Saint Paul Floats New Libertarian Paving Policy

Stp Potholes DowntownFaced with a cash-strapped Public Works budget, an endless supply of potholes, property tax unrest and a non-profit laden tax base, the City of Saint Paul is looking to a new policy approach to maintaining its streets. Using municipal technology grant from the Bloomberg Foundation, the city is set to debut a new road funding approach called Pavement in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), in the hopes of replacing road maintenance funding that was lost in a recent lawsuit

“The people have been speaking, loud and clear, and we have heard them,” said Geli Tripping, Mayor Carter’s Resiliency Director. “We received a lot of feedback from folks upset about wasteful spending on things like trash collection or stop signs. This program will offer a fresh approach, and fresh pavement.”

The city’s PILOT program allows individual drivers to use self-assessed fees to fund their own individual patches of pavement for personal and collective driving needs. Drivers interested in improving road quality in Saint Paul simply vote using a city-sponsored app in order to direct individual funds to fund specific stretches of road, selecting pavement as specific as individual lanes they choose to use. With just the click of a button, even drivers from surrounding suburbs who are just passing through Saint Paul will be able to donate to fill individual potholes, or offer to fund a percentage of the roads on the route they drive every day.

“It’s like crowdsourcing,” said Tantivy Mucker-Maffick, Director of Innovation, “if enough people want to pay to drive on a road or urban freeway, then it’ll be in great shape. It’s a bottom-up approach to road construction.”

The hope is that, after a few months of a coordinated public relations campaign, the new PILOT program will help roads pay for themselves, saving the city a lot of pavement expenses from the General Fund that can be used for other things like affordable housing or basic services.

Ayn Rand Road

First on the docket will be a major push to kickstart the long-troubled city-owned Ayd Mill Road, which has experienced so many potholes that it is close to undriveable. In the first stage of the new PILOT program, the 60s era freeway will be renamed “Ayn Rand Mill Road” in honor of the conservative writer Ayd Rand, who lived in Saint Paul for a few years growing up.  A ceremony to rededicate the road is set to take place this summer. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

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17 Responses to Saint Paul Floats New Libertarian Paving Policy

  1. John Maddening April 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm #

    By design, the app only works when the driver is in motion down the streets in question, so be sure to one-hand it when you’re driving 45 down Grand!

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke April 1, 2019 at 12:17 pm #

      Yes that is a feature.

  2. Eric Anondson
    Eric Anondson April 1, 2019 at 12:17 pm #

    With the city taking away the ability to hire your own garbage hauler, it is a nice concession to be able hire your own street paver. I bet I could get a nice deal on cobblestone for my personal parking space on the street.

  3. Maria Wardoku April 1, 2019 at 12:24 pm #

    “Ayn Rand Mill Road” made me laugh out loud 🙂

    • Ted Greenfield April 1, 2019 at 10:13 pm #

      Me too. And cry “good grief”.

  4. Tom Eyre April 1, 2019 at 1:24 pm #

    It is not clear from the article how this would work. Disappointed to see that they just plan a mill & fill on the road. Without redoing the road base and addressing the underground stream it will fail again very quickly.

  5. Bob Roscoe April 1, 2019 at 1:36 pm #

    Great Idea! No more piqued hours!

    • Greg Pynn April 1, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

      They are over thinking this. City street crews already know the critical routes. Quit putting my money towards “social justice” programs and just fix the potholes!

  6. karen Nelson April 1, 2019 at 1:39 pm #

    I would like big revenue non-profits of St. Paul to do this, really, not a joke. Or at least fund some of the infrastructure they use.

  7. Korh April 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm #

    So this is what the april fools article ended up being.
    Was tempted to suggest an article about a certain form of tube based transportation that could connect Minneapolis and St. Paul in under 1 min 30 sec but never got around to it.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke April 1, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      That would have been good

    • Bob Rooscoe April 1, 2019 at 4:44 pm #

      You can’t get Minneapolis Norwegians underground.

  8. Chad April 1, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    Please do not let the city officials see this….. they might make this a priority to enact this…

  9. Chris April 1, 2019 at 5:44 pm #

    Ayn Rand Road, very clever 🙂

  10. Emily April 2, 2019 at 9:28 am #

    (me reading this on April 2nd, about two paragraphs in, feeling concerned) What day was this written? (Scrolls up to date) Phew! Ayn Rand Mill road…Ha!

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