Thursday, April 7, 2011
News Roundup

Infrastructure in the News: April 7, 2011

Streetsblog Capitol Hill warned that GOP budget proposal would lead to massive transportation spending cuts and New York Times wrote that public-private partneship in Quincy, Massachusets, will rebuild the entire downtown of the city. Read more in this Infrastructure in the News.


National News

Streetsblog Capitol Hill: GOP Budget Would Slash Transpo Spending
With the release of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposal yesterday, right wing calls for massive cuts to transportation spending are now enshrined in the GOP leadership’s fiscal plan. Ryan singled out transportation as an area particularly ripe for cuts, criticized the use of gas tax revenues for projects that aren’t highways, and called for transportation spending levels to barely cover half of what President Obama's request in February.

New Philadelphia Time-Reporter: Sen. John F. Kerry and Tom Donohue: Building a U.S. infrastructure bank
Americans have always been builders. We built a transcontinental railroad. We built an interstate highway system. We built rockets that let us explore the farthest edge of the solar system and beyond.

Macon Examiner: Transportation funding could be jeopardized by budget battle
While industry groups and both major parties want Congress to get to work on a bill that would address the nation's long-term transportation needs, such a plan is threatened by the prevailing sentiment in Washington of slashing spending.

Rapid Growth: Public Transportation 101 or: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Transit
Many of us who have traveled to bigger cities instantly see the obvious presence of public transportation. From local buses to subways, these routes are the essential blood vessels of urban areas. However, successful, efficient, and effective public transportation in our metropolitan area cannot be seen as a reactive solution solely for relieving busy streets. It is a proactive infrastructure that improves social equity, environmental quality and economic stimulation. Public transportation is sustainability for our community.

Streetsblog Capitol Hill: In Energy-Uncertain Future, Indiana DOT Bets That Nothing Will Change
Imagine for a second what transportation will be like in 2035. Will fossil fuels have been replaced by some new, not-yet-discovered energy source? Will the near-monopoly of car-based transportation systems still be viable thanks to vastly more efficient vehicles? Or will the costs of car-dependence become prohibitive, leading more of us to prefer living closer to where we work and shop, so we can save time and money by relying on effective transit networks and our ability to walk and bike?

Wall Street Journal: Dear Urban Cyclists, Go Play in Traffic
Bike lanes have appeared in all the predictable places—Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Berkeley and Palo Alto. But the incidence of bike lanes is also on the rise in unlikely locales such as slush-covered Boston, rain-drenched Vancouver, frozen Montreal and Bogotá, Colombia (where, perhaps, bicycles have been given the traffic lanes previously reserved for drug mules). Even Dublin, Ireland, has had portions of its streets set aside for bicycles only—surely unnecessary in a country where everyone's car has been repossessed.


State News

New York Times: Quincy, Mass., to Get a New Downtown, Led by Private Money
Barring a catastrophe, few cities get the chance to totally rebuild their downtowns, from the sewer lines deep underground to the sidewalks, buildings, parks and lighting above. But an unusual public-private partnership is allowing this city of 91,000, first settled in the early 17th century and famed as the hometown of the Adams presidents, to try to do just that.

Baltimore Sun: Missed opportunity for transit-oriented development in Maryland
Maryland is on the verge of missing a golden opportunity this year to promote transit-oriented development and pedestrian-friendly communities. By seeking to establish State Rail Station Overlay Districts, House Bill 948 would have been in keeping with the state's traditions of progressive government and bold experimentation in civic improvement. Although the bill was defeated in the Environmental Matters Committee this year — and there is little hope for its revival — the ideas it contains are worthy of continued discussion and debate.

Huron Daily Tribune: Fix the roads
After a long winter, a spike in statewide pothole reports and a recent national bridge study show that Michigan still has a long way to go when it comes to long-term infrastructure and transportation funding, Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA) reported in a press release.

Twin Cities Pioneer Press: Yep it's that time
The Minnesota Department of Transportation hosted its own "season opener" Wednesday, unveiling nearly $900 million in road projects for the year.

The News Record: East Cincinnati may get train
The Hamilton County Transportation Improvement District is proposing the Oasis Commuter Rail as an alternative to the streetcar and high-speed rail projects to alleviate dense traffic from Cincinnati's second leading contributor of commuters.

WHSV: Transportation Secretary Expresses Concerns on Dulles Metrorail Vote
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton expressed concerns Wednesday in a letter to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority following its vote to build a tunnel through the Dulles International Airport rather than the proposed elevated track for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

Los Angeles Times: Expo Line set to begin running test trains
After numerous delays and cost increases, officials this week will begin running test trains on the long-awaited Expo Line and have announced that the first rail line into the traffic-clogged Westside since the days of the Red Car trolleys could start operations in November.

Miami Herald: California's not alone in pursuit of federal high-speed rail money
California is facing competition from two dozen other states and regions in the fight for hundreds of millions of dollars in additional federal high-speed rail funds.

Project Finance: DesertXpress seeks federal loan for California-Nevada high-speed rail
Las Vegas-based DesertXpress Enterprises is planning to apply for a roughly $4.9 billion Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing loan from the US Federal Railroad Administration for a new high-speed rail line. The direct loan would cover the majority of capital costs for the roughly 322km line between Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada at the same cost of borrowing

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