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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Infrastructure & the 2015 State of the Union Address

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015
Infrastructure & the 2015 State of the Union Address

The message was clear in President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Address: we need to put aside our differences and work together to build a comprehensive, long-term plan that will create jobs and restore our ailing infrastructure systems.

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Healthy Infrastructure – A Matter of Life and Death

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015
broadband

This month an opinion piece came out on the Forbes website proposing that telemedicine’s day has come. The piece, written by venture capitalist Skip Fleshman, basically predicts that 2015 will be the year that remote interactions between medical professionals and patients become not just possible, but practical. “I spend a lot of time crisscrossing the country chatting with leading healthcare providers and insurers about their technology needs,” he writes. “By far the area they are most interested in is telemedicine.”…The people who stand the most to gain from Telemedicine are, unfortunately, the ones least likely to have the infrastructure needed for it. The CDC issued a report two years ago highlighting the various disparities in healthcare access by population groups in the U.S. In no surprise the report revealed that when viewed as groups, a number of factors reduced the availability of healthcare access.

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The Innovative DOT: Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Innovative DOT: Area 2 - Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Scarce transportation dollars need to be spent where they do the most good. But making changes to long-standing practices, some of which are ensconced in law, can be difficult and present a hurdle to state departments of transportation (DOTs) looking to get the best bang for their buck. Pressing forward with revenue allocation and project selection reform represents a major way in which DOTs can deliver projects with greater impact more quickly. Many agencies are now reforming project selection and formula funding processes for sub-state units of government, often tying proposed spending to state, departmental, and/or local goals and objectives.

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Federal Highway Administration: Making Walking & Biking Safer

Friday, January 16th, 2015
Federal Highway Administration: Making Walking & Biking Safer

See how FHWA and its partners collaborate to make biking and walking safer, affordable, more accessible, and an integral part of livable communities. To learn more about how FHWA works, visit http://www.fhwa.dot.gov

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The Gas Tax and Some Fresh Thoughts on How to Pay For Transportation

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 26, No. 1
With gasoline prices at a five year low, isn’t this the perfect time to raise the federal gas tax? A growing chorus of voices including several infuential Republican Senators — John Thune (R-SD), Bob Corker (R-TN) Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—seem to think so. So does the Washington Post and the New York Times. “Now is the best time Washington has seen in years to raise the federal gas tax,” a Post editorial said. “A modest increase in the gas tax would hardly be noticeable to most Americans,” echoed the New York Times…President Obama isn’t so sure.

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Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
epa1

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) General Information The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) has finalized the science report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.The purpose of this report is to summarize the current scientific understanding about the connectivity and […]

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The Innovative DOT: Focus Area 1 – Revenue Sources

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
NRDC - The Innovative DOT - Focus Area 1

The era when fuel taxes alone could cover robust highway construction and maintenance programs is over. Even then, non-highway modes often struggled for support. Funding transportation out of general revenue is problematic, both be-cause it is subject to changing budget priorities and because it underprices transportation, creating excess demand. State departments of transportation (DOTs) need new sources of dedicated revenues, preferably tied to user fees in cases where excess demand—which is both economically and environmentally costly—can be curtailed through the market-style discipline that such fees impose. User fees may also appeal to stakeholders’ sense of fairness, making them more politically palatable than “subsidies” from general tax revenues.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Therese McMillan, Acting Administrator, Federal Transit Authority

Therese McMillan is currently the Acting Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). She joined FTA as Deputy Administrator on July 2, 2009. As Deputy, McMillan assisted the Administrator in leading a staff of more than 500 in the Washington D.C. headquarters office and 10 regional offices throughout the United States, and implementing an annual budget approximating $10 billion.

“The economic impact of transit investments has different faces…First, it should be recognized that any time you are building and repairing transit services, that in and of itself is creating jobs in the near term. Another thing, though, that’s important to think about in terms of economic impact, is the ability of transit to connect people to their jobs, and often to connect them in a more efficient and effective way than being caught in traffic and congestion.”

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Transportation for Older Adults

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
Table 1: Older Americans Act Title III Part B Transportation Spending and Rides 2010 through 2012 (Spending and Rides in Millions)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
State and local transportation agencies and aging organizations in the four states GAO visited used a variety of mechanisms to coordinate transportation services for older adults. For example, many state and local activities are currently focused on mobility management approaches—such as travel training programs—to help older adults identify and access the various transportation resources available. Some organizations GAO interviewed have also implemented more extensive approaches to coordination that are intended to help older adults access transportation services, such as offering a wide range of volunteer transportation.

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Paying to Maintain Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities

Friday, December 26th, 2014
Paying to Maintain Bicycle & Pedestrian Facilities

Webinar from Advocacy Advance, a partnership between the League of American Bicyclists and the Alliance for Biking & Walking, presents options for communities to pay for maintenance of trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks.

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