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Archive for the ‘Guest Post’ Category

Green Highway Snow and Ice Control Cuts the Chemicals

Monday, November 24th, 2014
Xianming Shi with the industrial size mixer he uses to concoct green deicers and ice-free pavement. (Photo by Rebecca Phillips, University Communications)

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications, Washington State UniversityPULLMAN, Wash. – Ice-free pavement. “Smart snowplows.” Vegetable juice ice-melt. Cold-climate researchers at Washington State University are clearing the road with green alternatives to the salt, sand and chemicals typically used for highway snow and ice control.As a nation, “we are kind of salt addicted, like with petroleum, […]

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Transportation Policy and Funding in the Post-Election Climate

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 15
The mid-term elections have put an end to any lingering hope of passing a long-term transportation bill during the congressional lame duck session. Such hope was recently expressed by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and two Democratic senators, Tom Carper (D-DE) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee…But with the November elections heralding a fiscally more conservative political climate and with Congress preoccupied with a whole lot of unfinished business, passing a massive multi-year multi-billion funding bill for transportation during the lame duck session will be the last thing on the lawmakers’ minds.

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How to Be Prepared For the Inevitable Takeover of Autonomous Vehicles: A Letter to Jeff Brandes

Friday, November 7th, 2014
"I sure hope no one else gets in here." Photo from Car and Driver.

In Florida, Republican state senator Jeff Brandes is making the case that Pinellas County – home of the last metro area in the U.S. to develop a regional transit network – shouldn’t invest in light rail because autonomous vehicles will make mass transit pointless…In that spirit, I’ve put together a list of recommendations that Mr. Brandes can use in developing policy to prepare for this brave new world of robotic transportation. It’s one thing not to waste money on a boondoggle technology like light rail that’s faithfully served people for barely even 100 years –if we’re serious about autonomous vehicles and their guaranteed ability to solve all of our problems, we need to be more proactive.

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Introduction to Solar Roadways

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Introduction to Solar Roadways

If you have seen this viral video, you will know that Julie and Scott Brusaw have grabbed the imagination of several million people, with an invention that could benefit the lives of hundreds of times that number…When I saw it, several questions occurred to me about things such as cost, practicality, durability, traction and (a bit later) the effect of dirt covering, power generation/distribution, and several more…Here’s a small selection of questions from a large number that have already been answered (and whose answers are kept current as the project evolves)

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National ‘Bicyclist Safety’ report gets actual safety trends backwards

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
bikereport1

By Michael Andersen, News Editor, BikePortland.org

A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association Monday is a perfect example of what can go wrong when safety experts get stuck behind their own windshields. The GHSA, an umbrella organization for state departments of transportation whose claims to fame include popularizing the phrase “aggressive pedestrians,” is surely staffed by smart people who are working hard to reduce injuries and deaths. But the problems in this report start right at the top.

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Highway Boondoggles + The Illiana Expressway

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
Photo by Brad/Flickr Creative Commons License

(This post also appears in Going Places, a policy blog by CNT’s Jacky Grimshaw)I recently read the U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s excellent new report, Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future. I couldn’t help thinking about the decision(s) looming in CNT’s backyard about the proposed Illiana Expressway.Highway Boondoggles focuses on the national and local mismanagement […]

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Will There Be a “Tipping Point” for High-Speed Rail in the U.S.?

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 13
Count me among the skeptics…Former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood liked to justify a national HSR program by drawing a parallel with the commitment to build the Interstate Highway system. But the analogy is misleading. What made the Interstate highway program politically feasible and financially sound was the concept of a user fee collected from millions of highway users and dedicated exclusively to the program. A national rail program could not hope to have this kind of revenue stream. Instead, it would need to depend on massive federal subsidies for years to come.

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Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Solar-Paneled Roadways: Future Infrastructure

We’re all aware that America’s infrastructure is in trouble and needs some serious restoration work done ASAP…I don’t need to convince you that we have an urgent problem…Instead, I am here to spark a conversation about a potential solution to two of the problems. In my opinion it’s a pretty sweet deal as it is one solution that fixes two issues. I don’t know about you, but when I’m shopping around I’m a sucker for two for one deals so this tickles my fancy nicely. The problems are our aging roadways and power grid. The solution, potentially, is solar freakin’ roadways.

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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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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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