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Infrastructure in the News 8.10.16


Politico: The problem with Clinton and Trump's infrastructure plans

Proponents of a big infrastructure plan brush off these numbers. The real value in infrastructure investment is not the short-term jobs, they say, but the long-term economic benefits from reduced commute times, safe drinking water and improved productivity. Plus, if the government does face a labor shortage, wages will rise and workers in other industries will switch to construction. “If Trump or Hillary were able to persuade Congress to pass some kind of fairly significant infrastructure, there would be workers who could come from around the country,” said Ray LaHood, the former transportation secretary and co-chair of Build America's Future.


Washington Post: Hogan, Democrats spar over how to implement new transportation funding law

Officials in Prince George’s County are blasting a demand by the administration of Gov. Larry Hogan (R) that the county submit detailed studies on its preferred transportation projects to be eligible for state funding.

Forbes: Self-driving Cars Will Kill Transit-oriented Development
Transit-oriented development is all the rage in many cities, but self-driving cars will eliminate premium pricing for housing units located near rapid transit stops. Self-driving cars will lower the cost of shared-ride services such as UberPool and Lyft Line, speed up car traffic, and thus eliminate premium pricing for transit-oriented development.

USA Today: Scale back state highway projects

Gov. Scott Walker is right: Wisconsin has to find more efficient ways to spend its transportation dollars. As the governor remarked in a recent letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb, infrastructure investments should be based on needs, not wants.

New York Times: Think Amazon’s Drone Delivery Idea Is a Gimmick? Think Again

Amazon is the most obscure large company in the tech industry. It isn’t just secretive, the way Apple is, but in a deeper sense, Jeff Bezos’ e-commerce and cloud-storage giant is opaque. Amazon rarely explains either its near-term tactical aims or its long-term strategic vision. It values surprise.

New York Times: Electric Car Charging Station Companies Issue Warning Over VW Settlement
Electric vehicle charging companies are calling for independent oversight of the $2 billion Volkswagen AG is required to invest in clean car infrastructure, saying VW should not have the power to shape the nascent electric car charging space.

Associated Press: Amtrak settlements silencing crash victims

Amtrak has started settling lawsuits with victims of last year’s deadly derailment in Philadelphia, and lawyers involved in the process say a strict confidentiality provision prevents them and their clients from talking about how they’re doing or how much money they’ve received.


Wall Street Journal: The Brooklyn Bridge of the Future

If you’ve crossed the Brooklyn Bridge lately, you realize things have gotten ridiculous. Between the cyclists and the pedestrians, not to mention the cars zooming by in both directions, you feel like you’re living out a Mad magazine cartoon—caught in a crowd of hundreds, maybe thousands, with everyone clinging to any available surface for dear life, and cars, planes and the occasional dirigible thrown in for good measure.

Detroit News: Detroit seeks ‘pink zones’ to revive neighborhoods
City planning officials are on the hunt for designs to revive Detroit’s neighborhood main streets while hoping to ease bureaucratic hurdles that often stand in the way.

Cleveland: Transit riders see pros, cons of buses in Public Square
More than a week after buses were supposed to return to Public Square, there still are no answers for public transit riders on the city's plans.

Washington Post: Silver Spring isn’t the only place in the region with a ‘sorry’ bus stop
A poor bus stop in eastern Montgomery County hit the spotlight this week after it won a contest that named it America’s sorriest bus stop. Voters embraced the stop’s troubling location on the edge of a six-lane highway, and its lack of a crosswalk and sidewalk.

Kansas City Star: No legal pleadings object to KC streetcar expansion plan
Monday was the deadline for public responsive pleadings to a Jackson County Circuit Court petition to extend Kansas City’s streetcar system, and by the 5 p.m. close of business, no objections had been filed.

Post and Courier: Charleston County Council approves half-percent sales tax referendum, voters decide its fate in November
Charleston County Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a referendum that will ask for a half-percent sales tax increase for transportation and greenbelt projects but voted against a separate referendum to ask if county voters want Interstate 526 completed.

WNYC: ‘Numbskull’ Decision Stalls Hundreds of New Jersey Transportation Projects
The Park Avenue Bridge is one of just two vital roads that connect the New Jersey city of Hoboken with the Lincoln Tunnel to the north. Work to repair the bridge's crumbling concrete had just gotten underway when Gov. Chris Christie ordered the shutdown of all "non-essential" state-funded transportation projects.