Letters to the Editor

Brown letter: Idaho roads

This is to comment on and make a suggestion regarding Robert Ehlert’s editorial, “Low gas prices present an opportunity to raise money for Idaho roads, bridges.” He is right in pointing out that the amount of money that we are putting into the maintenance and improvement of our roads and bridges in Idaho is grossly inadequate. In 2012 I served on a subcommittee of the Southern Idaho Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) that produced a “2012 Report Card for Idaho’s Infrastructure.” In that report under the categories of “funding” for bridge, local roads and state roads we gave Idaho grades of D-, D- and D-. There is no magic way to fix this problem; more state revenue (taxes) must be directed toward our transportation system. I agree with him that the way to do that in the short term and preserve the principal of “user pays” is to raise the gas taxes as he proposes. In the long term I propose a different solution. We should develop a system that taxes based on Ton Miles Traveled. That way we would be charging for the actual impact to the system of the individual vehicles.

L. Kent Brown PE, Garden City