Support for InfrastructureUSA.org
has been provided by these organizations and individuals:

John Hennessy III,
P.E.

Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

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.

View this complete post...

The Societal Costs and Benefits of Commuter Bicycling

Monday, August 11th, 2014

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCES
Car use is the dominant mode of transport to work in many high-income cities. In car-oriented cities, commuting by private motor vehicle allows access to employment and training (crucial social determinants of health) while enabling households to manage competing responsibilities. However, car-dependent commuting has significant negative public health effects for commuters, the wider community, and local and global ecosystems. A mode shift to greater use of active transport would bring environmental, health, social, and equity benefits (de Nazelle et al. 2011; Hosking et al. 2011).

View this complete post...

The Changing Nature of State-Federal Relations in Transportation

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 11
With the Republicans likely to control the Senate next year and the presidential elections casting a shadow over any new proposal to raise taxes, there will be a huge temptation for Congress to kick the can down the road once again — beyond the presidential election and into the next Congress. Remember, it took three years and eight short-term extensions to pass the last reauthorization, MAP-21!

Fortunately, many individual states are trying to compensate for the lack of congressional action on long term funding by raising additional revenue of their own. Our survey has identified more than 30 states that have launched transportation-related fiscal initiatives in the past two years.

View this complete post...

NYC: Six Months of Vision Zero Traffic Enforcement

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Image 1: Map of the most improved and least improved precincts in each Borough Command for speeding summonses, January to June 2013 versus 2014.

TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES
Despite two decades of steady declines,traffic fatalities remain an epidemic in New York City. More people are killed in traffic than are murdered by guns;traffic crashes are the foremost cause of preventable death for New York City children and, after falls,the primary cause of injury-related death for older New Yorkers.

In February 2014, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a Vision Zero initiative –with the goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and serious injuries in New York City by 2024 –which the New York Police Department embraced wholeheartedly, instructing all precinct commanders to increase enforcement of the most dangerous traffic violations.Increased enforcement remains a central element to achieving Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal.

View this complete post...

Making the Grade – Civil Infrastructure Industry Leaders Weigh In on Plan to Fix America’s Failing Infrastructure

Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Extreme Makeover: Infrastructure Edition

On June 27th in Washington D.C., a new report was released that outlines innovative new ways that the federal government, industry and other stakeholders can work together to solve the crisis of the failing state of U.S. infrastructure. Entitled “Making The Grade,” the six point plan is the result of experts from 45 different organizations, including corporations, professional organizations, think tanks, financial advisors and academic institutions.

The report’s name is intended as a rallying cry in response to last year’s quadrennial report card by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which gave America’s overall infrastructure a D+ grade. Several of the report’s contributors continued the rallying cry in a #FlashBlog event last week. Following is a summary:

View this complete post...

Guest on The Infra Blog: Frank Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Frank Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

Frank Moretti is the director of policy and research for TRIP – a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that prepares reports on a variety of transportation issues, including traffic congestion, traffic safety, road and bridge conditions, transportation planning and air quality.

“The nation is increasingly reliant on its rural economy…and as that dynamic is changing we wanted to take a look at the nation’s transportation system and see if we have in place a rural transportation system that can support not only the rural economy, but the nation’s economy moving forward.”

View this complete post...

12 U.S. DOT Secretaries Speak, But Won’t Agree on a “Fix”

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 10
The 12 bipartisan secretaries allude in their letter to their combined experience stretching back over 35 years. Indeed, they arguably have more institutional knowledge, experience and expertise in transportation funding than the whole current Congress combined. Their coming together at this moment also bespeaks to their above-the-fray non-partisanship and general collegiality…So the obvious question for them is: Why can’t they, or why won’t they, make a single substantive consensus recommendation on exactly how transportation funding should be increased?

View this complete post...

Open Letter from Secretary Foxx and 11 Former DOT Secretaries Urging Congress to Address Long-Term Transportation Needs

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

As Congress considers legislation to avoid a shortfall of the Highway Trust Fund, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and 11 of his predecessors offered the following open letter to Congress. In addition to Secretary Foxx, Secretaries Ray LaHood, Mary Peters, Norman Mineta, Rodney Slater, Federico Peña, Samuel Skinner, Andrew Card, James Burnley, Elizabeth Dole, William Coleman and Alan Boyd all signed the letter. Their message: Congress’ work doesn’t end with the bill under consideration. Transportation in America still needs a much larger, longer-term investment.

View this complete post...

White House White Board: Vice President Biden on Rebuild America

Thursday, July 24th, 2014
White House White Board: Vice President Biden on Rebuild America

In this installment of the White House White Board series, Vice President Biden takes the pen and discusses the importance of transportation infrastructure investment in America. Learn more at http://www.whitehouse.gov/rebuild-america

View this complete post...

Making the Grade: The Six-Point Plan to Bring Our Infra Back

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014
Making the Grade

America, a nation that was once the world’s model for public infrastructure development, has declined to near-failure. Our neglect has already led to thousands of crumbling roads, decaying bridges and drought-stricken regions. A concrete plan to get us back on track just couldn’t come soon enough. That’s exactly what Autodesk’s new report, Making the Grade, intends to do. The report represents the consensus of experts from over 45 public and private companies who participated in a roundtable discussion convened by the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Making the Grade offers a strong case for increased awareness, prioritization, and investment across the country.

View this complete post...

Receive Infra Update, our email newsletter.

Follow InfraUSA on Twitter Facebook YouTube Flickr
Show us your infra! Show us your infra!

Video, stills and tales. Share images of the Infra in your community that demands attention. Post your ideas about national Infra issues. Go ahead. Show Us Your Infra!  Upload and instantly share your message.

Polls Polls

Is the administration moving fast enough on Infra issues? Are Americans prepared to pay more taxes for repairs? Should job creation be the guiding determination? Vote now!

Views

What do the experts think? This is where the nation's public policy organizations, trade associations and think tanks weigh in with analysis on Infra issues. Tell them what you think.  Ask questions.  Share a different view.

Blog

The Infra Blog offers cutting edge perspective on a broad spectrum of Infra topics. Frequent updates and provocative posts highlight hot button topics -- essential ingredients of a national Infra dialogue.