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Many cities include minimum parking requirements in their zoning codes and provide ample parking for public use. However, parking is costly to provide and encourages increased automobile use, which is linked to traffic congestion, environmental degradation, and negative health and safety impacts. This study analyzed the relationship between increased parking and increases in automobile use. Results show that an increase in parking provision from 0.1 to 0.5 parking space per person was associated with an increase in automobile mode share of roughly 30 percentage points; these findings warrant policies to restrict and reduce parking capacity in cities.
State policymakers consistently neglect adequately funding adult education, making it less accessible for low-skilled workers who want to build their skills, become financially self-sufficient and contribute to Michigan’s economy. Adult education is the key to preparing these workers for occupational training and skilled employment, and better funding and an expanded role will enable it to meet the demand more effectively. Expanding adult education services to help more low-skilled but highly motivated individuals succeed in post-secondary training will benefit Michigan, because skilled workers help attract and keep businesses in the state, spend more in their local communities, pay more in taxes, and are less likely to become unemployed or need public assistance
Urban freeways create barriers to movement within cities, institutionalize social inequities, contribute to environmental degradation, and encourage suburban sprawl. As urban freeways approach the end of their useful lives, decisions on the fate of an individual freeway will be place specific, and must consider policy, budget, current and future transportation needs, and neighborhood impacts. This report outlines infrastructure and policy options for aging freeways, such as converting them to surface boulevards, constructing sunken expressways, relocating, completely removing them, and more.
Michigan has shifted a total of $4.5 billion intended for K-12 public schools to universities and community colleges since 2010. This cut to K-12 education was not done for the benefit of postsecondary education, but to balance the state budget and compensate for General Fund dollars that are increasingly stretched thin due to tax cuts for businesses. Until K-12 schools and programs are financed at levels recommended by experts and that fulfill statutory requirements, the government should commit to using School Aid Fund dollars only to fund Michigan’s K-12 public schools and programs at adequate levels, funding universities and community colleges at adequate levels using General Fund dollars and other existing appropriate sources, and addressing General Fund shortfalls responsibly by increasing revenue sources rather than shifting educational funds away from their intended purposes
The Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) – part of the CARES Act – provided direct assistance to state, local, and tribal governments, and designated $150 billion for counties with populations of more than 500,000. Through an assessment of the CRF, this report evaluates the effectiveness of federal funding in meeting the needs of counties and the controls warranted for federal funds. Additionally, this report also identifies and documents innovative strategies employed by counties using CRF funds, highlighting approaches to address social equity. In doing so, this report provides recommendations on effective delivery and implementation of future federal aid packages for state and local governments.
Title V of the CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). To assess the effectiveness of the fund from the perspective of state and local prime recipients, this report outlines the results of a survey sent to all 50 states and the 171 eligible units of government that were prime recipients of the CRF. This report also features three case studies, Indiana, Seattle, and Travis County, TX, to provide a more detailed assessment of the CRF from the perspective of prime recipients. The results of these studies conclude that Congress needs to provide state and local governments with additional funding, flexibility on the use of CRF funds to include revenue replacement, an extension on the deadline to spend funds, and more organization in the release of future guidance.
State and local governments primarily issue bonds to pay for long term capital projects and longstanding infrastructure. This report provides an overview of tax-exempt bonds and other financing used by state and local governments and public entities. In particular, this report discusses the fundamentals of tax-exempt bonds, the role tax-exempt bonds play in infrastructure financings and as an investment product, and congressional actions over the past fifty years related to the capital market.
The acquisition cost of an asset is just a portion of the total cost of owning it. Ongoing maintenance significantly adds to that cost; and for a long-lived asset, that cost can be much greater than the initial design, construction, and installation cost. Life cycle cost analysis considers the entire cost of owning the asset over its useful life. One of the primary benefits of life cycle costing for capital assets is that during initial asset acquisition, the analysis shows which asset is the most cost effective over the long term, not just which is the cheapest to acquire. In addition, after the asset has been acquired, life cycle cost analysis can be used to budget and plan for the most cost-effective maintenance strategies. This report looks at how San Francisco, California utilized life cycle cost analysis on pavement, and describes lessons learned from the city’s experience.
Local governments need to make sure they have enough cash on hand for essential services. During a financial crisis, the first thing local governments should do is slow the net flow of cash exiting and find ways to rebalance the budget. This report presents retrenchment techniques that can improve cash flow during difficult times and provide time and resources for governments to develop strategies to deal with financial crises. The techniques are divided into the following categories: techniques to reduce personnel costs, reduce capital spending, reduce materials or contractors costs, create more advantageous inflows and outflows of cash, and get new resources.
Due to limited resources and funding, state departments of transportation (DOTs) struggle to achieve their goals of improving safety, alleviating congestion, reducing environmental impacts, and helping to create healthier, more livable neighborhoods. In response to these challenges, DOTs across the country are reevaluating traditional practices, learning new skills, working more closely with stakeholders, and becoming more flexible in their approaches to problem solving. This handbook is a collection of case studies and innovative approaches DOTs have taken to make systems more efficient and effective under eight focus areas: revenue sources, revenue allocation and project selection, pricing, increasing transportation system efficiency, improving options for mobility and access, providing efficient, safe freight access, integrating transportation and land use decision-making, and improving DOT processes.