Today's cars are safer, more fuel-efficient and emit fewer greenhouse gases than ever before. That's the good news, AWB President Don Brunell writes in his weekly column.
The bad news is that the state's highway system has relied for decades on gas taxes to pay for construction and maintenance.
When cars got 10 or 12 miles per gallon, there was plenty of money to pay for projects, Brunell writes. But now that they're more efficient, they use less gas -- so there is less coming in to pay for highway projects.
And the problem will only grow as alternative fuel vehicles become more popular.
So what's the answer?
First, alternative fuel vehicles must pay their fair share. Tolls and special HOT (high occupancy tolls) lanes must also be part of the equation. Finally, transit schedules need to be adjusted so that buses and ferries no longer run at times when they are virtually empty.
"The good news is we have the technology," Brunell writes. "The bad news is we take too long to study, approve and build anything."