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Inter-municipal cost-sharing for urban highway improvements Gossland, Derek Maynard

Abstract

In the increasingly urban context of North America, urban transportation poses increasingly complex problems. Not the least of these is the problem of financing highway systems that are considered essential to the smooth and expeditious flow of goods and people within the cities. One difficulty arises out of the fragmented political jurisdictions that exist within the boundaries of most urban areas today. After agreement has been reached on the contribution, if any, by senior levels of government towards any major highway improvement in an urban area, the remaining cost has still to be allocated amongst the member municipalities in the area. Every municipal council is thus faced with the problem of assuming an additional cost for municipal services, i.e. for providing adequate, improved highway facilities. But current methods of allocating these costs do not clearly relate them to the benefits received by those who live and work in the municipality. Nor do they relate them to any discernible social policy. The main hypothesis of this paper is that it is possible to develop a formula that does relate the costs chargeable to any municipality to the benefits received by those who live and work in that municipality. This cost-sharing formula has been developed in this study. The basic assumptions on which its claim to equity is made are given . The social policies that could be considered are spelled out, and their justification for modifying the cost figures derived is examined. Practical recommendations for the use of this procedure are made, and the planning implications involved are considered.

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