Blogs

China Freeways: Continuing Expansion

Beijing's xinhuanet.com reported on December 30 that 11,000 kilometers (7,000 miles) of new freeways (motorways) were built in 2012. This is equivalent to more than 150 percent of the freeway mileage in California.  read more »

Moving to North Dakota: The New Census Estimates

The new state (and DC) population estimates indicate a substantial slowdown in growth, from an annual rate of 0.93 percent during the 2000s to 0.75% between 2011 and 2012. This 20 percent slowdown in growth was driven by a reduction in the crude birth rate to the lowest point ever recorded in the United States (12.6 live births per 1000 population).  read more »

Big things that were never built in Los Angeles

One of my lesser historical obsessions has been the grandiose stuff that's been proposed for the Los Angeles area and never built. Things like the amusement park that Walt Disney proposed for Burbank before he put Anaheim on the map with Disneyland, or the assorted hotels, parks, monorails and highways that were given ink in the newspapers but either fell through or were never that real to begin with.  read more »

IRS to Continue Migration Data

" The IRS should be applauded" --- it is hard to imagine a public statement to this effect, other than from a government insider. But this was the Tax Foundation, improbably and correctly complimenting the Internal Revenue Service in announcing that its annual income tax migration data would continue to be produced.  read more »

Subjects:

Is the Acela Killing America?

Has the finance industry trainjacked America?

By all accounts the Acela has been a success. Thought it is far from perfect and constitutes moderate speed rail for the most part, it seems to have attracted strong ridership. A midday train was totally packed on both the BOS-NYC leg and NYC-DC leg the last time I rode it. I didn’t see an empty seat anywhere. Which is pretty amazing given how much more expensive it is than the regional, and frankly not that much faster. It does seem to have accomplished its mission of more closely linking Boston, New York, and Washington.  read more »

Exodus to Suburbs Continues Through 2012

The latest US Census Bureau migration data shows that people continue to move from principal cities (which include core cities) in metropolitan areas to what the Census Bureau characterizes as "suburbs" (Note). Between 2011 and 2012, a net 1.5 million people moved from principal cities to suburbs (principal cities lost 1.5 million people to the suburbs). The movement to the suburbs was pervasive.  read more »

Publication Announcement: Urban Travel and Urban Population Density

Wendell Cox questions the long-held and popular belief that lower density cities have longer average work trip travel times and greater traffic congestion compared to more compact cities.  He puts forward several key evidence, arguments and analyses to show that the opposite is true - that higher urban densities are associated with longer work trip travel times and greater traffic congestion.

Download the report.

Subjects:

Higher Gas Tax Unlikely to Gain Support in Congress

Although some infrastructure advocates are hoping to use the current budget negotiations to win support for an increase in the federal gasoline tax, the idea is unlikely to gain support in Congress or the Administration.  While  the 2010 Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction commission proposed raising the federal gas tax by 15 cents/gallon as part of a broad deficit-reduction plan, neither House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) nor Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) have endorsed the idea.  Nor is an increase in the federal gasoline tax popular among  the  read more »

Finally, A Vegas Train That Makes Sense

Las Vegas Railway Express has signed an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad to operate a conventional speed train from Fullerton, in Orange County to downtown Las Vegas, according to a story by Michelle Rindells of the Associated Press.  read more »

Single Family Houses Sales Up, Builders Register Confidence

A continuing increase in new single-family house sales has fueled the substantial increase in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) to 46 in November. This indicates that nearly one half of surveyed home builders are positive about future sales of single family houses. This is a strong increase from the HMI of 41 in October. The HMI had reached its low point in the midst of the housing bus in January 2009 at 8 and is now higher than at any point in more than six years.  read more »