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These figures might be a good starting point (though obviously some might not apply depending on juristiction):


Sophia Katt

Ask the folks at www.Sightlineinstitute.org . I'm sure they have a trunk just chock full of such info. And their ED went carless with his family for a year.


I find this discussion fascinating but I too find it challenging to gather good information about it. If people don't post what they find in the comments, could you post a summary of your findings in a future blog post Jarrett?

Alon Levy

Google "Keep Texas Moving" "Asset Value Index" to get to the remnants of a once-online newsletter from TXDOT detailing how much Texas roads are subsidized. The methodology is to look at the gas taxes generated by each road individually (as opposed to all of Texas's roads, most of which are ineligible to receive any gas tax funding) and compare with its full lifecycle cost.


Okay here are a few http://www.aaaexchange.com/main/Default.asp?CategoryID=16&SubCategoryID=76&ContentID=353
Rita has tons of documents
Here is Rita main page
Okay got to go now.

Christophe Jemelin

Hi Jarrett, I don't know if you understand french or german, here's the website of a swiss car-users association :

Alan Davies

This study sounds relevant to your needs



The Economic Impact of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2000 [pdf] from the NHTSA. Some nuggets:

The cost of motor vehicle crashes that occurred in 2000 totaled $230.6 billion. This is equal to approximately $820 for every person living in the United States and 2.3 percent of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product.


Overall, those not directly involved in crashes pay for nearly three-quarters of all crash costs, primarily through insurance premiums, taxes and travel delay. In 2000 these costs, borne by society rather than by crash victims, totaled over $170 billion.
A. Reader

Seconding the Glazebrook paper that Alan Davies linked to, though you may already be familiar with it through your work in Australia.

The paper is:

Glazebrook, Garry(2009)'Taking the Con Out of Convenience: The True Cost of Transport Modes in Sydney',Urban Policy and Research,27:1,5 — 24
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08111140802369820

Alon Levy

Just remember that the Glazebrook paper excludes one important subsidy for roads, namely local government spending. It says it's too hard to compute it. So it understates just how poorly roads perform.

Art Busman


Stephen Smith

Good luck...figures on local road spending is notoriously difficult to come by, and that's where most of the subsidies are.


One thing most cities have not been proficient in is providing periodic valuations on the land their ubiquitously vast road network sits on. Other than accounting for the initial land assembly, acquisition, construction and maintenance costs, the land is invisible to financial accountability.

Though technically not a subsidy, perhaps knowing the true value of this real estate asset would cause people to question devoting a third to half of the urban space to such low utility (car movement and storage space), especially on those millions of low-use exurban cul-de-sacs.

Are there better uses for this asset?

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the firm

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