Skip to main content

Gov. Easley makes his own Highway Trust Transfer proposal

With the short session of the North Carolina Legislature just underway, Governor Mike Easley proposed some changes in the annual transfer of funds from the Highway Trust Fund to the General Fund.

The governor's proposal - reduce the transfer of $172.6 million by $25 million. The ultimate goal is to reduce the transfer in its entirety. The governor did not mention how many years it would take to complete phase out the funds transfer.

Where would the $25 million go? As the gap funding for the Triangle Expressway. The change in the transfer of funds would ultimately need to be approved by the legislature.

Story: Triangle Business Journal

Commentary:

Where should I begin on this one. First, I am sure Sue Myrick, Pat McCrory, and others will enjoy this one. Myrick and McCrory, both from Charlotte, will certainly not like the fact that Raleigh would get funding to build another piece of 540 while I-485 gets delayed.

The opponents of tolling 540 will not like this because it pretty much seals the deal on building the toll road. Of course, if approved it will.

Other areas considered for tolling or behind in projects will also be unhappy about the $25 million going to a project in the capital's backyard.

Plus, we have yet to see the 21st Century Transportation Commission's final report on this. the committee had suggested eliminating the transfer completely with some of the $172 million going towards issuing a large bond issue to help fund highway projects throughout the state. The Governor made no mention of that today. This also will be a sticking point for opponents of toll projects throughout the state. (See the recent entry on the Cape Fear Skyway)

My personal opinion. I am glad to see various proposals made to end the annual transfer of the Highway Trust Funds. This is a great step forward. Personally, I am in favor of eliminating the transfer in its entirety as soon as possible (now preferably). I would be in support of a bond issue to help finance projects throughout the state. I would also have no issue on some of the money being used for 'gap funding' on toll projects. However, if it is only for one project when there are quite a few other toll projects just as important that can use the toll funding also, I can't support that. Especially when the NCTA can't even get an estimated cost narrowed down correctly.

This will be an interesting short session of the legislature on the highway front. The 21st Century Transportation Commission should formally present their findings soon.

Comments

Bob Malme said…
Quite coincidentally, the Committee released their results this morning. They call for a bond of at least $1 billion to be approved by the voters and to be paid back by ending the annual transfer of money to the general fund from the transportation fund.
See: http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/2873975/

Comment: This is what Gov. Easley ought to have said, that he'd abide by what the 21st Century Committee endorsed and work with the legislature in the remainder of his term to make it happen. I agree with Adam that his idea of a gradual reduction in the transfer would only have pitted one region against another over the amount of released monies meaning probable legislative stalemate and little getting done.

Now the fun begins. Getting the legislature to decide how much the bond will be and to allow the measure to be put on the November ballot.

Popular posts from this blog

The New PA 48 - The Unbuilt Eastern Allegheny County Freeway

From the 1950's to the 1980's, there was a proposal to build a 4-lane expressway paralleling PA Route 48.  This proposed highway was officially known as the "North-South Parkway", but locally known as the "New 48".  Sadly, this route never came to be; however, it is the predecessor of another highway, The Mon-Fayette Expressway.  The "New 48" was a highly debated route that really never got beyond the planning stages.  There are very few remnants of construction left.

History:
Originally proposed in the post-war Pittsburgh, the "New 48" was a lot of talk, but it really never saw much work done.  Most of the discussion, planning, land acquisitions and right-of-way clearing occurred in the 1960s.  The "New 48" would also have gone by the term "North-South Parkway".  This was the term for the highway used in White Oak: A Master Plan done by the Pittsburgh Regional Planning Commission in 1960. (1)

The early 60s would see muc…

Hunting for forgotten history; Old US 99 in Fresno

Coming back from my Great Lakes Trip the other day I encountered this sign goof at Fresno-Yosemite International Airport which incorrectly displays US Route 99.





That little US 99 sign was the inspiration I needed to start tracking all the former alignments through the City of Fresno.  Fresno in general has had a huge shift in highway layouts over the decades which is something I intend to finish with California 41 and 180 perhaps later this month.  Based off my research I came with the following three maps progressing northward through Fresno showing every iteration of US 99 before it was downgraded to a State Highway in 1967.




Essentially the route alignment history of US Route 99 in Fresno is as follows.

1926-1930 Alignment 

Progressing northward into Fresno US Route 99 would have followed:

Railroad Avenue
-  Cherry Avenue
-  Broadway Street
-  Divisadero Street
-  H Street
-  Belmont Avenue
-  Golden State Avenue

1930-1934 Realignment off of Railroad Avenue

Sometime between 1930 to …

The William Flinn (not Flynn) Highway - Pittsburgh's Misspelled Street

For decades if you traveled along PA Route 8 in Pittsburgh's North Hills suburbs, you would have noticed signs that read "William Flynn Highway" at every intersection.  Even today, many businesses and residences have their addresses listed as XXXX William Flynn Highway.  However, it's not William Flynn Highway, it is William FLINN Highway - and the gentleman who it is named for has a long and storied past in Pittsburgh's infrastructure history.

William Flinn was born in England in 1851; however later that year, his family emigrated to the United States and would settle in Pittsburgh.  A 10 year-old school drop out, Flinn grew interested in politics and would join the Allegheny County Republican Party in 1877 as a ward commissioner and a seat on the Board of Fire Commissioners.  Flinn would serve in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and Senate from 1877 to 1902. (1)

Flinn along with James J. Booth would found the Booth and Flinn construction firm in …