Infrastructure in the News: April 20, 2011
CBS wrote about President Obama criticizing cuts to infrastructure during a town hall meeting on Tuesday and Infrastructurist published an article asking whether Zipcar is a good investment. FInd out more in this Infrastructure in the News.
MSNBC: Gov. Rendell on Morning Joe
GOVERNOR RENDELL: They’re also being reminded because of the economic drain, the drain on our dollars, which is absolutely unconstitutional.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (ANCHOR): $2 billion a week.
GOVERNOR RENDELL: You talk about infrastructure, I can revitalize the American infrastructure for a $150 billion a year over 10 years. it would put Americans back to work and that's exactly what we're spending in Afghanistan.
JOE SCARBOROUGH (ANCHOR): It would revolutionize country, as far as our capabilities. If we invested in our infrastructure over the next five years the way I know we’re unfortunately tragically going to invest in Afghanistan, $2 billion a week, this would be investment on the scale of Eisenhower.
To see the full video, click here.
CBS: Obama invokes bridge collapse in criticizing GOP budget plan
President Obama invoked the 2007 collapse of the Interstate 35-W bridge in Minneapolis while criticizing cuts to infrastructure in the Republican budget plan at a town hall meeting on Tuesday.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill: Suburban Commuter Rail: Politically Attractive, Functionally Repulsive
Minneapolis, Austin, Nashville and Salt Lake City have all added rail connections to suburban areas, says Yonah Freemark at the Transport Politic, and the trend is easy to explain. Suburban jurisdictions have a strong political pull in most regions. Connecting them via rail is seen as a popular investment that makes transit a truly regional enterprise.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill: A Two-Year Transportation Bill? Some Say It's a Better Deal
Last week, we reported that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) had mused aloud at a committee hearing that perhaps a two-year transportation reauthorization was a better option in the current political and economic environment than a six-year bill. “We don’t have a lot of money here,” he said.
New York Times: Solar Panels Take to the Water
SPG Solar’s main business is installing conventional solar systems for homes and commercial operations. It built Far Niente’s 400-kilowatt floating array on a 1.3-acre pond in 2007 as a special project and has spent the last four years developing a commercial version called Floatovoltaics that executives say is competitive in cost with a conventional ground-mounted system.
National Public Radio: Tracking Truckers: Rough Road Ahead For Electric Monitoring
The device would be a new way to track how well truckers stick to the federal limits on driving hours that exist to keep dangerously tired truckers off the road. Such driving restrictions have been around since the 1930s, and truck drivers document all of their working hours in daily log books. Currently, they are supposed to work for no more than a 14-hour stretch, and only 11 of those hours can be driving hours.
Infrastructurist: Is Zipcar a Good Investment?
Zipcar went public last week, and how. On its first day of trading, the company raised $174.3 million and finished up 56 percent. All told, Zipcar sold 9.7 million shares of stock at $18 a pop and earned itself a market value of $1.21 billion, according to Bloomberg. Car-sharing has not yet saved the world, but it sure got paid.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill: Is the Realtors' Survey Really a Ringing Endorsement of Smart Growth?
Urbanists are celebrating the results of the National Association of Realtors’ 2011 Community Preferences survey, which, according to the NAR, shows a clear preference for mixed uses, shorter commutes, and transportation options. The survey shows that people are asking for more walkable amenities and shorter commutes: a good sign.
Next 100: PG&E Tests the Future of Smart Grid
To ensure that Californians enjoy at least their fair share of those benefits, PG&E has created a new Smart Grid Test Center in San Ramon. It’s already hard at work analyzing new technology that should help significantly reduce the number of customers affected by outages, as well as their duration.
Earth Techling: High-Speed Rail Still Moving Ahead
The Environmental Law & Policy Center wants you to know that reports of high-speed rail funding being cut by recent efforts of Republicans in the House of Congress have been exaggerated, and that many projects will still go forward.
DC Velocity: Critical road investments in doubt
Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat who was defeated in his re-election bid last year when Republicans took control of the House, keynoted NASSTRAC's annual logistics conference April 18 in Orlando, Fla. He told the group he believes failure to make substantial improvement in the nation's transportation networks will inevitably reduce American competitiveness.
Coalition Against Bigger Trucks: Americans Say Bigger Trucks Threaten America's Roadways, Greater Taxpayer Burden
American voters say they are overwhelmingly opposed to allowing bigger, heavier trucks on our nation's highways, according to a national survey released today. Conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT), the survey found public opinion is strongly against proposals being pushed by some large trucking companies asking Congress to raise the national cap on truck size by 20 percent to 97,000 pounds from the current limit of 80,000 pounds.
National Resource Defense Council: Keystone XL tar sands pipeline environmental review
Last week, the State Department released a second round of environmental review for the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline review which is meant to address issues left out (or inadequately addressed) in their earlier analysis. It is notable that the State Department right in the executive summary downplays the importance of this second review, claiming that “no new issues of substance emerged from the comments received.”
National Resource Defense Council: Though No Dirty Water Riders Passed, New Budget Slashes Funding for Water Protection
Over the course of the grueling budget process, NRDC and our partners managed to beat back harmful policy riders that had little to do with cutting the deficit and everything to do with reducing environmental safeguards. Several would have threatened our ability to keep America’s water clean.
National Resource Defense Council: How American Ingenuity Can Reduce Our Pain at the Gas Pump: Part 1
How can we reduce our pain at the gasoline pump, clean up the air, and spark American ingenuity? This week, leaders from industry, government, and non-governmental organizations are all gathering in the nation’s Capital to see how we can move from our gas guzzling vehicles to electric-drive vehicles that use little to no gas. The conference is being organized by the Electric Drive Transportation Association.
Environmental Expert: Leading water associations join forces to bring key issues to congress
The American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) brought more than 170 delegates from water, wastewater and stormwater utilities in 49 states and Puerto Rico for the tenth Water Matters! Fly In.
TPMDC: Do We Want a Pothole Nation?
During the first stop of a three-day campaign-style blitz across the country promoting his vision for reducing the $1.4 trillion deficit, President Obama decried the country's "crumbling" infrastructure and said proposed GOP cuts would lead to "potholes everywhere."
TPMDC: Republican Governors Quietly Accept Federal Dollars -- While Attacking Federal Spending
That rhetoric -- and the rhetoric of their more senior Republican peers -- continues to this day, and occasionally translates into genuinely puzzling acts of malgovernance. Florida Governor Rick Scott, for example, turned down $2.4 billion in federal funds to build a high-speed rail line from Orlando to Tampa.
Environmental News Service: U.S. Offers $5 Million to Advance Electric Vehicles
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu Tuesday announced $5 million in new funding for community efforts to deploy electric vehicle infrastructure and charging stations.
Rockford Register Star: Key player to give keynote on infrastructure at Tri-State Summit
Rep. John Mica, the influential chairman of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, will keynote the annual Tri-State Alliance Summit May 9 in Rockford.
Chevy Chase, MD Patch: Federals Funds Secured for BRAC-Related Transportation Improvements
The funds—which will be shared with a few other BRAC projects across the nation—will be used in Bethesda to upgrade public access to the National Naval Medical Center, the National Institutes of Health, and, come September, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Gold Canyon Today: What does the future of transportation in AZ look like to you?
How would you plan for our state’s transportation system if you could look 25 years into the future? You still have time this week to provide the Arizona Department of Transportation with your comments as they work to develop the state’s Long Range Transportation Plan.
California High Speed Rail Blog: Did Anna Eshoo Check With Nancy Pelosi?
It’s the bad idea that just won’t die. Some Peninsula NIMBYs have had it in their head for a long time that if they could just terminate the HSR system in San José instead of San Francisco then they might somehow be delivered from the quiet, fast, green trains that supposedly would destroy their neighborhoods (despite having done no such thing in Albany or Rockridge).
Good: L.A.'s Expo Line Is Halfway to the Sea: How You Can Make Sure It Gets There
For the first time in over 50 years, a passenger train rolled through the Los Angeles intersection of Western and Exposition Avenues yesterday. The employees at Metro were testing cars on the Expo Line, a new nine-mile light-rail line that runs from downtown to Culver City, and the latest step in L.A.'s slow crawl towards rebuilding its once-legendary system. This brand-new train follows a vacated right of way that used to shuttle Angelenos to the beach—and will soon again, if city officials and rail boosters can rally public support all the way to Santa Monica.
Transportation Nation: Mica Draws Connection Between Central Florida SunRail and Port of Miami Project
Central Florida Republican Congressman John Mica says he’s carefully reviewing Governor Rick Scott’s proposal to deepen the port of Miami to accommodate a new class of larger ships
Orlando Sentinel: Chamber turns to tough talk on Scott, SunRail
The Orlando Chamber of Commerce is turning up the heat on Gov. Rick Scott, who is holding SunRail hostage as he reviews its “return on investment.”
South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Florida governor's cool relations with state Legislature may hinder his agenda
After a governor's race marked by his laser-like focus, Rick Scott has instituted a dizzying series of policy reversals that could threaten the key promises that powered him to the Governor's Mansion.
Hawaii Reporter: Hawaii's First Electric Car Charging Network Installed
Better Place today announced the initial deployment of its electric car network infrastructure in Hawaii. The installation of the first 10 charge spots across Oahu – five at the Sheraton Waikiki and five at three Hawaiian Electric sites – is the result of cross-sector partnerships between Better Place, Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts (Kyo-ya), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Waikiki, Hawaiian Electric Company and the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture.
Transportation Nation: Rahm Emanuel Names DC's Gabe Klein as Chicago Transpo Chief
Transportation Nation has learned that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has picked his transportation chief. Gabe Klein, former head of Washington D.C.’s Department of Transportation, will become the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation in mid-May. An announcement is expected later this morning.
Transportation Nation: NYC DOT Poised to Nix Streetcar Plan in Brooklyn
The New York City Department of Transportation says it won’t support a proposed light rail line in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn because it’s not worth the cost.
The Charlotte Observer: Many county bridges are in need of work
In the Charlotte region, Cabarrus County ranks worst among Charlotte-area counties in its percentage of bridges rated deficient, according to a recent national report by Transportation for America. North Carolina ranks No. 14 nationwide, with 13 percent of bridges deficient.
Rust Wire: John Kasich's Sad War on Transit (and Cities)
His first notable action as governor was to return $400 million in federal dollars for passenger rail between Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. But as we all know, he wasn't the only governor to take the opportunity to make a political statement at his constituents’ expense.
Go Erie: Pennsylvania needs long-range plan for transportation funding, projects
The governor says that the 1991 bus symbolizes what's wrong with government. His decision to put the bus up for bid in the next General Services Department equipment auction is part of his campaign pledge to drastically cut the fleet of state-owned vehicles.
South Kingstown, RI Patch: Route 138 Reconstruction On Track
The University of Rhode Island Alumni Center was the setting for a joint meeting of the Town Council, local legislators, Town and University of Rhode Island officials Monday evening.
The State: Charleston stands firm against I-526 plan
The State Infrastructure Bank warned County Council members in a letter this week that if the Mark Clark Expressway extension from its current ending point in West Ashley isn’t extended to Johns and James islands, the county would have to pay back what’s been spent on the project so far for right-of-way issues and engineering and environmental studies.
The Nerve: Infrastructure Bank Draws Fire As Political Arm
Rather, the Infrastructure Bank is a funding body that works closely with the S.C. Department of Transportation in partnering with local governments to put together deals to pay for large road construction improvements. A seven-member board oversees the bank.
New York Times: New Cruise Ship Terminal Ignites Clash in Charleston, S.C.
A plan to open a new cruise ship terminal next year has ignited a debate over the future of this historic city. Supporters of the project, including Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr., say it will help open up an underused stretch of waterfront to public and private development. Opponents, among them preservation groups, downtown homeowners and real estate agents, counter that a huge influx of new visitors would overwhelm the city’s cultivated charm and hurt home values.
WCAX: How federal budget cuts could affect Vermonters
The biggest immediate impact will be on transportation where nearly $13 million was trimmed. That could derail attempts to finance a high-speed rail project in Vermont, because it became much more competitive.
Suffolk-Herald: Governor signs roads bill
Gov. Bob McDonnell on Monday signed legislation that advances the construction of a new Route 460 between Suffolk and Petersburg. The bill funds nearly $4 billion in road and rail projects during the next three years, including the reconstruction of one of the most vital routes out of Hampton Roads during a hurricane evacuation.
Washington Examiner: D.C. launching pay-by-phone option for all metered parking
The pay-by-phone option will be available at all of the approximately 17,000 on-street metered spaces throughout the District. The service is already available in Foggy Bottom, near Georgetown Hospital and in the Nationals Park neighborhood. DDOT will start adapting meters in June.
Traffic congestion costs Americans $78 billion a year.