Infrastructure in the News: May 18, 2012
Transportation for America: Graphic: The process of passing the transportation bill
As negotiations continue between the Senate’s bipartisan transportation bill and the House’s policy provisions, it’s a good time to look once again at the process of drafting and passing a transportation reauthorization and see where things currently stand. Fortunately, we have this useful graphic from our Transportation 101 book that shows a simple view of how things usually proceed — complete with a “you are here” marker, just like a helpful wayfinding sign on a street corner.
Huffington Post: Mapnificent Shows World Transportation In 30 Minutes Or Less
Mass transit is a funny thing. Sometimes it's efficient. Sometimes it's comically bad. Stefan Wehrmeyer took the good and the bad and created Mapnificent, a website that calculates how far you can get in cities around the world in 30 minutes or less using only public transportation. He started with Berlin and London night buses, using Google Maps and GTFS Data Exchange to show how much of any given city you can cover in 30 minutes or less, he notes in a blog.
DC Streetsblog: From a Reader: Seven More Questions For the Transportation Conference
Last week, I published a list of seven questions I had as the Transportation Conference Committee started meeting. I was examining the politics, not the policy. Turns out some readers wanted to hear more about the policy. Meanwhile, reader Ryan Richter sent in his revised list of questions too. They’re a little more specific, so I’ll start with Ryan’s. With any luck, the answers to Cap’n Transit’s questions will be woven into the answers below. Thanks to both of you for keeping me focused on what really matters in this whole political hullabaloo.
GOOD: How to Make Public Transportation Safer on a Shoestring Budget
While budgetary shortfalls might be to blame for the lack of safety innovations, Loukaitou-Sideris says there are low-cost solutions. Sometimes it's as simple as relocating the bus stop. "You can put the stop half a block away, but by a business that's open late and that has pedestrian traffic," Loukaitou-Sideris, she suggests, adding that many women reported walking farther to a different stop that was better lit or had more people around.
KPHO: ADOT to hold public meeting on I-15, bridges study
The Arizona Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting in northern Arizona next Wednesday night on the Interstate 15 and Virgin River bridges feasibility study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate potential improvements along the 29-mile segment of I-15 through Arizona from the Nevada to Utah state lines.
Switchboard: Taking the Train in Los Angeles
This past month led me to believe we are getting closer to the point where people will choose transit over sitting in traffic. On April 28, Metro unveiled its new Expo line stop at Jefferson and La Cienega, the Southern California Association of Governments voted in April to devote $246 billion over the next 25 years to public transportation, and our region is using cleaner modes of train travel. I checked out the Expo line unveiling on the 28th and while it would take me two buses to get to the station—or a 40 minute bike ride—the Culver City stop that’s supposed to open in the next couple weeks should be even easier to get to.
Atlanta Business Chronicle: Northwest Corridor project attracting attention
A $950 million proposal to add toll lanes along interstates 75 and 575 is drawing healthy interest from highway contractors. Georgia Department of Transportation officials have called a dozen companies since Gov. Nathan Deal announced last week that the DOT will seek proposals from qualified contractors interested in a new plan for the Northwest Corridor project giving the state more control than an earlier version the governor scrapped late last year.
New Jersey Star-Ledger: NJ Transit preps for customer onslaught as state hosts Devils playoff game, major music festivals
A confluence of three major spectator events in New Jersey is turning this weekend into a logistical nightmare for NJ Transit planners, who say it could be the busiest weekend in the history of the statewide transportation agency. Between the Bamboozle music festival in Asbury Park and the Electric Daisy Carnival electronic dance fest at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, both being held today through Sunday, and the Devils-Rangers playoff game at the Prudential Center in Newark tomorrow afternoon, train seats on the ride home could be hard to come by.
New York Lower Hudson Valley: Tappan Zee Bridge Residents not ready to vote on barriers
The message was loud and clear: We’re not ready to vote on sound barriers. That’s what residents expressed during a heated meeting held Wednesday in Greenburgh with state officials to talk about the state’s proposal for noise barriers on the new Tappan Zee Bridge. The state has identified 161 properties in Westchester and Rockland counties that it thinks need noise mitigation after the planned bridge is built. But before barriers are added to the design of the bridge, people living on those properties have to agree to them. Residents have been asked to submit their votes to the state by May 24.
The Olympian: Transportation revenues will shrink – but road costs won’t
As the number of fuel-efficient vehicles increases, including those that don’t require any gasoline at all, the state gas tax revenue will begin a similar and dramatic decline. But, as the gas tax revenue decreases, the need to repair the state’s roads and fund new projects will remain the same. More likely, it will grow with population gains and the urgency to build out commercial shipping corridors to retain regional employers.
As a share of GDP, U.S. public spending on infrastructure has ranged from 2.3 percent to 2.5 percent since the mid – 1980’s. The peak period during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s had it at 3 percent of GDP.