Seven ways to improve U.S. infrastructure spending

Here is a column full of good sense from Edward Glaeser, excerpt:

SPLIT UP THE PORT AUTHORITY: Last week gave us another painful audit of the work by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to manage the World Trade Center site. I’m not going to pile on, but this super-entity is too big to succeed. How can the Port Authority possibly focus on tasks such as making New York’s airports more functional when it has so much else on its plate?

The problems at John F. Kennedy International Airport aren’t evidence of the need for a new federal infrastructure agenda, they indicate only that the Port Authority has too much to do. Splitting off the airports, probably into two separate entities (for New York and New Jersey), could generate managerial focus and more competition. The airports can fund themselves if they are free to charge higher landing fees. Millions of fliers into New York should be perfectly willing to pay a bit more to ensure a more pleasant experience. More nimble and less restricted airports would help that happen.

It is one of my “hobby horses” to note that for all the money we spent on fiscal stimulus, air transport in and out of America’s major city remains a total, unworkable mess.


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