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May 8, 2017 4:00 AM, EDT

Editorial: Join the Infrastructure Bandwagon

This Editorial appears in the May 8 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Infrastructure is a very peculiar, two-headed beast, with the spending side being bold, popular and stunningly handsome and the funding half plagued with unsightly lesions and a crooked stare.

It really shouldn’t be that way, but on the federal level, it often is.

Infrastructure Week is almost upon us — May 15-19 — and several noteworthy items on the complex subject are already swirling.

First and foremost, President Donald Trump told Bloomberg News that he “certainly would consider” raising the federal taxes on diesel and gasoline to pay for the infrastructure plan he considers a national priority. Better still, he wants the increased revenue dedicated strictly to roads and bridges, not the general fund.

Normally, if the president of the United States says this sort of thing, we would say bravo and bully and call it a day. But wait, there’s more.

The Washington Post, not normally a hotbed of support for Trump and trucking, opined on May 3 that increasing fuel taxes — on which the rates have been static since 1993 — is “a good tax idea.”

The Post even noted that American Trucking Associations has long endorsed this policy and that, “The user-fee approach to paying for the roads makes sense for ordinary motorists as well: It’s penny-wise and pound-foolish to resist slightly higher prices at the pump, because automobile drivers, too, must pay for pothole-caused damage and time lost to traffic.”

It’s always comforting to have people agree with you, and doubly satisfying when it’s unexpected. It’s hard to say that a trend is beginning, but we would welcome more adherents to the notion that even good things must be paid for by those who use them.

Among the states, Indiana and Tennessee are the latest to have made the decision that a well-­developed transportation network is an important component of a good society — and worthy of public funding through taxes (see story, p. 10). The governors signed bills from their respective legislatures into law that increase fuel taxes and spending on roads and bridges.

Nearly two dozen states have done the same thing in recent years. We’d like to see other states join them and, oh yes, Congress as well.

Whether it’s Trump, the Post editorial board or state legislators, more people should think about infrastructure in its entirety rather than as a piecemeal jumble.