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The Infra Blog

Guest on The Infra Blog: Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Bud Wright, Executive Director, AASHTO

Frederick G. “Bud” Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.

“I think the most important thing for us right now is to preserve the investment that we have already made…You build a home and you don’t just walk away from it for the next hundred years. You’re going to have to make investments to not only maintain it, but to upgrade it.”

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Nurse Lan, on time every time, thanks to transit

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Waiting briefly at Takoma Station for the Metrobus 63.

Lan is a nurse –a patient care manager in the Oncology Ward of MedStar Washington Hospital Center here in the nation’s capital. Lan and the nurses she helps oversee provide care for patients battling cancer. And her reliance on public transit to get to this important job makes it clear: When we or our loved ones depend on dedicated caregivers like Lan Phan, we also depend on a safe, efficient transportation network to get them to work so they can deliver that care.

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No, Americans Are (Still) Not Driving More

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Written by Shane Phillips
The U.S. Department of Transportation is reporting that driving is at a six-year high, but beware the hype. As James Brasuell at Planetizen notes, these numbers are not adjusted for population and thus don’t account for the growing number of residents living in the country. As always, the better question to ask is how much the average American is driving, and the answer to that is the same as it’s been for years: less and less.

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Vote for Your Favorite Transportation Photo

Friday, August 29th, 2014
AASHTO Faces of Transportation Photo Contest

AASHTO’S Faces of Transportation photo/video contest is closed to submissions this year, but you can still participate in history by voting for your favorite entry. Whichever photo gets the most votes will win of the “People’s Choice Award,” and the photographer will receive a $500 prize.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jenny Hoffner, Senior Director and Co-Lead, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Jenny Hoffner, American Rivers

Jenny Hoffner is Senior Director and Co-Lead of American Rivers’ Clean Water Supply program leading a national program to advance climate resilient, predictable, reliable clean water supply policies for communities and their rivers.

“Water is life. We take it for granted in our country but it’s absolutely essential that we pay attention to this most precious and finite of resources…And we have increased demands across the board on our finite water supplies.”

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The High-Speed Rail Debate Revisited

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 12
Two recent columns in the New York Times (both reprinted below) have revived the semi-dormant debate about the future of high-speed rail in America. The first column, by New York Times correspondent Ron Nixon, casts a skeptical eye on the Administration’s high-speed rail program and concludes that “despite the administration spending nearly $11 billion since 2009….the projects have gone mostly nowhere…”

The second column, closely following the first, is an opinion piece by the Times’ editorial board. The editors may have felt obliged to respond to the highly critical assessment of the White House initiative by one of their own reporters.

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San Francisco Bay: Interactive Map Makes Bike Share Easy

Friday, August 15th, 2014
San Francisco Bay: Interactive Map Makes Bike Share Easy

For travelers, visitors, or even die-hard fans who want to make the most of their San Francisco Bay area bike share experience, the BABS (Bay Area Bike Share) map is the ticket…Industry stakeholders and planners can also make use of BABS data to predict demand and model bike-share user behavior, hopefully resulting in a smoother, more efficient–and more profitable–experience for everyone.

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The Changing Nature of State-Federal Relations in Transportation

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 11
With the Republicans likely to control the Senate next year and the presidential elections casting a shadow over any new proposal to raise taxes, there will be a huge temptation for Congress to kick the can down the road once again — beyond the presidential election and into the next Congress. Remember, it took three years and eight short-term extensions to pass the last reauthorization, MAP-21!

Fortunately, many individual states are trying to compensate for the lack of congressional action on long term funding by raising additional revenue of their own. Our survey has identified more than 30 states that have launched transportation-related fiscal initiatives in the past two years.

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Making the Grade – Civil Infrastructure Industry Leaders Weigh In on Plan to Fix America’s Failing Infrastructure

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Extreme Makeover: Infrastructure Edition

On June 27th in Washington D.C., a new report was released that outlines innovative new ways that the federal government, industry and other stakeholders can work together to solve the crisis of the failing state of U.S. infrastructure. Entitled “Making The Grade,” the six point plan is the result of experts from 45 different organizations, including corporations, professional organizations, think tanks, financial advisors and academic institutions.

The report’s name is intended as a rallying cry in response to last year’s quadrennial report card by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which gave America’s overall infrastructure a D+ grade. Several of the report’s contributors continued the rallying cry in a #FlashBlog event last week. Following is a summary:

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