• Research Report

    Conquering Traffic Congestion in the Capital City: More Effective Solutions Than Light Rail

    posted August 14, 2006
    For over fifteen years, the Triangle Transit Authority has pursued a regional rail for North Carolina’s capital region, to no avail. At the same time traffic congestion in the Triangle has worsened, with other viable alternatives largely being ignored. Recognizing this, it is important to understand the causes of congestion in order to develop workable solutions to the problem.
  • Research Report

    Policy versus Performance: Directions for North Carolina’s Largest Transit Systems

    posted May 3, 2006 by Dr. David Hartgen
    North Carolina’s largest public transit systems are often credited with reduced traffic congestion and air pollution, efficient land use, reduced dependence on oil, and much-needed mobility for some residents. Are they fulfilling these missions? How are they performing? Who do they benefit? What do they cost?
  • Research Report

    N.C.’s Gas Tax Can Be Cut; Road Construction Wouldn’t Be Harmed

    posted January 3, 2006 by Joseph Coletti
    State leaders claim that capping the gas tax at 27.1 cents per gallon would cost the state up to $135 million a year in road construction. They are wrong. The state will be just $5.3 million behind projections planned for in this year’s budget if it freezes the gas tax. Furthermore, nearly $400 million in gas tax revenues goes toward spending that has nothing to do with road construction. The General Fund, public transportation, railroads, and airlines all receive gas-tax revenues. There is no need to take money from road construction so long as gas-tax revenues are diverted to unrelated programs.
  • Research Report

    TEA-21’s Impact: Performance of State Highway Systems 1984-2003

    posted March 20, 2005 by Dr. David Hartgen
    TEA-211, the federal US transportation program passed in 1998, resulted in a substantial improvement in overall road performance but at considerable cost, according to the 14th annual review of state highways by Professor David T. Hartgen, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
  • Research Report

    Trends in North Carolina’s County Road Conditions, 1998-2004

    posted December 7, 2004 by Dr. David Hartgen
    North Carolina has the second-largest state-owned road system in the US, almost 79,000 miles. A study in 2000 for the John Locke Foundation using data from 1998 showed that the system was in quite poor shape on key indicators. Clearly, North Carolina is losing the battle on road conditions. The purpose of this analysis is to update the earlier study by gathering and reporting on road conditions for each county and determining how conditions in each county have changed since 1998.
  • Research Report

    Cost-Effectiveness of North Carolina’s Major Road Projects

    posted October 5, 2004 by Dr. David Hartgen
    Major road projects are freeway and arterial widenings, new freeways and arterials, new exits, climbing lanes and other major actions that are large enough to likely affect growth. Between 1990 and early 2004, North Carolina constructed 349 major road projects costing about $7.34 billion, about 50 percent of the total expenditures for the TIP and Loop roads and about 1/3 of the total NC State highway program over the same period. This study reviews recent trends in North Carolina’s highway funding practices and the cost-effectiveness of these major capital actions.
  • Research Report

    The Tax Study That Isn’t: NC taxes are not among friendliest to business

    posted February 19, 2004 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    Some state politicians are touting the results of an Ernst & Young study that purports to rank North Carolina’s business taxes as among the lowest in the nation. But this flawed study ignores basic principles of public-finance economics and most of the taxes that influence business decisions. More accurate studies that examine all relevant taxes and all types of businesses suggest that North Carolina’s tax rates are high in regional rankings, thus discouraging economic growth.
  • Research Report

    Highways and Sprawl in North Carolina

    posted September 24, 2003 by Dr. David Hartgen
    This study carefully reviews the growth of North Carolina’s 1551 Census tracts during the 1990s compared with the locations of major road improvements. Tract data on changes in population, demographics, prior density, and location are merged with detailed data on 312 major road projects completed during the 1990s, and the relationships between road investments and growth are determined for each of the 12 commuting regions.
  • Research Report

    Public Debt, Public Vote: Tax-Increment Finance the Wrong Approach

    posted June 9, 2003 by Dr. Roy Cordato
    State lawmakers are considering a proposed constitutional amendment to allow local governments to issue bonds without a public vote to construct convention centers, sports arenas, and other “economic development” projects. Careful research of these programs in other states reveals that they do not enhance a community’s economic growth over time. Moreover, they weaken governmental accountability to a voting public that does not favor subsidizing private businesses.

Transportation by Author