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The Infra Blog

What’s the Big Fracking Deal?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Marcellus Shale Drill Rig, PA. Photo by Ken Skipper , USGS

In Search of a Reasonable Debate on Hydraulic Fracturing
One of the touchiest subjects in today’s discussion on environmental protection laws and energy independence is the exploration of the new natural-gas-retrieval technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly, “FRACKING.” Much confusion is a result of both opponents and proponents of fracking screaming their versions of the truth at the top of their lungs on any media outlet that will allow it. Trying to search the web for answers is just as difficult, as search engine results are flooded with a cacophony of biased studies from self-interested non-profit organizations or corporately funded, cherry-picked research groups.

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April 25th, NYC: Attend the 2014 RPA Assembly

Thursday, April 17th, 2014
RPA-Assembly-Ad-728x90

Join us on April 25 for the RPA Assembly, the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region’s premier regional affairs conference, with a morning keynote address to be delivered by U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. During the daylong conference, RPA will be presenting new research from the next regional plan and listening to your big ideas for the region. Panels discussions include: reforming public agencies; creating more livable streets; improving climate resiliency; addressing the affordable housing shortage; and more.

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As the Highway Trust Fund Runs Low on Cash, States Come to the Rescue with Creative Funding Initiatives

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 5
With federal transportation spending outpacing tax receipts by some $1.25 billion/month, the cash balance of the Federal Highway Trust is drawing perilously close to the point where the U.S Department of Transportation will be obliged to institute cash management strategies—such as reimbursing states weekly rather than on a daily basis— to keep the Trust Fund account solvent. Based on current spending and revenue trends, this point —a cash balance of $4 billion—may be reached as early as late July according to some estimates.

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FACES OF TRANSPORTATION Photo & Video Contest

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
2013 entry: Michael Ruggerio. New River Gorge Bridge, West Virginia.

AASHTO’s Faces of Transportation photo contest is now accepting entries for 2014. Entering its 10th year, the contest is going down a new road by allowing VIDEO entries as well as stills. If you’ve got a photo (or a video) that captures the truth of transportation, don’t wait any longer–submit it now to the Faces of Transportation contest!

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Why High-Speed Rail Isn’t Less Cost-Effective Than Other Transit Investments (Part Two)

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Last week UCLA published a working paper arguing that urban transportation projects were more cost-effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions than high-speed rail (HSR). I posted a critique of that paper, focusing first on the benefits side of the ledger, showing that the authors had overstated the user savings of light rail, bus, and bicycle infrastructure projects while HSR’s savings may have been undersold. This week, I’m going to look at costs.

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Why High-Speed Rail Isn’t Less Cost-Effective Than Other Transit Investments (Part One)

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

As someone who’s been car-free for going on six years, I’m the last person to criticize someone trying to raise the profile of local transit and active transportation investments — I rely on them every day and frequently write about the need for more. Even though most people don’t get rid of their cars when new transit services arrive, some do, and that’s amazing. We should celebrate and encourage that. But at the same time, pitting different forms of clean, efficient transit against one another isn’t productive, especially when those transit types serve entirely different purposes. I feel that this recent UCLA report understated the benefits of HSR while overselling the benefits of rail, bus, and bike infrastructure. In truth, they’re both outstanding investments and perfect complements, and we should be striving to find ways to build more of each.

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Enter the 2014 ASCE Bridges Photo Contest

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
Bridges Contest

The Bridges Photo Contest closes this Monday, March 31st, but there’s still time to get the good side of your favorite bridge. Seven categories encourage variety–rather than sending one more picture of the Golden Gate Bridge with fog rolling in, why not try to snap a local Pedestrian Bridge, or a Small-Town Bridge?

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This Infra Week

Friday, March 21st, 2014
Streetsblog Parking Madness 2014

INFRA STORIES YOU SHOULDN’T MISS!
Parking Mad!
Report of Significant Rulemaking
Want to Build A Wildly Successful Startup?

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Guests on The Infra Blog: Jonathan Bowles & Adam Forman of the Center for an Urban Future

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014
Jonathan Bowles, Executive Director, Center for an Urban Future

Steve Anderson, Managing Director, InfrastructUSA, interviews Jonathan Bowles and Adam Forman of the Center for an Urban Future. Topics include NYC’s need to focus on infrastructure, the role of the Center for an Urban Future, and the new report, “Caution Ahead: Overdue Investments for New York’s Aging Infrastructure.”

Forman: New York City’s infrastructure is old. Whether it’s our transportation infrastructure, our bridges and roads, utility infrastructure, our steam mains and gas mains, or our buildings: our hospitals, our schools, our public housing buildings, it’s old…I think there are so many areas where we can improve the functioning of our infrastructure and the safety if we were investing more intelligently.

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This Infra Week

Friday, March 14th, 2014
matrix detail 559

INFRA STORIES YOU SHOULDN’T MISS!
Which Bike Lane Separator is Right For You?
Car Culture Reigns On
New Light-Rail Strategy Unveiled
And More…

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