An anonymous reader* writes: A Political Economy of Access: Infrastructure, Networks, Cities, and Institutions by David M. Levinson and David A. King Your recent post[s] regarding transportation “needs” and the ASCE scorecard was right on target. It is unfortunate that ASCE can’t seem to present a more balanced assessment of the transportation funding situation. The big gee-whiz numbers they come up with are taken as fact by the usual interests campaigning for a big federal infrastructure package. Before congress jumps on the spending bandwagon they should take a hard look at what the last stimulus accomplished, and the perverse incentives created by Federal programs that the stimulus didn’t fix. They should also ask themselves what no-cost reforms could be enacted that would improve outcomes. For instance, the FTA New Starts program has given local agencies a huge incentive to build costly rail systems rather than improving bus service. The rail project under construction in Hawaii is yet another sad example.