Infrastructure in the News: April 9, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
Examiner: Orski: The Highway Bill--- Compromise or Stalemate?
With the Senate bill finally receiving a closer scrutiny, criticism is beginning to emerge even within the liberal community. The Building America's Future coalition, for example, is troubled by several provisions that could make it more difficult for states to leverage funding with private sector partners. "BAF is particularly concerned about language that would provide a disincentive to states to consider partnering with the private sector for fear of losing a percentage of its federal funding," wrote BAF's Director of Policy Kerry O'Hare in the National Journal's transportation blog.
The Hill: Bipartisan bills hit a brick wall in election-year gridlock
A slew of bills that have attracted bipartisan support are stalled in Congress and face an uncertain future this election year. Bills ranging from aviation reform to charitable vehicle donations to pancreatic cancer have hit a legislative brick wall. Authors of the bills have focused on building bipartisan co-sponsor support, seeking political leverage to get their measures passed.
Dredging Today: Former Governor Calls for Investment in Waterways Infrastructure (USA)
Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, speaking to a regional gathering of Gulf states harbor pilots, called for a “bias for action and a sense of urgency…for increased U.S. investment in waterways infrastructure and a national strategic policy to prepare and equip U.S. Ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Seaboard for increased cargo and container volume from ‘post-Panamax’ vessels after the Panama Canal opens in 2015.”
DC Streetsblog: What Happened to John Mica, Pro-Transit Republican?
Flash forward to February 2012. Mica is now chair of the committee, and he and his colleagues in the House have delivered a transportation bill that is bad for the environment and very bad for transit. Instead of receiving a dedicated share of the federal gas tax, as has been the case for three decades, transit would be expected to survive with an infusion from the treasury — with no guarantee of anything after that.
Fast Lane: Transit getting more Americans where they need to go
I've written more than once on this blog that everywhere I go I hear from Americans who want more options for getting where they need to go. Some people can't afford to own a reliable car. Some are unable to drive. Others choose not to drive--to avoid the pinch they feel at the pump, the frustration of roadway congestion, or the hassle of finding a parking space. Still others like being able to read the morning paper or do some work while riding. Whatever the reason, more Americans are choosing to ride transit.
Boston Herald: Cities and towns sit on road contracts while pols debate funding
City officials eager to know how much state money they will have to spend on roadwork this summer are urging the Senate to pass the same bill filed by the governor and passed by the House so there will be no further delays. “We’re ready to go. We have the specs but we can’t sign contracts until we know how much resources we’re going to have,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, speaking at a Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets meeting Thursday morning.
STL Today: Highway trash poses a multimillion-dollar headache
Highway litterbugs wind up costing the Missouri Department of Transportation — and by extension, all drivers — a cool $5 million a year to cover trash cleanup. That’s $5 million annually that won’t go to patching a pothole or building a new bridge. “Litter is really a problem,” said Ed Hassinger, MoDOT’s district engineer in St. Louis. “We really just don’t need to spend as much time doing that as we do. It would be much better to spend that doing other things.”
Arizona Republic: Our Turn: A Phoenix-Vegas interstate would boost Ariz. economy
One common thread that unites and benefits these industries is the need to enhance and expand commerce connectivity and the infrastructure necessary to support that connectivity. Located between two of the largest economies in the United States, Texas and California, and adjacent to Mexico, the United States' third-largest trading partner and second-largest export market, Arizona is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the economic turnaround of the national economy. Any investment in the state's commerce connectivity infrastructure will reap significant benefits, now and in the future.
Chicago Tribune: Aldermen: We'll back Emanuel's infrastructure trust — with changes
The Chicago Infrastructure Trust is an aggressive plan to invest in our obsolete infrastructure. Let's get one thing straight: This is not another parking meter deal. This is not a privatization scheme. Our neighborhoods have crumbling roads and hundreds of miles of decaying water mains that are more than a century old. Our city has an aging public transportation system that does not meet the needs of our residents.
WDAY: North Dakota to receive record infrastructure funding
The new Senate Highway Bill is providing North Dakota with record funding. The bill has more than $261 million earmarked for the state in 2012 and $226 million in 2013. State leaders say there's a major need to improve roads and infrastructure around the state to keep up with other states. North Dakota is one of the fastest growing states in the US.
Philadelphia Inquirer: The last true stop for trolleys
In Philadelphia, however, a network of trolley cars still operates regularly over an extensive area as part of an integrated transit system. In West Philadelphia, publicly owned trolleys still link the neighborhoods west of the Schuylkill to Center City, traversing the river from downtown via tunnel before popping out at 36th and 40th Streets to spider out across the city's western neighborhoods.
“You can go a day without a phone or TV. You can’t go a day without water.”