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Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category

Guest on The Infra Blog: Paul Yarossi, Executive Vice President, HNTB

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Paul Yarossi, Executive Vice President, HNTB

Paul Yarossi is Executive Vice President of HNTB and President of HNTB Holdings, Ltd. As president of HNTB Holdings Ltd, Paul Yarossi serves on the company’s board of directors and is responsible for overseeing and directing the firm’s governance, capitalization strategy, compliance and audit functions, as well as its external and government relations. He also participates in a number of high-level roles on behalf of the industry, which gives him a broad perspective on current issues and trends. He previously served as chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the U.S. transportation construction industry’s representative in Washington, D.C. ARTBA is bringing recommendations forward regarding the next federal highway funding bill. Yarossi has presented testimony to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

“…We continue to look at infrastructure rehabilitation and expansion as a cost rather than an investment…I think we need to change how we talk about infrastructure and start telling people less about what they won’t have and more about what they’ll get in return for their money.”

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Infrastructure Planning And Investment: A Widening Gap

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
HUDSON VALLEY INFRASTRUCTURE: REDUCED PUBLIC INVESTMENT

HUDSON VALLEY PATTERN FOR PROGRESS
In the past few months, the tragic gas explosion in Harlem and Vice President Biden’s description of LaGuardia Airport as a “third world airport” made national news. In the Hudson Valley, the massive rebuilding of the Tappan Zee Bridge and a proposed $153 million private desalination plant have made headlines. The common topic: Infrastructure. Today, the world demands solid and dependable underpinnings to the activities of daily life. Infrastructure means livelihoods—think of the 14.2 million workers employed nationally in the sector (Brookings, 2014). It means survival, especially in terms of critical resources such as water and roads. And it means a set of unprecedented challenges, at all levels.

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Ten Years and $400 Billion in Federal Highway Spending Later, Are We Any Better Off?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The federal government has spent $365 billion out of the Highway Trust Fund’s highway account since 2005, pouring money into new roads, capacity improvements, and system preservation. At the same time, fewer people are driving, and those that are are doing it less: total annual vehicle-miles traveled haven’t budged for almost a decade even as we’ve added 20 million new residents, and per-capita VMT has fallen significantly. The number of cars on the road has remained essentially unchanged, cars per 1,000 residents peaked in 2007, and young people are doing just fine without a driver’s license, thank you.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director, Congressional & Public Affairs, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
Janet Kavinoky, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Janet F. Kavinoky is a nationally recognized expert in transportation policy, funding, and finance. As executive director in the Chamber’s Congressional and Public Affairs Division, Kavinoky leads all transportation strategy, policy, and lobbying efforts. She has expertise in developing consensus policy positions among diverse stakeholders and lobbying Congress and executive branch agencies on a wide range of legislative and regulatory matters relating to surface, air, and water transportation.

“We need to look at infrastructure going forward, in the same way, I think, that an entrepreneur does when they’re pitching a business plan to an investor. An entrepreneur helps the investor visualize what’s going to happen, lays out a strategy, and inspires confidence to execute on that strategy. “

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program

Monday, May 12th, 2014
Robert Puentes, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Robert Puentes is a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program where he also directs the program’s Metropolitan Infrastructure Initiative. The Initiative was established to address the pressing transportation and infrastructure challenges facing cities and suburbs in the United States and abroad.

“There’s no doubt that the paralysis in Washington is real and pervasive. I think we overemphasize, though, the federal role in a lot of this…I think, in fact, the federal paralysis is making states, cities, metropolitan areas experiment with a whole host of different things in order to get projects done.”

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The End of the Road? The Looming Fiscal Disaster for Transportation

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Table 1: Federal dollars as a percentage of state (capital) transportation budgets (2001-2012)

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Unless Congress adds new revenue to the trust fund, the federal government will be unable to commit to funding new projects, depriving states and localities of resources critical to maintaining and improving the infrastructure that makes our economy possible. At the same time, Congress has an opportunity to reform and reinvigorate one of our most important infrastructure programs in order to boost today’s economy and ensure future prosperity. The federal law that sets national transportation policy and investment levels — known as MAP-21 — expires on October 1, 2014. As Congress reconsiders this vital program, business and elected leaders across the country are calling on their representatives not only to save the transportation trust fund, but also to refocus federal transportation policy on locally-driven, innovative transportation solutions.

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The GROW AMERICA Act: Response from the Infra Community

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
The Grow America Act: Response from the Infra Community

On Friday, May 2, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation released the GROW AMERICA Act, a $300-billion transportation bill aiming to provide comprehensive solutions to our nation’s transportation woes. According to the GROW AMERICA fact sheet. Despite the bill’s cumbersome acronym (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America) the bill promises to resolve a slew of nagging transportation problems, from environmental impact to financing.

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Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2014 Benchmarking Report

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014
Overview of U.S. Mode Share

ALLIANCE FOR BIKING & WALKING
For government officials and advocates who promote bicycling and walking in the U.S., it is clear that active transportation is gaining momentum. Protected bicycle lanes are popping up on more city streets, Open Streets initiatives are being organized in communities of all sizes, public bicycle sharing programs are finding success even in sprawling car-centric cities, and business owners are scrambling to install bicycle parking near their front door. In order to meet the growing desire for more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly communities, policy makers and advocates need a comprehensive analysis of current trends and trials. The Alliance for Biking & Walking’s Benchmarking Project strives to meet this need by tracking and measuring these efforts across the country.

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King County, WA: Too Many Cats, Not Enough Buses

Friday, April 11th, 2014
King County, WA: Too Many Cats, Not Enough Buses

Proposition 1 in King County, Washington State, will provide funding for Transit and Roads. If it does not pass on April 22 there will be a 17% cut in bus services across the county.
Look for your ballot in the mail. Vote Yes!!!

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Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments

Friday, April 11th, 2014
Exhibit 1. The BLVD in Lancaster, California. Streetscape renovations and other improvements helped to revitalize the downtown area, which improved its ability to generate revenue and increased property values downtown by nearly 10 percent, nearly three times the increase in any other area of the city.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
Local governments provide a wide variety of facilities and services. As budgets tighten, city leaders often struggle with how to reduce the costs of needed facilities and services and/or increase revenues without overburdening residents. At the same time that many jurisdictions grapple with rising costs for services, however, they also face stagnant or even declining revenues due to struggling local economies and/or shrinking state and federal funds.

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