Infrastructure in the News: May 24, 2012
The Hill: Sen. Boxer: 'Great progress' on highway bill negotiations; deal possible by end of June
The chairwoman of the committee of lawmakers that is conferencing on a new federal surface transportation bill said Wednesday that a substantial portion of the issues that could prevent a deal between the House and Senate have already been cleared. "I wanted to tell you were making very good progress -- I would say great progress -- on working through the various issues," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said during a press conference at the Capitol.
Transportation Issues Daily: What 26 Members of Congress Want in Transportation Bill
Twenty-six Senators and Representatives are advocating to retain a Senate provision in the final transportation bill. Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon) led the bipartisan effort with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and Representative Geoff Davis (Kentucky) to preserve the Projects of National and Regional Significance program. The Senate proposes to fund the program at $1 billion for 2013.
Politico: Hart: High-speed rail's many benefits
The U.S. needs modern public transportation not dependent on oil or traffic patterns. Most developed nations now have high-speed rail, sleek trains that reach more than 200 mph. Here, this option would be most viable in two distinct corridors on the East and West Coasts – the Northeast Corridor, from Boston to Washington, and California.
DC Streetsblog: One More Time: Here Are 4.6 Billion Reasons to Support Bike Infrastructure
Cyclists may only account for 1 percent of all trips taken in the U.S., but that’s still good enough to save the American people a total of $4.6 billion per year, according to research recently released by the League of American Bicyclists, the Sierra Club, and the National Council of La Raza. The announcement coincided with National Bike to Work Day, observed last Friday as part of Bike Month.
Associated Press: States looking to new tolls to pay for highways
With Congress unwilling to contemplate an increase in the federal gas tax, motorists are likely to be paying ever more tolls as the government searches for ways to repair and expand the nation's congested highways. Tolling is less efficient and sometimes can seem less fair than the main alternative, gasoline taxes. It can increase traffic on side roads as motorists seek to evade paying.
Transportation Issues Daily: What Cities Want In Final Transportation Bill
What does the National League of Cities (NCL) want included in the final federal transportation bill? The NLC works on behalf of 19,000 cities, towns and villages. Here are NLC’s priorities, according to an article on their website...
Mobilizing the Region: Connecticut Breaks Ground on Busway
Yesterday, Connecticut broke ground on a 9.4 mile bus rapid transit project that promises to help revitalize the state’s economy and ensure a more sustainable future for Connecticut. In addition to the groundbreaking, the project, previously known as the New Britain-Hartford Busway, was formally rebranded as CTfastrak. The new name was launched in tandem with a new CTrides public transportation branding campaign.
Atlantic Cities: Infrastructure, Tourism and Taxes: The Proposed New Orleans 'Hospitality Zone'
Infrastructure has been deteriorating citywide, but its state of decay may be most noticeable in the French Quarter, the hub of the city's tourism industry. Sidewalks between the Quarter and the Superdome or the nearby train station are spotty, and the streets will give a strenuous workout to your shocks. Local hospitality and tourism officials see how this can leave a bad impression in the minds of visitors. So can Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who's been pushing since fall for the creation of a new tax district in the tourist areas to help market the city and fund infrastructure improvements. It's a proposal that could raise upwards of $12 million a year.
Bloomberg Businessweek: Christie asks for help on transportation money
Gov. Chris Christie says he needs transportation advocates to help him push New Jersey lawmakers to fund his transportation capital plan. Money for the plan is part of the state budget, which is required to be adopted by June 30. Christie is asking Democrats to provide $1.6 billion.
America's poorest households spend more than 40% of take-home pay on transportation.