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Infrastructure in the News 8.29.16

NATIONAL NEWS

Streetsblog USA: Engineers to U.S. DOT: Transportation Is About More Than Moving Cars

http://usa.streetsblog.org/2016/08/26/engineers-to-u-s-dot-transportation-is-about-more-than-moving-cars/

A trade group representing the transportation engineering profession thinks it’s high time for American policy makers to stop focusing so much on moving single-occupancy vehicles.

Washington Post: Jonathan Aberman: As tech advances, we still need to keep our eyes on the road

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-business/wp/2016/08/29/jonathan-aberman-keep-your-eyes-on-the-road-technology-is-gaining-on-us/

“The world is going to go to self-driving and autonomous,” says Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalancik, noting that if Uber didn’t lead that trend “the future passes us by basically, in a very expeditious and efficient way.” As if glancing into the rear view mirror to make sure no one was gaining on it, Uber promptly introduced the first autonomous cars into its Pittsburgh fleet and purchased a self-driving truck start-up.

Washington Post: US wants to force lower speeds on truck and bus drivers

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/us-wants-to-force-lower-speeds-on-truck-and-bus-drivers/2016/08/26/d30dd3be-6ba2-11e6-91cb-ecb5418830e9_story.html

The U.S. is seeking to forcibly limit how fast trucks, buses and other large vehicles can travel on the nation’s highways.

New York Times: Amtrak’s Answer for Aging Acela Fleet: 160 M.P.H. Trains

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/us/politics/amtraks-answer-for-aging-acela-fleet-160-mph-trains.html

A new era of high-speed train travel is coming to the nation’s busiest rail corridor.

STATE NEWS

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Truckers scrutinizing Pa. Turnpike payments to PennDOT

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2016/08/29/Truckers-scrutinizing-Pa-Turnpike-payments-to-PennDOT/stories/201608290005

The decision in a federal case in New York state has thrown a new element into the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s attempt to get out from under a $450 million annual payment to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for public transit: The payments may not be legal.

The Herald: Biden: $2.45B loan for Amtrak upgrades in Northeast Corridor

http://www.heraldonline.com/news/business/article98025927.html

Amtrak is receiving a $2.45 billion loan from the federal government to buy new trains, upgrade tracks and make platform improvements along the busy Northeast corridor, the largest such loan ever by the Department of Transportation, officials announced Friday.

For Construction Pros: Texas DOT Plans $70B in Transportation Projects Over Next 10 Years

http://www.forconstructionpros.com/news/12250235/txdot-plans-for-70-billion-to-fund-transportation-projects-over-next-10-years

The Texas Transportation Commission has approved the 2017 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) with $70 billion worth of projects to help TxDOT meet the state’s growing transportation demands. The plan is the largest of its kind in the agency’s history that addresses capacity, maintenance and safety needs around state.

Delaware.gov: Governor’s Weekly Message: Improving Transportation Safety and Efficiency while Creating Jobs

http://news.delaware.gov/2016/08/26/governors-weekly-message-improving-transportation-safety-and-efficiency-while-creating-jobs/

In a guest weekly message, Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan updates progress being made throughout all three counties to strengthen Delaware’s transportation infrastructure and make travel safer and more efficient as a result of investments supported by the Governor and members of the General Assembly.

San Diego Union-Tribune: SAN DIEGO'S UNPRECEDENTED TRANSPORTATION GOAL

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/aug/28/san-diego-mass-transit/

A cornerstone of San Diego’s widely lauded vision to wage war on climate change — getting people out of their cars and onto public transit, bicycles and sidewalks — has never been achieved by any metropolis in the United States on the scale and time frame called for by the city.

Washington Post: SafeTrack expected to bring ‘extreme crowding’ on part of Metro’s Blue and Yellow lines

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/safetrack-expected-to-bring-extreme-crowding-on-part-of-metros-blue-and-yellow-lines/2016/08/28/29f2b0dc-6d38-11e6-8533-6b0b0ded0253_story.html

SafeTrack, Metro’s yearlong rebuilding program, returns to the Blue and Yellow lines in Northern Virginia this week, just as school resumes for thousands of the region’s children and thousands more residents embark on Labor Day weekend getaways.

New York Times: M.T.A. Contract Workers Will Earn Higher Wages by 2018

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/nyregion/mta-contract-workers-will-earn-higher-wages-by-2018.html

The company that runs a call center for Access-A-Ride, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service for people with disabilities, and the union that represents its workers have reached an agreement to raise their wages to at least $15 an hour by 2018, the union announced on Friday.

New York Times: Brooklyn’s Bicycling Culture Doesn’t Ease Risks for Riders

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/27/nyregion/brooklyns-bicycling-culture-doesnt-ease-risks-for-riders.html

The statistic was alarming enough on its own: The number of cyclists killed by motor vehicles on New York City streets in 2016 had matched 2015’s total just eight months into the year.

Wall Street Journal: Maglev Train Project to Link Baltimore and Washington Gets a Boost

http://www.wsj.com/articles/maglev-train-project-to-link-baltimore-and-washington-gets-a-boost-1472290202

Six years ago, Melissa Malcolm gave up on the commuter train to Washington, D.C., after breakdowns twice left her stranded in hot railcars. Now, on a good day, she makes the 40-mile drive in about an hour and a half.

Tulsa World: State Transportation officials identify road projects for possible bond funding

http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/state-transportation-officials-identify-road-projects-for-possible-bond-funding/article_b361f852-8343-5778-98a0-2858d581c5f3.html

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation has released a list of 18 projects that are candidates for use of the $200 million in bond money authorized earlier this year by the Oklahoma Legislature.