Bridges for sale

The LA Times ran an article on Tuesday about governor-led (and Bush-backed) plans in California to grant more toll road franchises. A “letter in response”:,1,6430864.story?ctrack=1&cset=true:

bq. Privately financed toll roads provide state and local politicians with upfront money to make themselves look good, but captive commuters will be paying tolls for generations to largely foreign landlords. The public-private partnerships utilize tax-exempt financing and government loan guarantees — and merely outsource difficult decisions that strike fear in our politicians — such as raising gas taxes. — _Jack Eidt, Los Angeles_

Chris Swope’s article in last month’s “Governing”: mentions that investors expect the Indiana Toll Road to throw off a 12% cap rate (i.e., return). _Emerging Trends_ reports that commercial real estate investors are looking for 5.5-7.5% cap rates in the USA. Why not let these enterprises throw off proceeds for government, instead of shareholders elsewhere? If better, more aggressive management is what’s needed, that can be done completely separately from refinancing the whole asset.

Speaking of road revenue, Gary Washburn in “the Trib”:,1,3381332.story reports that City Council’s transportation committee advanced the PBD resolution — they’re now being called “transportation enhancement districts (TEDs)” and are planned for 53rd Street in Hyde Park, along a stretch of Broadway in Edgewater and in the Logan Square neighborhood. Meanwhile, police commander Robert Evans said that “I think we are doing a great job” about moving violations — even though the average officer writes _fewer than three_ stop-sign running tickets a year.