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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Transportation Funding - Thinking Outside the Box - What Ideas Do You Have?

The need to fund transportation and the problems associated with it have been all over the news lately, especially with the upcoming transportation bill.  Everyone agrees that we need to maintain our existing infrastructure (roads and bridges) but the problem appears to be, who is going to pay for it?  Taxpayers appear to be tired of paying so much in taxes and have expressed they don't want to pay more.

So, I here's an idea, it's a different way of looking at it,  I am just throwing it out there, and is not the opinion of KMPO or any of KMPO's affiliate agencies or members.

Having State Franchised Espresso stands located along the highway and freeways, with an enter/exit ramp solely for the purpose of the coffee stands, much like pulling off the highway to enter or exit a weigh station.  It would be a short jaunt off and back onto the highway. The state already owns right-of-way and some stands could be located within an existing rest area stop.  I realize the State, most likely, doesn't want to be in the coffee franchise business, but it would be a great source to generate additional transportation funding and it would provide additional local jobs at the same time. 

I heard yesterday, on talk radio, that the average American spends $1000 per year on coffee. If just 25% of Kootenai County's total population utilized the franchised espresso stands (based on that estimate), they would generate over $34,000,000.00 per year within, Kootenai County.  The investment for the stands would be minimal, compared to the amount of revenue collected, and if the money collected was used solely for transportation, to build or maintain infrastructure, the public would support it and they would be getting something in return.  It's a win-win situation.  And, what would be better than providing weary travelers, (local and long distance) with caffeine to wake them up?

Just an idea!  What's your thoughts?  Any opinions or other ideas???

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.