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The Infra Blog

Making the Grade: The Six-Point Plan to Bring Our Infra Back

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Making the Grade

America, a nation that was once the world’s model for public infrastructure development, has declined to near-failure. Our neglect has already led to thousands of crumbling roads, decaying bridges and drought-stricken regions. A concrete plan to get us back on track just couldn’t come soon enough. That’s exactly what Autodesk’s new report, Making the Grade, intends to do. The report represents the consensus of experts from over 45 public and private companies who participated in a roundtable discussion convened by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Making the Grade offers a strong case for increased awareness, prioritization, and investment across the country.

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Interactive Map: Demolitions in Manhattan

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Demolitions in Manhattan

In just a little over a decade Manhattan has seen hundreds of demolitions, from Wall Street to Inwood Heights. AddressReport’s interactive map plays an animation to visualize each and every demolition that took place since 2003.

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States’ Transportation Revenue Initiatives Help to Compensate for an Absence of Congressional Action on Long-Term Funding

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No.
While transportation stakeholders and the Washington press corps focus on the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund and bemoan the fact that the House-Senate agreement to replenish the Trust Fund provides only short-term funding ($10.8 billion) through May 2015, they are ignoring developments outside the Beltway that go a long way toward compensating for an absence of congressional action on long-term funding. For in fact, individual states, far from sitting idly by, are responding to the fiscal uncertainties in Washington by stepping up and raising additional revenue to meet their transportation needs.

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AASHTO’s “Nation at a Crossroads” Infographic Calls for Action

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Without Federal Investment States Can

The infographic reveals a slew of alarming facts and predictions centering on the depletion of MAP-21 funding by Fall of 2014, which will lead to states being responsible for 100% of transportation funding. Did you know that, already, 45% of Americans don’t have access to transit? Did you know that 1 in 4 of our bridges is in need of significant repair? While states have come up with some viable funding mechanisms of their own, it’s clearly time for the Fed to step in and replenish this vital source of transportation funding.

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Los Angeles Parking Meter Reform, Reasonable Edition

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

The LA Times Editorial Board published a post this morning imploring city officials to come up with a more just system, so I’m throwing out a few ideas. My motivation here is two-fold. First, to find a solution that maintains high enough fees to discourage scofflaws because parking turnover is important to both consumers and businesses — $23 simply doesn’t meet that requirement. Second, to minimize the frustration of excessive fines resulting from the rare, honest mistake, and to reduce the confusion that leads to those mistakes. If you get three parking tickets a month, it’s you that needs to re-evaluate, not the city. Parking tickets have a place in a congested, highly urbanized city, but they must be perceived as fair if they’re to survive. Here are my recommendations:

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Great American Infrastructure: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Great American Infrastructure: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

What: The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the busiest airport in the world

Where: Ten miles south of Downtown Atlanta

When: ATL first opened its gates in 1925, after leasing property from an abandoned auto racetrack. The first international flight out of Atlanta took place in 1956, and flew to Montreal, Canada.

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Reduce Speculation and Limit Gentrification: Penalize Absentee/Pied-à-Terre Owners

Friday, June 20th, 2014

While cities like Chicago, Austin, and Seattle can typically stave off drastic price increases by just building enough housing to meet demand, that’s not always possible for world cities because demand isn’t just local, or even national — it’s global, and in an era of growing inequality the demand for luxury investment properties and pieds-à-terre is vast. That demand is an obstacle to providing an adequate supply of affordable, middle-class housing, but it needn’t be. If harnessed appropriately, it could even be a strength.

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Who Owns Your City?

Monday, June 16th, 2014
Houston, TX: Why Don

WhyDontWeOwnThis.com is an interactive map that shows you who owns the buildings in American cities. You won’t find small-town America’s ownership details online yet, but major cities from Los Angeles to Baltimore are represented, and more are on their way. Take a look at the map; you might be surprised to find out who really owns your city.

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Interactive Map: Roadwork in Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
massDOT Roadwork map

A new interactive map from massDOT pinpoints traffic incidents and scheduled road work throughout the state of Massachusetts. In addition to its useful information, another fascinating aspect of the roadwork map is the sheer volume of projects it shows taking place simultaneously. With everything from bridge inspection to highway paving on the daily docket, it’s clear why road maintenance is more than a full-time job.

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States’ Fiscal Initiatives Offer a Solution to the Impending Trust Fund Shortfall

Friday, June 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 8

While transportation stakeholders and the Washington press corps are agonizing about the impending Highway Trust Fund shortfall and its impact on the federal transportation program, they are ignoring developments outside the Beltway that go a long way toward mitigating the prospective funding shortage. For in fact, individual states, far from standing idly by, are responding to the fiscal uncertainties in Washington by stepping up and augmenting their transportation budgets.

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