Transit Administration]

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced an agreement to provide $275.3 million from the Federal Transit Administration to help build the New Britain-Hartford Busway, Connecticut’s first bus rapid transit system.

Residents in surrounding communities will have many options to connect to the busway, including commuter express, shuttle, circulator and feeder bus services. In addition, a multi-use trail will be constructed near the busway along a five-mile stretch between downtown New Britain and Newington, providing pedestrian and bicycle access at five stations.

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  • About item #2: I have news for the authors, rooming houses are already back and exploding in popularity. I should know, I am running one, and it’s the only way to make the house payments. I know dozens of others doing the same.
    Welcome to the past.

  • I dated someone who lived in an actually quite nice rooming house in downtown Portland, Maine in the ’90s. It certainly did not fit the stereotypical idea of a flop house.

  • Regarding the mileage tax. I’m all for it if they don’t increase the tax on the gasoline.

    Put it this way, at a penny per mile someone who does 15,000 miles a year is in for $150. Yes it would hurt those who live in the burbs but they’ve been the recipient of a subsidy of sorts for years. Nice wide roads cost money to build and maintain.

    The only other way I’d support this is if some of the money went out to the cities and towns for road maintenance.

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