Infrastructure in the News: May 14, 2012
BAF IN THE NEWS
The Hill: The Week Ahead: Lawmakers get down to business on Keystone
Former Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.) will participate in an event on transportation and gas prices Tuesday sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association and Building America’s Future.
Politico: Emanuel: Follow Chicago's example: Invest in infrastructure
On the day I announced the Building a New Chicago plan to create 30,000 jobs and invest $7.3 billion in our city’s infrastructure, Congress passed its tenth 90-day extension of the highway bill. It hasn’t passed one since 2005. The day after our City Council approved the Chicago Infrastructure Trust to pool private capital to invest in our public infrastructure, a hold was placed on state transportation funds for Chicago in Springfield.
Politico: Nation's potholes need a big fix
While Congress may come to terms in conference on patching up the nation’s transportation wounds, there’s no realistic long-term fix waiting in the wings. The problem — as is the case throughout all modes of transportation — comes down to money. The most plausible possibilities to address the deep shortfalls in gasoline tax revenues that fuel the system won’t happen anytime soon. People are driving less or in more efficient cars — and raising the gas tax is a nonstarter in Washington.
NPR: Lack Of Support Puts The Brakes On High-Speed Rail
Three years ago, President Obama was rolling out an ambitious vision for high-speed rail in America. "Imagine whisking through towns at speeds over 100 mph," the president said at the time. Today, there are a few Amtrak trains going that fast, but for the most part, the president's plans for high-speed trains have slowed considerably.
Forbes: There's No Such Thing As Intervention-Free Infrastructure Policy
Given these options, it seems to me that the best alternative is the policy we’re currently pursuing: structural separation of road ownership from shipping carriers. This isn’t just a good idea on the policy merits. It’s a good idea on libertarian grounds, because completely privatizing and deregulating the freeways in the short run would create the need for more intrusive government regulation over the long run.
Politico: Panama Canal expansion turns into ‘money grab’
The promise of a Panama Canal expansion has spurred a flurry of legislative pleas and proposals. Too bad it’s largely hype. Improvements completed on the canal by 2014 will allow ships twice as big to reach the East Coast. In theory, this could reroute vessels that stop on the West Coast and send goods across the country.
GOOD: Public Transportation Systems Are Leaving People With Disabilities Behind
But advocates for disabled people are still fighting for better transportation options. At last count, there were 2 million people with disabilities in the United States who never leave their homes. More than a quarter—560,000 people—say that's because of transportation difficulties. The American Association of People with Disabilities notes in a new report that only 20 percent of Amtrak stations have complied with ADA standards. Major subway systems are only required to make “key” stations accessible.
Transportation Issues Daily: What Do Governors Want in the Final Federal Transportation Bill (Part 1)?
When 32 Republican and 22 Democratic Governors agree on what they want in a federal transportation bill, we should pay attention. You can bet Congress and the White House will. As you might imagine, getting governors of the 55 states, territories and commonwealths – members of the National Governors Association (NGA) – to agree on federal legislative priorities is challenging and occurs only on occasion.
Los Angeles Times: High-speed spending: Bullet train may need $3.5 million a day
If California starts building a 130-mile segment of high-speed rail late this year as planned, it will enter into a risky race against a deadline set up under federal law. The bullet train track through the Central Valley would cost $6 billion and have to be completed by September 2017, or else potentially lose some of its federal funding. It would mean spending as much as $3.5 million every calendar day, holidays and weekends included — the fastest rate of transportation construction known in U.S. history, according to industry and academic experts.
North Jersey: Need revenue? Tap those commuters
Politicians may be reluctant to increase taxes on a middle class reeling from recession, but they have been more than willing to squeeze more money out of New Jersey's commuters. From last summer's Port Authority toll hike - and another scheduled for later this year - to recent talk of reinstating a commuter tax in New York City, politicians from both parties have been eyeing revenue from commuters to balance their strained budgets. And they have also taken turns criticizing each other over the practice, often using the same or similar arguments to make their points.
The Republic: Oregon transportation officials look into mileage-tracking choices for assessing road user tax
Oregon drivers may someday have a choice in how they pay a road users fee. A task force within the state Department of Transportation is reviewing mileage-based assessments and looking at electronic systems for measuring and reporting mileage, systems that may already be used by private companies. The Albany Democrat-Herald reports the task force will invite its own members, Transportation Department employees and perhaps legislators to take part in a pilot study that would allow a driver to pick a mileage system to test.
- Press Release Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell Calls for Port, Waterway Strategy in Speech to American Association of Port Authorities Read More
- Press Release BAF Educational Fund Releases Infrastructure Report: Falling Apart and Falling Behind Read More
- Published Report An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment Read More
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