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Archive for the ‘Guests on The Infra Blog’ Category

Conversations with infrastructure experts and stakeholders from around the U.S.

Guest on The Infra Blog: Martha Roskowski, Vice President of Local Innovation, PeopleForBikes

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
Martha Roskowski, PeopleForBikes

Martha Roskowski directs PeopleForBikes’ Green Lane Project, jumpstarting protected bike lanes and low-cost street retrofits in U.S. cities. Martha enjoys being part of the PeopleForBikes team and the way protected bike lanes turn a busy street into a comfortable and inviting place to ride.

“…What’s happening is there’s this realization that if you provide people with safe and comfortable places to ride by creating protected bike lanes on big, busy streets, by connecting them to completely separated pathways and side streets where the volume and speed of traffic is low, that people will ride. So they’re not crazy to not be out there on the streets today. The good news is that there’s rapid progress. In transportation terms there’s pretty rapid progress toward retrofitting streets to provide those spaces where people feel safe, and they are safe.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congressman Earl Blumenauer, U.S. Representative for Oregon’s 3rd District

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016
Congressman Earl Blumenauer on The Infra Blog

A lifelong resident of Portland, Oregon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-3) has devoted his entire career to public service. Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996, Mr. Blumenauer has created a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure.

“It’s not particularly headline grabbing unless there’s a system failure, but it is past time that we force this issue in every community. There is no substitute for engaging people in a very specific analysis of what happens in their own backyard and what the benefits are for getting this right.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Howard Jennings, Managing Director, Mobility Lab

Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Guest on The Infra Blog: Howard Jennings, Managing Director, Mobility Lab

Howard Jennings is Managing Director of Mobility Lab, a source of research and best practices for advocates to increase awareness and education about more and advanced transportation options for people.
“The basic infrastructure is something that people find pretty easy to take for granted, and it creeps up on them and they don’t realize that it’s getting worse and worse and worse. And so we at Mobility Lab are trying to put the emphasis back on helping people recognize that their quality of life is eroding and their ability to spend time with their family, the stress of their day-to-day lives and all these things are a result of our collective failure to invest in infrastructure…”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Janette Sadik-Khan, Author, Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Janette Sadik-Khan - Photo by Olugbenro Photgraphy

Janette Sadik-Khan recently published Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, an empowering road map for rethinking, reinvigorating, and redesigning our cities, from a pioneer in the movement for safer, more livable streets.

“What we’ve seen is that people really want to be in places, whether they’re young or old, that are safe, that are fun, where the quality of life is good and they’ve got lots of ways to get around that don’t involve driving…I think that what we need to do is also update our cities and update our streets to reflect the way that people want to use them.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Senior Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee

Thursday, May 12th, 2016
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is one of four Congressional Co-chairs who will participate in Infrastructure Week’s Advocacy Day on May 18th, including an open press briefing to raise awareness about the critical infrastructure needs in this country.

“The only way you can serve, I think, in Congress is to be an optimist, because there are days here that you could get discouraged. But we recognize that we have the strongest country in the world. We have the strongest country for many reasons. It’s the innovation of Americans; it’s our commitment towards each other; it’s for good governance; it’s the strength of America’s presence globally, but we know that we need to first take care of our concerns at home and that means let’s make sure that Americans have every opportunity that this great country offers.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Bill Peduto

William Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013. He has worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council, as a staffer and Member of Council representing District 8, and resides in the Point Breeze neighborhood of the city.

“So there’s always been a partnership between the ability to create and innovate and the ability to build—that’s in our DNA. We went through a thirty-year recession/depression, and now we have re-emerged where we were before, which is with a new 21st-century model. When we look at our infrastructure, we have the opportunity to be innovative once again.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Henry Petroski, Historian & Author of The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Henry Petroski Professor of Civil Engineering in Pratt School of Engineering

Henry Petroski is an Aleksandar C. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University, as well as an author and historian. His most recent book is titled The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure.

Roads that aren’t paved correctly should not be paid for. They should be redone. If we have something, work done in our house and it’s not done right, we expect the contractor to redo it. We don’t just write another check. I believe unfortunately that too many times the government that represents the people and spends the people’s tax money does do just that.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Rachel Gutter, Director, Center for Green Schools

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
Rachel Gutter, Director, Center for Green Schools

Rachel Gutter is Senior Vice President of Knowledge at the U.S. Green Building Council and Director of the Center for Green Schools.

“It’s been 20 years since the federal government published a comprehensive inventory of K-12 public school facilities, and at the time…more than 15,000 schools in the United States had air that was actually unfit to breathe. And then they dropped it for the last 20 years…because of our limited insight into the conditions of the school facilities, we have no sense of just how pervasive the problem is. But just like we know that lurking across these hundred thousand K-12 public schools there are thousands of schools that still have air that’s unfit to breathe, we know that there are likely thousands of schools that have water that’s unfit for drinking. And that’s not acceptable.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Keith Roe, Incoming President, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
Keith Roe, ASME

K. Keith Roe, PE, has been selected as the president-nominee of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for the 2016-2017 term of office. Roe, a fellow of ASME, has been an active member of the Society for more than 40 years.

I think one of the biggest challenges in this area is getting people to understand what the issues are…It’s an important thing and it really is so important to our economy. We need to do a better job, all of us, at getting the message across. People need to understand that those roads, those bridges, the highways, the electrical infrastructure, the oil and gas infrastructure, our ports and harbors, these are all vital to our world commerce.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Dennis Slater, President and Secretary, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

Thursday, March 10th, 2016
Dennis Slater, President and Secretary, AEM

Dennis Slater is President and Secretary of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). He oversees operation of all Association programs, which focus on core service areas of market information and equipment statistics, public policy representation, product safety and technical support, and trade shows.

“…Equipment manufacturers build the machines that make America. They build the machines that harvest crops and feed America and feed the world. Originally this was something that we just explained to our members, and we decided it’s not good enough. You have to also ask your members, you have to explain to their employees so they get involved in this and understand that their jobs depend on policies that support their jobs…This year, especially, we’ve gone out there now to the candidates that are running to say “what’s your manufacturing platform? What are your solutions for infrastructure?”’

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