I got quoted last weekend in the Oregonian about peak travel: Columbia River Crossing needs $900 million from Washington and Oregon, but how to raise it remains elusive:
“David Levinson, a University of Minnesota professor who studies transportation issues, argues that the trend is long-term and is as much cultural as financial.
Teens, historically the most avid drivers, are waiting longer to get their licenses and are driving less, pushed by higher costs and also tougher rules for young drivers, stronger enforcement of drunk driving laws, even technology. Another theory: smart phones and the Internet have supplanted the car as a central platform of young people’s social lives.
Cars themselves have also changed. Some don’t burn a drop of gas or pay a penny in gas taxes. Others use less, due in part to tougher federal mileage standards. ‘It’s official government policy to drive down gas tax revenue,’ Levinson said. “