Infrastructure in the News: January 11, 2010
San Jose Mercury News wrote that public transit cuts will make the economic recovery of Bay Area more difficult and according to DC Streetsblog a new Senate jobs bill might be introduced, with a new approach to transport. More in this Infrastructure in the News.
DC Streetsblog: Coming Soon: A Senate Jobs Bill … With a New Approach to Transport?
The House disappointed more than a few transportation reformers last month in passing a major jobs bill with $75 billion for infrastructure but no merit-based funding or changes from the existing formulas for highways and transit. Hopes for a more pathbreaking approach to what's been dubbed the "second stimulus" now rest with the Senate, where Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and soon-to-retire Byron Dorgan (D-ND) are taking the lead in crafting job-creation legislation.
San Jose Mercury News: Public transit cuts will make Bay Area economic recovery difficult
The Bay Area may be headed down a longer, bumpier road in its journey from recession to recovery if public transit continues to carry fewer commuters. As the region attempts to push toward economic recovery in 2010, transit agencies expect to be moving in the opposite direction, stuck offering service levels and fares established during the downturn - or worse. Experts question whether transit operators will be ready when residents start getting back to work, and whether service funding problems will in turn slow the region's economic recovery.
AP: Survey: South Dakota Lawmakers Reluctant to Raise Road Taxes
South Dakota lawmakers are reluctant to raise taxes and fees to support construction and maintenance of the state's highways and bridges, according to a survey by The Associated Press. Only a quarter of those who responded to the survey said they would support a proposal from a legislative study committee to boost the state gas tax, the excise tax on vehicle sales and the annual vehicle registration fees to provide more money for state and local roads.
Salt Lake Tribune: Groups Advocate Change in Utah Gas Tax Focus
The Utah Constitution reserves gasoline tax revenues for highway construction and related purposes. Clean air advocates hope to change that by allowing some of the money to be spent on mass transit. "Everyone can recognize that our air quality is a serious problem," Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, said Thursday. "The medical research of the last 10 years indicates that it's a much more serious health hazard than was previously known." As the Salt Lake Valley continues to fill with people and pavement, Moench's group is convinced that clear action has to happen sooner rather than later. "The real game changer," Moench said, "is to try to get people out of their individual cars."
Transport Politic: It's Governor Lingle versus Mayor Hannemann on Honolulu Rail Project
The recession pushes the Governor to argue for changes, including a conversion from heavy rail to light rail; the Mayor of Honolulu stays the course. At $5.35 billion, it was bound to provoke a fight.
“There’s a way to do it better – find it.”