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Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Transportation Secretary Foxx on the $300-Billion Transportation Proposal

Sunday, March 9th, 2014
Transportation Secretary Foxx on the $300-Billion Transportation Proposal

In this, his first speech since appearing with President Obama Feb. 26, to announce the Administration’s four-year, $302 billion transportation proposal, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx today, addressed several hundred attendees at the 2014 American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Washington Briefing on Capitol Hill. The Secretary covered a number of critical issues including […]

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This Infra Week

Friday, March 7th, 2014

INFRA STORIES YOU SHOULDN’T MISS!
If A Bridge Falls In America…
Think You Could Design a Better Subway System?
Portland Bike Share Faces Delays
And More…

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As Congress Struggles for Ways to Fund the Next Transportation Reauthorization, States Are Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 4 rev
For the transportation community, anxious about the uncertain future of the surface transportation program, recent events offered little reassurance. The President’s proposal for a four-year $302 billion transportation reauthorization, part of the administration’s FY 2015 Budget, met with a skeptical reception on Capitol Hill. “This budget isn’t a serious document; it’s a campaign brochure,” House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said dismissively. “Perhaps the most irresponsible budget yet,” commented House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). The lawmakers’ negative reaction was no doubt amplified by the fact that the President’s budget ignored the spending levels painfully negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep.Ryan just last December. The Administration’s proposal exceeds the bipartisan budget agreement by $56 billion.

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Transportation Investments in Response to Economic Downturns

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
Estimates of the magnitude of the effects of stimulus spending vary over a wide range. However, the preponderance of studies support the conclusion that federal stimulus spending, during a recession or period of high unemployment and when monetary policy is maintaining low interest rates, leads to an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) and in employment, at least in the short term (within 1 or 2 years after the spending).

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Mixed Reactions to Obama’s New $300 Billion Transportation Bill

Thursday, February 27th, 2014
President Obama in St. Paul

On February 26, President Obama climbed the steps of St. Paul, MN’s Union Depot train station to announce his new vision for transportation funding. The bill includes a competition for $600 million in transportation dollars, and a four-year surface transportation reauthorization to the tune of $300 billion.

Stakeholders on both sides of the fence have been quick to form opinions, and the fate of the bill remains uncertain–though most agree that action is urgently needed. Selected reactions from the transportation community are excerpted below.

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Emergency Preparedness in the Transportation Sector

Monday, February 24th, 2014
Figure 1. Fire Extinguisher Use Drill

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
The transit and transportation sector is a key critical infrastructure. All other emergency response depends on the availability of functional roads and transportation assets. Police, fire and emergency medical services (EMS) vehicles can only reach disaster victims if passable and safe roads have been inspected and cleared of debris by the transportation agency personnel. Rescue and relief goods can only be delivered to the disaster site if roads, railroads and ports can recover functionality rapidly. This ability to respond to disasters effectively is based on training the transit and transportation agency personnel in advance, and practicing the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the rapid response to disaster events through realistic exercises.

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The Best Complete Streets Policies of 2013

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
FIGURE 1 Number of Complete Streets policies nationwide, 2005–2013

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Communities across the country are making roads safer and more accessible for everyone who uses them—and these changes are happening on a larger scale than ever before.

In 2013, more than 80 communities adopted Complete Streets policies. These laws, resolutions and planning and design documents encourage and provide for the safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income or ethnicity, and no matter how they travel.

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Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Technologies Receiving Top Priority by Cities within Two Years

THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF MAYORS
Cities were asked to describe their one “top priority” in their own words, rather than selecting from multiple choice answers, the format used for nearly all other questions in this survey. Ninety-one percent of all cities participating in the survey – 263 out of 288 cities – responded to this question, with the responses as shown above grouped by categories. The “All other” category captures several additional response categories, including cogeneration, waste-to-energy, and water treatment technologies.

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Extreme Weather Events: Increasing the Nation’s Resilience

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Figure 1: Louisiana State Highway 1 Leading to Port Fourchon (Source: NOAA)

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
According to the United States Global Change Research Program, the costs and impacts of weather disasters resulting from floods, drought, and other events are expected to increase in significance as previously “rare” events become more common and intense. These impacts pose financial risks to the federal government. While it is not possible to link any individual weather event to climate change, these events provide insight into the potential climate-related vulnerabilities the United States faces.

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Rethinking the Way Transportation Infrastructure Is Funded

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 3A
It may come as a surprise to you, but there is a quiet revolution in transportation funding underway these days. Faced with a depleted Highway Trust Fund and uncertain prospects for more money from a deficit-conscious Congress, many states are taking matters into their own hands and aggressively pursuing more fiscal independence.

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