AUTHORS

Alex Marshall is the transportation columnist for GOVERNING and a Senior Fellow at The Regional Plan Association in New York City. His most recent book is The Surprising Design of Market Economies.

Alex Marshall
December 1, 2014

The Real Root of Broken Infrastructure: Broken Governance

It’s time to rethink how we manage transit systems.
October 1, 2014

The Economic Case for Free Bridges and Roads

It’s easy for officials to forget that the price of public goods should be kept low in order to increase use and promote economic growth.
September 8, 2014

When Bob McDonnell Was Good

Years ago, the now-convicted politician seemed honest and straightforward.
August 1, 2014

The Death or Life of a Sidewalk Ballet

Are Jane Jacobs’ lively streets disappearing for good?
June 1, 2014

Faster Cars, Hotter Tech, Fewer Drivers

Should government facilitate Americans’ changing relationship with cars?
April 1, 2014

For Infrastructure’s Sake, America Needs Skilled Workers

The United States lags behind other countries when it comes to sophisticated infrastructure in part because it lacks the workers to build or maintain it.
March 20, 2014

Setting Zero as a Goal Can Be a Useful Policy Fantasy

Politicians sometimes promise to eliminate problems like smoking or traffic deaths, but what does that mean for policy?
February 24, 2014

Change Is Gonna Come

Big infrastructure projects shape our physical environments and even the very wealthiest can't stop those changes once asphalt or steel is poured.
February 1, 2014

America’s Days of Dreaming Big Are Over

The United States once dreamed of building great things – like a library in every city – and made those dreams come true. But not anymore.
November 7, 2013

New York City’s New Mayor Walks a Fine Line

Bill de Blasio is New York's first populist mayor in several generations. But can he empower the city's residents while avoiding interest-group politics?
May 31, 2013

States, Localities Are Failing to Seize Their Infrastructure Moment

It’s the best time in probably the last 75 years to overhaul and upgrade our infrastructure, but city halls and statehouses are letting the moment slip away.
March 29, 2013

Who Should Control Broadband?

The question of who will install fiber-optic networks and who will control them is key because it could impact decades of economic growth. Telecom giants like AT&T think they should be the only player.
January 31, 2013

Can Bigger Government Help America's Internet Issue?

Many foreign countries provide faster, cheaper and more widespread Internet access than the United States. In most of them, governments are much more involved with telecom policies and funding.
November 30, 2012

Seoul's Transit System Serves as a Model for America

The South Korean capital shows what happens when transit is reorganized to serve the people.
September 28, 2012

How Private Services Became Public

Things we take for granted today -- public police, roads and libraries -- were only achieved through long, hard political battles that lasted decades and sometimes centuries.
July 31, 2012

Bikers, Walkers Need Cities to Protect Them

Without laws protecting pedestrians and bikers, the goal of having truly livable cities in America remains out of reach.
May 31, 2012

America Must Invest in Bigger and Better Infrastructure Projects

Have we lost our capacity to think big? Asia and Western Europe are building a series of infrastructure mega-projects that dwarf our efforts.
March 30, 2012

Encouraging Biking, Walking in Large U.S. Metro Areas

When home, work, school and shopping are in closer proximity, travel is easier. What can cities do to help get people out of their cars and onto their feet?
January 31, 2012

Why Does Our Infrastructure Resemble a Third-World Country’s?

One explanation may be our budgeting process.
November 30, 2011

A Lesson for Passenger Rail, From Roads

A look back at the building of millions of miles of roads shows why passenger rail needs a well-structured bureaucracy in order to succeed.
September 30, 2011

Can Light Rail Unite Two Va. Cities?

Virginia Beach voted against the building of a light rail years ago. Now that it’s up and running in nearby Norfolk, Va., some think beach-dwellers may rethink their decision.
July 29, 2011

Intercity Bus Travel Roars Back

Bus travel between major cities is popular, but operators need strict regulation to avoid a race to the bottom.
May 31, 2011

Improving Ports to Keep Up with the Global Economy

With the expansion of the Panama Canal, states and cities are debating whether to spend money deepening channels and expanding facilities to handle new ships.
March 31, 2011

What to Call the Gas Tax: Not Just Semantics

Calling the gas tax a 'user fee' is logically and factually wrong.
February 1, 2011

Infrastructure Stoppage: Fiscal Prudence or Politics?

Infrastructure projects were once largely bipartisan, but such efforts have been tied up in partisan battles over the role of government.
December 1, 2010

Bicycles' Popularity Grows in Cities

Bicycling has become fashionable. Urban and transportation policymakers take note.
October 1, 2010

Getting in Front of Communication and Transportation Investments

Government keeps adapting to how information and people travel.

Accelerating Amtrak Trains

Will superfast train service in the Northeast ever happen?
June 1, 2010

Installing Citywide Fiber-Optic Networks

Don't wait to find out if Google will install broadband in your city.

Airport Economics

Big city airports need federal regulations to help weather airline instability.

The Aughts: The Decade of Infrastructure

As the decade ends, there's little to cheer save a notable exception: infrastructure.

Transportation Decisions: Part Calculation, Part Imagination

When it comes to roads, practicality and economics are important. But so is emotion.

The Weaknesses of Sweeping Privatization

The most important question is not whether private investment in roads and other public infrastructure will revive, but the degree to which it should.

Traveling At Good Speed

Transportation policy shouldn't be reduced to average commuting times.

A Bridge to Somewhere

Sometimes, if you build it, they really do come.

The Semi-Fast Track

The stimulus will help roads and transit. It's no panacea.

A Road by Any Other Name

Infrastructure is a vital concept. If only we could call it something else.

Road Show

A city redefines how to use its streets -- even its busiest, most traffic-clogged roadways.

The Comfort Zone

There's more to moving people around than wings and wheels, speed and price.

Our Friend, the Feds

It could be a mixed blessing if federal funding for infrastructure goes on the upswing again.

More than Just a Train

I'm starting to believe the hyperbole about the revolution being spawned by Charlotte's new light-rail line.

King of the Road

What's up with groups that argue for less government but see publicly built highways as an expression of the free market?

Smoothing the Way

Road repair is a rough and tough job that cities need to tackle.

The Streetcar Surge

Streetcars, popular again in a growing number of cities, have the potential to be a vital part of urban transportation systems.

A La Mode

We need to look at economic and life-style questions when we decide on our next investments in infrastructure.

Street Wise

A study compared how well old-city street layouts handled traffic versus modern approaches. The results set off a firestorm.
July 1, 2007

Back Up On the Interstate

The national highway system is marking its Golden Anniversary, but that's not much cause for celebration.

Slow Going

It takes far longer to build a major project today than it did a century ago. Why is that?

Changing Places

Autos and airplanes have a lot in common with the Web and cell phones. Moving people and information around are both transformative.

Running a Railroad

Its schedules are undependable, prices high and on-board service of middling quality. Yet demand for Amtrak's inter-city service grows.

Private Assistance

Not since the expansion of railroads in the 19th century has such a horde of international capitalists been so eager to invest in our transportation.

Soft on Sprawl

A popular planning book praises sprawl and ignores the mess left by misguided transportation policies.

A Bridge Too Far

Whether it's widening an old road or upgrading an intersection, transportation changes the way an area develops and functions.

A Case of Voter Overkill

The death of Seattle's monorail plan is a telling tale of the failure to capitalize on grassroots energy and gumption.

Picking Partners

Should the building of vital infrastructure be left to big business or big government?
December 1, 2005

The Gas Tax's Last Gasp

With the high price of gasoline, drivers are pouring so many dollars into their tanks that Exxon-Mobil reported record profits in October of $10 billion. And that was for one quarter. Paradoxically, drivers were pouring relatively fewer dollars into other entities that depend on gasoline spending: the various state and federal transportation trust funds.

Zen & the Art of Bicycling

How can public policies make cycling safer and encourage people to ride more often? Hint: It doesn't involve helmets.

The Mega-City Maker

Interstates created mega regions, and mega regions will change how we see this country and its transportation needs.
June 1, 2005

Survivor's Guide

It's federal, state and local governments--not individuals or even companies--that determine if a transportation idea sinks or swims.

The Long View

When we decide to build a new highway or train line, we think about unclogging traffic jams. That is shortsighted.