Damaged Pizza and Potholes

In October 2018, I made a presentation on the challenges of funding highways in Mississippi.  As the Domino’s Paving for Pizza campaign started earlier that year, I suggested that Mississippians should only eat Domino’s pizza.  This would be a win for everyone, Domino’s sells more pizza, people have better roads without having spent money on highway/vehicle related taxes.  (I really liked the pizza/pothole meter, although think of what is happening to your car when you hit a pothole!)

Domino’s fixed two potholes in Jackson, but I am sure there are other potholes in Mississippi.

Joining a Panel on “Conceptualizing the Economic Impacts of a Mississippi River Avulsion”

I hope you can join me at  Challenges of Natural Resource Economics and Policy
6th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems


May 19-21, 2019 • New Orleans, LA • Royal Sonesta Hotel

The Mississippi River is normally considered to be a fixed entity.  Old Man River just keeps Rollin’ and Rollin’, but really the river is a dynamic entity, creating and responding to the environment through which it flows.  There have been many discussions regarding the Mississippi River and especially the Lower Mississippi River, as a international corridor.  The supply chains that depend upon the River are many, but so too is the socio-economic relationship of the river to the region.  I hope to do more with this work, as there is much to explore concerning supply chain risks and understanding the associated response to large asymmetrical events. (I gave a similar presentation to the New Orleans Regional Planning Council Freight Roundtable a few years ago.)  I would love to hear any comments you have on this topic, as I plan to do more research along this line. 

Here is the draft session agenda, but you can access the full agenda here. http://www.cnrep.lsu.edu/2019/index.htm

Conceptualizing the Economic Impacts of a Mississippi River Avulsion (Draft Agenda)


Tuesday, May 21, 2019
1:30 am to 3 pm

Moderator:  
Lynn Kennedy, Louisiana State University

Discussion Panel

James Barnet, Mississippi Department of Archives and History (retired)  
Patrice Lazard, Louisiana State University  
Bruce Lambert, Metro Analytics  
Chris Mclindon, New Orleans Geological Society  
Michael Miner, Water institute of the Gulf  
TBA    

Attached is an image from the New Orleans Board of Trade, which I hope you find is an interesting graphic.

Defining Mississippi’s Transportation System

On Tuesday, October 30, I had the privilege of attending/presenting at the 2018 Mississippi Transportation Institute Conference.  There were many great speakers, including a thoughtful Tim Flick, who spoke on leadership, and the energetic Janie Waters, who discussed change while leading everyone in the Hokie Pokie.  With so many quality presentations, I was honored to have been invited to speak, much less during lunch.  After being introduced by Northern District Commissioner Mike Taggert (in my opinion, a great asset for the State of Mississippi), I presented the following presentation.  ( my presentation: lambert-MTI 2018)

Defined transportation as a benefit:

  • to passengers and users,
  • to support the economy through freight movements,
  • to other sectors in the Mississippi economy.

Often, these benefits are not linked to the role that the transportation system serves an integral part of the state’s commitment to its citizens. The average citizen benefits from a robust highway system, as transportation makes our modern life accessible, but the system does have a direct cost, such as through taxes, or indirect costs, such as closed bridges, vehicle damage, etc., to the citizens of Mississippi.

Here are some of the references I used in preparing my remarks:

Southern Legislative Conference Comparative Data Reports on Transportation 2018 Report
Mississippi Department of Transportation Statewide Transportation Plan Mississippi Department of Transportation Fiscal Year 2017 materials
Mississippi Department of Transportation Freight Plan

1987 was the last concerted effort in Mississippi for a comprehensive statewide highway network program, which was the same year I graduated from Louisiana State University.  Since that was also the last year the State raised the gas tax, I am paying the State of Mississippi the same per gallon of gas from when I drove across the state after my graduation in 1987 as I did this week when I purchased gas to drive to the conference.

The problem is not one of identifying projects, but in securing funding for these projects,  While the state has recently taken steps to address this need, it took shutting down bridges to get some attention on this issue.  Maybe the citizens of Mississippi just need to eat more Domino’s Pizzas to fix the state’s potholes!