Funding Streets as a Public Utility

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by Richard E. Warren, Warren Consultants Inc, Seattle, WA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Infrastructure for Urban Growth

Abstract: A group of public works professionals in Washington State met in 1982 to explore using the public utility approach to street and transportation system funding. Since that time several cities have completed work to implement street or transportation user fees and others are in the process of implementing the concept. Two conditions must be present for an activity to be considered a 'utility' or 'enterprise': The activity must produce a needed service that is measurable; and there must be a fair and equitable way to assign the cost of the service received to those who receive the service. A street, or transportation, utility meets both these tests. This paper discusses details of the concept and its application, based on experiences to date.

Subject Headings: Streets | Financing | Lifeline systems | Public buildings | Fees | Public transportation | Washington | North America | United States

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