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

John Hennessy III,
P.E.

Archive for the ‘Policy’ Category

Highway Boondoggles: Wasted Money and America’s Transportation Future

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Figure ES-2. Vehicle-Miles Traveled per Capita in the United States, 1946-2013

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUND
Americans drive no more in total now than we did in 2005, and no more on average than we did at the end of Bill Clinton’s first term as president. The recent stagnation in driving comes on the heels of a six decade-long Driving Boom that saw steady, rapid increases in driving and congestion across the United States, along with the investment of more than $1 trillion of public money in highways…But even though the Driving Boom is now over, state and federal governments continue to pour vast sums of money into the construction of new highways and expansion of old ones—at the expense of urgent needs such as road and bridge repairs, improvements in public transportation and other transportation priorities.

View this complete post...

Renewable Energy in the Western States

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
ELECTRICITY GENERATION BY SOURCE, 2013

AMERICAN COUNCIL ON RENEWABLE ENERGY
With the growing prominence of renewable energy in the western power, heat, and transportation sectors, states are implementing and exploring technology and policy options to effectively manage its production and use. Renewable energy is now responsible for over 20% of electricity generation in six western states, and the region saw the addition of nearly 4 GW of new renewable energy capacity in 2013 alone – which is more than two thirds of total 2013 U.S. capacity additions.

View this complete post...

Guest on The Infra Blog: Rudy Malfabon, Director, Nevada Department of Transportation

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Rudy Malfabon, Director, Nevada DOT

Rudy Malfabon has worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation for more than 25 years. As director, he is responsible for the daily operations of the department that has an annual operating budget of over $800 million and close to 1,750 employees.

“I think that transportation infrastructure is an investment in the economy and it grows the economy. It pays back dividends. Not just the jobs that are created during construction, but the jobs that are sustained by businesses that are improved in access by that transportation.”

View this complete post...

Guest on The Infra Blog: Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Bud Wright, Executive Director, AASHTO

Frederick G. “Bud” Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.

“I think the most important thing for us right now is to preserve the investment that we have already made…You build a home and you don’t just walk away from it for the next hundred years. You’re going to have to make investments to not only maintain it, but to upgrade it.”

View this complete post...

West Valley City, UT: Traffic Modeling of Transit Oriented Development

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Figure 2.4 The example of two neighborhoods with different levels of connectivity (Source: New Jersey DOT)

MOUNTAIN-PLAINS CONSORTIUM
Throughout the Wasatch Front Metropolitan Region, the majority of land use development forces people to drive in order to access their destinations. This is due to low density and mostly single use developments built on poorly connected street networks with several cul-de-sacs and few routing options for transport system users. Even though the development of Wasatch Front has the legacy of transit supportive land uses in the region’s city centers and previous street car suburbs, the connection between them is still such that it encourages driving as the dominant mode of transportation. Designing streets and street networks that would support TOD environments is still considered with hesitation as the potential solution for traffic congestion and increasing travel demand. One of the reasons for this might be the need to evaluate the effects that TOD has on traffic operations.

View this complete post...

NYC Six Month Report Card: New Class at the City Council

Monday, September 8th, 2014

TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES
In January, 21 new members were sworn into the 51-seat City Council – New York City’s most powerful governing body. Some defeated long-standing incumbents. Many were elected on the strength of their transportation platforms, with promises of more safe, convenient and affordable transportation ushering them into office. In a Transportation Alternatives survey before the election, candidates pledged to improve bus service, expand the bike network and make New York City’s streets and sidewalks safer for everyone. Now, halfway through the first year of their terms, Transportation Alternatives looks back at what City Council members pledged, and how they have lived up to their promises on crucial transportation issues.

View this complete post...

Nurse Lan, on time every time, thanks to transit

Friday, September 5th, 2014
Waiting briefly at Takoma Station for the Metrobus 63.

Lan is a nurse –a patient care manager in the Oncology Ward of MedStar Washington Hospital Center here in the nation’s capital. Lan and the nurses she helps oversee provide care for patients battling cancer. And her reliance on public transit to get to this important job makes it clear: When we or our loved ones depend on dedicated caregivers like Lan Phan, we also depend on a safe, efficient transportation network to get them to work so they can deliver that care.

View this complete post...

No, Americans Are (Still) Not Driving More

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Written by Shane Phillips
The U.S. Department of Transportation is reporting that driving is at a six-year high, but beware the hype. As James Brasuell at Planetizen notes, these numbers are not adjusted for population and thus don’t account for the growing number of residents living in the country. As always, the better question to ask is how much the average American is driving, and the answer to that is the same as it’s been for years: less and less.

View this complete post...

Fueling Road Spending with Federal Stimulus

Thursday, August 28th, 2014
Figure 1: Federal Highway Grants and Spending

FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF SAN FRANCISCO
ECONOMIC RESEARCH DEPARTMENT
During the Great Recession, a surge in federal government spending was one option frequently called for as a means to sustain and stimulate the economy. Given the substantial perceived need for infrastructure improvements, many commentators argued that highways should be near the front of the line for any stimulus dollars. It is no surprise then that the 2009 fiscal stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contained $48 billion in transportation funding, $27 billion specifically for roads. These funds generally took the form of grants to state governments and were in addition to the usual federal transportation grants sent to state governments every year from the national Highway Trust Fund. Thanks to ARRA, federal highway grants to states jumped nearly 75% in 2009. Still, road spending by state and local governments nationwide—which is the source of virtually all road spending in the United States—was roughly flat between 2008 and 2011.

View this complete post...

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...

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.