Infrastructure in the News: February 7, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
JD Supra: Energy And Environment Update
Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell (D) said January 31 that states should not be required to incorporate green infrastructure into their planning for water and transportation infrastructure. Governor Rendell is the co-chairman of the nonprofit Building America’s Future along with former California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger (R) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), said the group is advocating a 10-year national plan for making strategic investments in the nation’s infrastructure. The group’s August 2011 report found that such a plan should focus on transportation but also include other infrastructure challenges
Politico: Transportation bill lurches forward despite revenue doubts
The House’s surface transportation bill — the GOP’s major job-creation initiative — is off to an inauspicious start, but Republican leaders are pushing full speed ahead. Although several conservative groups have criticized the five-year, $260 billion measure for relying too much on nontraditional revenue sources like oil drilling, House leaders received a critical endorsement from Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.
The Hill: GOP's transportation bill would eviscerate mass transit funding
Last week, House Republicans on both the Transportation and Infrastructure and the Ways and Means committees approved the worst transportation bill I have seen in my 19 years in Congress. Perhaps the worst provision of this terrible bill – H.R. 7, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act – would eliminate the guaranteed funding for mass transit that we have relied on for 30 years, and would make transit dependent on the politics of annual appropriations, which, if the last year has taught us anything, leads to dysfunction and inaction.
DC Streetsblog: Rangel: House GOP Has No Idea Where Transit Funding Would Come From
Today at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan, four members of New York’s congressional delegation joined the head of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in decrying House GOP efforts to drastically alter how the federal government supports transit in cities. Under the House’s plan, instead of receiving a roughly 20 percent cut of the federal gas tax, transit would receive a one-time transfer from the general fund. In theory, at least. In practice, there would be no guarantees that transit would receive any funding.
DC Streetsblog: 12 Freeways to Watch (‘Cause They Might Be Gone Soon)
Latest week the Congress for New Urbanism released its updated list of “Freeways Without Futures” — 12 transportation anachronisms that are increasingly likely to meet the wrecking ball. This year’s top finisher was New Orleans’ Claiboure Overpass — a 1960s-era eyesore that replaced a thriving, tree-lined commercial street at the center of the city’s oldest, most culturally vibrant black neighborhood. The teardown for this highway has some real traction; a master plan to remove the elevated portion is expected to be endorsed by City Council shortly, according to CNU.
Fast Lane: FasTracks West Rail Line builds on Denver's rich rail history
The city of Denver became what it is today because of a railroad. After the Denver Pacific Railroad connected the city to the Transcontinental Railroad in 1870, thousands of tourists and millions of pounds of freight were hauled into the city in the first month, and the population grew by a reported 100 residents per day. Railroads were so revered that Colorado Territorial Governor John Evans observed, "Colorado without railroads is comparatively worthless."
Tampa Bay Online: High-speed rail would have been profitable, state report says
The high-speed rail project that Gov. Rick Scott doomed last February by turning down more than $2 billion in federal money would have made an annual surplus of $31 million to $45 million within a decade of operation, according to a state report. The Florida Department of Transportation sent the report to the Federal Railroad Administration in November. The Tampa Tribune obtained the document after a lengthy public records request.
Ashland Daily Tidings: Council to hold infrastructure spending hearing
The Ashland City Council will hold a public hearing over almost $14.4 million (see correction, below) in possible spending on infrastructure projects in the 2012-2013 fiscal year … The proposed Capital Improvement Projects, or CIP, list of infrastructure projects and equipment needs would cost 31 percent more than the almost $9.8 million worth of projects on the city's 2011-2012 fiscal year CIP list, according to city staff.
America has 26,000 miles of commercially navigable waterways.