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Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Making the Grade: A National Six-Point Plan to Regain America’s Infrastructure Leadership

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
SPECIFIC ECONOMIC IMPACTS BY 2020

AUTODESK
Making The Grade represents the consensus of many who attended the meeting “Executing a Sustainable Infrastructure Vision” convened by the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) initially in 2012. The Making the Grade roundtable that followed in 2013 was comprised of experts from 45 companies representing the scope of the U.S. infrastructure industry—planning, engineering, construction, and technology—and their counterparts from local governments, professional organizations, think tanks, financial advisors, academic institutions, and others. Participants agreed to an ambitious goal: describe a new vision and path forward for regaining and sustaining America’s public infrastructure leadership.

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Effects of Natural Gas Vehicles and Fuel Prices on Key Transportation Economic Metrics

Monday, July 7th, 2014
Figure 1: World, OECD, and U.S. Oil Demand (U.S. EIA, 2012)

WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
This report responds to an inquiry by the State of Washington about the viability of natural gas as an alternative source of energy for transportation. The report is organized around responses to several key research tasks. These tasks are to: 1) Document the increase in supply of natural gas, estimate future price, and availability; 2) Assess the extent to which natural gas is likely to substitute for petroleum; 3) Estimate the extent to which price and performance effects will influence VMT trends in Washington State; 4) Estimate changes in GHG emissions in Washington State attributable to increased use of natural gas; 5) Estimate potential loss of fuel tax revenue attributable to substitution of natural gas for petroleum fuels.

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Lessons from the Green Lanes: Evaluating Protected Bike Lanes in the U.S.

Friday, July 4th, 2014
Figure ES-2. Protected Bike Lanes included in the research

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNITIES
As cities move to increase levels of bicycling for transportation, many practitioners and advocates have promoted the use of protected bike lanes (also known as “cycle tracks” or “protected bikeways”) as an important component in providing high-quality urban infrastructure for cyclists. These on-street lanes provide more space and physical separation between the bike lane and motor vehicle lane compared with traditional striped bike lanes. However, few U.S. cities have direct experiences with their design and operations, in part because of the limited design guidance provided in the past.

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Features of a Fully Renewable US Electricity System: Wind and Solar PV

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Figures 1 and 2

STANFORD UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
CO2 and air pollution emission reduction goals as well as energy security, price stability, and affordability considerations make renewable electricity generation attractive. A highly renewable electricity supply will be based to a large extent on wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) power, since these two resources are both abundant and either relatively inexpensive or rapidly becoming cost competitive. Such a system demands a fundamentally different design approach: While electricity generation was traditionally constructed to be dispatchable in order to follow the demand, wind and solar PV power output is largely determined by weather conditions that are out of human control.

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The Highway Trust Fund and Surface Transportation Programs in the Federal Budget

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014
Figure 1: Receipts, Outlays, and Balance or Shortfall for the Highway Trust Fund Under CBO’s April 2014 Baseline

CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE
The federal government spends more than $50 billion per year on surface transportation programs, mostly in the form of grants to state and local governments. Much of this spending is for highways and mass transit programs financed through the Highway Trust Fund. Those programs have an unusual treatment in the federal budget, and the way they are classified in the budget facilitates the spending of more money from the trust fund than there are dedicated revenues to support such spending. Those revenues come from excise taxes on the sale of motor fuels, trucks and trailers, and truck tires, and from taxes on the use of certain kinds of vehicles.

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Infrastructure Spending in the US: Outlook to 2025

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Figure 1: Infrastructure spending in a national context, Figure 2: Infrastructure spending by broad sector, Figure 3 and Figure 4

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
By 2025, annual investment in infrastructure across our sectors in the US should top $1trn, having grown by an average of just over 3.5% a year. But the US will likely have been long since left behind by China, where we expect annual spending will reach over three times this level. We estimate that the US’s share of global spending will likely decline gradually over the coming decade to just over a tenth of total global spending by 2025.

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The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
Figure ES.1. Hybrid Sankey diagram of 2011 U.S. interconnected water and energy flows.

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
Present day water and energy systems are tightly intertwined. Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation. Energy is required to extract, convey, and deliver water of appropriate quality for diverse human uses, and then again to treat wastewaters prior to their return to the environment. Historically, interactions between energy and water have been considered on a regional or technology-by-technology basis. At the national and international levels, energy and water systems have been developed, managed, and regulated independently.

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Foot Traffic Ahead: Ranking Walkable Urbanism in America’s Largest Metros

Friday, June 20th, 2014
U.S. Metropolitan Land Use Options

SMART GROWTH AMERICA

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Applying GPS Data To Understand Travel Behavior

Thursday, June 19th, 2014
Figure 1-1. Example of GPS data collected during 2011 California HTS pilot study.

NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM
Given the need for more data to support a wide range of transportation planning and modeling activities, combined with ongoing budgetary constraints, the time has come to clearly and objectively evaluate the multiple sources of GPS data that could be leveraged and used for transportation planning beyond the traditional application area of travel time and speed studies.

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Modes Less Traveled—Bicycling and Walking to Work in the United States

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
Figure 2. How People Commute to Work: 2008–2012 (In percent. Data based on sample. For information on confidentiality protection, sampling error, nonsampling error, and definitions, see www.census.gov/acs/www/)

UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU
Bicycling and walking make up a relatively small portion of commuting activity in the United States, but these nonmotorized travel modes play important roles within many of the nation’s local transportation systems. Infrastructure that supports bicycling and walking expands transportation options and may complement other forms of transportation by supplementing segments of trips. Several state and local agencies have taken steps to promote pedestrian and bicycle travel.

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