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Infra Views

Transportation Infrastructure: Moving America

Friday, October 24th, 2014
transpofundingcfr

COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
Infrastructure is critical to economic growth, but the aging U.S. transportation system suffers from insufficient investment. As this CFR Progress Report and Scorecard, Road to Nowhere, explains, other nations are building new highways as the United States’ crumble. U.S. transportation fell from fifth in the World Economic Forum’s rankings in 2002 to twenty-fourth in 2011, passed by nations such as Spain, South Korea, and Oman. Making a U-turn will take some time since major infrastructure projects require several years to plan and execute.

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Strengthening the EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
FIGURE 1. The EPA’s Renewable Energy Targets under Its Proposed Clean Power Plan Are Modest

UNION OF CONCERNED SCIENTISTS
This brief outlines a better way to make the most of renewable energy in the Clean Power Plan, and to strengthen its state renewable energy targets as the cost of sources such as wind and solar power decline. The UCS proposal builds on the EPA’s approach while utilizing the latest available market data, demonstrated rates of growth in renewable energy, and existing state commitments to deploy renewables. Using our recommended modifications, the EPA could nearly double the amount of cost-effective renewable energy in their state targets—from 12 per-cent of total 2030 U.S. electric sales to 23 percent (Figure 1, p. 3).

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Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Figure 1. Natural and nature-based features at a glance.

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
This report represents a collaborative effort of the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company, and Earth Economics to address the mounting risks of flooding and hurricanes to U.S. communities. Specifically, this report focuses on the U.S. coasts and coastal waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Gulf of Mexico and the nation’s extensive network of rivers and streams –places where millions of Americans live and work. It asks whether federal, state, and local officials are paying enough attention to the growing threats of floods and hurricanes across the country and whether they are using the policy tools at their disposal to protect people and property endangered by these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards.

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Obama’s Disappointing Legacy on Transportation Policy

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 14
For a long time, the nation’s transportation policy escaped critical scrutiny. Not any longer. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) — hardly a partisan anti-Obama cabal —has published a hard-hitting but carefully balanced critique of the Administration’s handling of the federal transportation program. Authored by Rebecca Strauss, associate editor of CFR’s “Renewing America” policy briefs, the article singles out a series of failed policy initiatives, notably Obama’s signature high-speed rail project (“it has turned into an embarrassment”), proposals for a $10 billion infrastructure bank and a $50 billion “Fix-it-First” program (both ignored by Congress); and failure to submit to Congress a legislative proposal for a multi-year surface transportation program for the first five-and-a-half years of the presidency.

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Infrastructure Investment Creates American Jobs

Monday, October 20th, 2014
Figure 1. Comparing Annual Percentage Change in DOT Budget, GDP and Population

DUKE CENTER ON GLOBALIZATION, GOVERNANCE & COMPETITIVENESSExecutive SummaryFederal investment in transportation infrastructure can drive employment and boost our national competitiveness. Increased investment in transportation infrastructure will provide jobs in many sectors, including in construction and manufacturing, while addressing the long-term deficiencies in the state of U.S. infrastructure. Businesses depend on a state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure to […]

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Millennials in Motion: Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy

Friday, October 17th, 2014
Figure 2. Change in Number of Trips per Capita among 16 to 34 year-olds, 2001 to 2009

U.S. PIRG EDUCATION FUNDExecutive SummaryOver the last decade—after 60-plus years of steady increases—the number of miles driven by the average American has been falling. Young Americans have experienced the greatest changes: driving less; taking transit, biking and walking more; and seeking out places to live in cities and walkable communities where driving is an option, […]

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Getting to the Route of it: The Role of Governance in Regional Transit

Thursday, October 16th, 2014
The Route of It

ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION
TRANSITCENTER
…Could regional governance be at the root of problems faced by transit systems in other regions? Some regions have struggled to create universal farecards with updated technology. Other regions have targeted investment to new projects while neglecting the core network. Many regions struggle with coordinating service and interfaces between different operators or transit modes. If regions attempt to solve these problems without resolving their governance issues, they—like Chicago—may be fighting a losing battle.

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Automobiles, CO2 and Fuel Efficiency: Trends From 1975 to 2014

Monday, October 13th, 2014
Adjusted C02 Emissions by Model Year

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYOverview of Long-Term TrendsWhile the most recent annual changes often receive the most public attention, the greatest value of the Trends database is to document long-term trends. This is because: 1) year-to-year variability can reflect short-term trends (two examples are the Cash for Clunkers rebates in 2009 and the impact of the tsunami […]

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Access Across America: Transit 2014

Friday, October 10th, 2014
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

ACCESSIBILITY OBSERVATORY, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA
Accessibility is the ease of reaching valued destinations. Accessibility can be measured for various transportation modes, to different types of destinations, and at different times of day. There are a variety of ways to define accessibility, but the number of destinations reachable within a given travel time is the most comprehensible and transparent—as well as the most directly comparable across cities. This report focuses on accessibility to jobs by transit. Jobs are the most significant non-home destination, but it is also possible to measure accessibility to other types of destinations. Transit is used for an estimated 5% of commuting trips in the United States, making it the second most widely used commute mode after driving.

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New York City: Subway Station Conditions

Thursday, October 9th, 2014
Structural components and architectural components

OFFICE OF THE NEW YORK STATE COMPTROLLER
The New York City subway system includes 468 passenger stations, which are used by 5.5 million riders each weekday. The system is operated by New York City Transit (NYCT), the largest subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Over the past 32 years, NYCT has renovated 241 subway stations at a cost of $4.5 billion as part of its station rehabilitation programs. Under these programs, each station was fully renovated to a state of good repair, including structural and architectural components. Once the work was completed, however, NYCT moved on to the next station for rehabilitation without committing the resources to maintain the renovated stations.

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