Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

January 10, 2011

The myth that gas taxes and tolls pay for our roads is being used in an attempt to exclude pedestrian improvements from the Highway Trust Fund (gas tax revenues).  The U.S. Public Interest Research Group authors calculate that road construction has sucked $600 billion out of America’s public purse since the dawn of the interstate system in their new report, Do Roads Pay for Themselves? 

The report cites one study that finds that, just to pay for roads, user fees need to be 20 to 70 cents higher, and another study that finds that, to pay for the many external costs like congestion, injuries and fatalities, pollution, and the negative impact on those wanting to walk, the gas tax would need to add another $2.10 a gallon.  Click here to download this report or click here for outstanding commentary.