The Connected States of America

The Connected States of America An interactive county to county map of who calls where on the AT&T network. Familiar conceptually to the gravity model (though they don't seem to weight it by number of opportunities).
The Connected States of America
An interactive county to county map of who calls where on the AT&T network. Familiar conceptually to the gravity model (though they don’t seem to weight it by number of opportunities).

 

Land Value Capture and Market-Based Transportation Funding

Reason Foundation blog endorses Land Value Capture and Market-Based Transportation Funding
Sam Staley writes:

I’ve thought for a while that “value capture”–taxing the increase in property value due to public investment in infrastructure–should be used more widely as an alternative to using income taxes, sales taxes, or other general forms of taxation to fund transportation infrastructure. Property taxes achieve this to some degree, but real value capture would ensure only the properties that directly benefit from the spending actually pay for it; it would minimize redistribution of income to subsidize spending on the project. So, in theory at least, value capture retains the basic principles of a user fee, although a more appropriate term would be beneficiary fee.
I also believe that value capture, as an alternative to tapping into general taxes, has the benefit of creating more transparency and accountability in selecting and managing public projects. If spending has tangible benefits, then private property owners and investors would step up to the plate and voluntarily underwrite at least a portion of the costs.

We recently completed a report for Brookings on Value Capture: Access for Value: Financing Transportation Through Land Value Capture, as well as another report for the Minnesota State Legislature: Value Capture for Transportation Finance.

Phone Data to Give a Picture of Traffic Shutdown in L.A. 

NY Times: Phone Data to Give a Picture of Traffic Shutdown in L.A.
In what is locally referred to as Carmageddon:

Chaos is expected to descend on Los Angeles on July 16, when a 10-mile stretch of I-405, a major highway running through the center of town that carries an average of 500,000 cars on a summer weekend, shuts down for more than two days.

But KABC, the local flagship station for ABC, sees the closure as an opportunity to experiment with technology tools as its plans to report on the mess as it unfolds. The station has partnered with Waze, an Israeli technology company that makes a navigation app for smartphones, to give drivers a real-time picture of what is happening on the roads.
Waze’s app tracks the movement of each of its users to get a sense of traffic, and then directs them to quicker routes based on the data it collects. The company says it has 180,000 users in the Los Angeles area.