Infrastructure in the News: May 17, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
POLITICO: Rendell: Don’t stall innovative transportation networks
To remain economically competitive, the United States must have a 21st-century transportation system. Goods must move efficiently to market, and people must reliably get from their homes to their jobs or schools. Our transportation network, however, has not kept pace with our exponential growth. For example, from 1980 to 2006, the total number of miles traveled by automobiles increased 97 percent and the miles traveled by trucks increased 106 percent. Yet over the same period, the total number of highway lane miles grew only 4 percent.
Politico Morning Transpiration: GOING PUBLIC ON PPPs
Former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell has joined the chorus opposing language in the Senate bill - via an amendment from Sen. Jeff Bingaman - that trims formula funding for states that cut deals with the private sector. He also hits on changes to private activity bonds: "Taken together or individually, these provisions would have a chilling effect on future private investment in infrastructure - perhaps even bringing it to a halt." His POLITICO op-ed: http://politi.co/KnxXAQ . Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has already weighed in on Rendell's side ( http://wapo.st/L8H6fy).
Transportation Issues Daily: Politically Broad Coalition Advocates for Expanded Financing Options in Final Transportation Bill
A politically broad group of transportation organizations is urging Senate and House transportation bill negotiators to “expand the flexibility and capacity of states and localities to address their transportation infrastructure investment challenges.” In the face of declining federal, state and local revenues, public agencies need all the tools possible to fund projects needed to move people and goods more quickly, safely and cleanly.
DC Streetsblog: Rising or Falling, Volatile Gas Prices Underscore Importance of Transit
When gas prices go up, it can be a big motivator for people to start taking transit more frequently. But according to a study released by the American Public Transportation Association and Building America’s Future [PDF], even when gas prices start to go down, the newly converted keep riding transit. The report, “Volatile Gas Prices Point to Increased Use of Public Transportation,” draws on independent research about “the elasticity of transit ridership” — economist-speak for how much a change in gas prices affects transit use.
Transportation Issues Daily: Is Transportation Bill Included in Obama’s Pre-election To-Do List for Congress?
President Obama recently presented Congress with a five-point “to do” legislative list to be accomplished before the election. Does it include enacting a transportation bill? Sadly for transportation stakeholders, no, despite the President talking about a transportation bill a fair amount in the recent month or so. Given the impact of a transportation bill on stimulating employment and the economy, it’s a little discouraging that the transportation bill didn’t make the list. The Senate’s leaders on transportation, Democrat Barbara Boxer and Republican Jim Inhofe, claim their bipartisan bill will save 1.8 million jobs and create up to 1 million more jobs.
AJC: Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal raises big money for transportation sales tax campaign
If we’ve given the impression that Gov. Nathan Deal has only spoken up for a statewide transportation sales tax, we hereby apologize. Deal’s not merely dipping a toe in the water. He’s hip-deep in the effort. Click here to see the invitation for a May 23 fundraiser for the statewide arm of the campaign, hosted by the governor but held at the Atlanta home of former Cousins Properties CEO Tom Bell.
Streetsblog: How Baton Rouge Brought Its Transit System Back From the Brink
It’s funny how often public transit referendums bring out the the best in local communities. The case of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a perfect example: Voters recently decided to essentially double investment in public transit — rescuing their transit agency from a long slide into irrelevance. Stephen Lee Davis at Transportation for America took an in depth look yesterday at how transit advocates in this Deep South city built a broad, diverse coalition to make the case for transit:
Bridge Michigan: Rusty and rutted, infrastructure holds state back
While Michigan’s roads and bridges crumble, lawmakers in Lansing dither. “Our infrastructure is in terrible shape,” said Michael Nystrom, executive vice president of the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association, a trade group. “There is a unanimous recognition of the need among elected officials,” he added. “But no one can really figure out where we go in finding solutions.”
Springfield News Sun (OH): Infrastructure updates a costly burden for cities
Water lines buried decades ago beneath Urbana’s streets are breaking apart more frequently, forcing city officials to develop a plan to replace miles of infrastructure. The replacement program will likely mean higher water rates for residents and businesses over time. But city officials said the lines are crucial for everything from public health to fire protection and the city’s economy. Some of the lines were set underground as much as 100 years ago and are at the end of their useful life.
Americans wasted 3.9 billion gallons of fuel in 2009 due to traffic congestion and the total cost of congestion in 2009 was $115B