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Infra Views

The Innovative DOT: Pricing Strategies

Friday, January 30th, 2015
The Innovative DOT: Focus Area 3

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Appropriate pricing strategies can raise revenues and manage demand, keeping costs down. On the other hand, when transportation system users do not see appropriate price signals, demand is artificially high, increasing congestion and pressure for new capacity. State departments of transportation generally cannot impose price signals on their own, but they can work with a variety of stakeholders and decision-makers, from legislators to insurance companies, to accomplish these goals.

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Boston: Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Infrastructure

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
methane fig1

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (PNAS)
Most recent analyses of the environmental impact of natural gas have focused on production, with very sparse information on emissions from distribution and end use. This study quantifies the full seasonal cycle of methane emissions and the fractional contribution of natural gas for the urbanized region centered on Boston. Emissions from natural gas are found to be two to three times larger than predicted by existing inventory methodologies and industry reports. Our findings suggest that natural-gas–consuming regions may be larger sources of methane to the atmosphere than is currently estimated and represent areas of significant resource loss.

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Airport Cooperative Research Program: Annual Report of Progress

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
Figure 1: 2014 ACRP Research Panel Participants by State

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
The shift in the airport industry—from predictable traffic and passenger levels to economic instability, capacity constraints, and congestion—has required airport practitioners to respond with creative problem solving. ACRP has been offering practical, hands-on software guidance, modeling tools, sample planning documents, best practices, worksheets, checklists, and more since 2006.

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Cycling to Transit

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA GEOMATICS PROGRAM
Mobility hubs are major transit access points and an integrated part of multi-modal transportation planning efforts. For the implementation of bicycle infrastructure improvements around mobility hubs a better understanding of bicycle access distances is needed. Using responses from onboard travel surveys in three US metropolitan areas this study found that median bicycle access distances to transit stations are within the buffer radii suggested for community hubs (1 mile) and gateway hubs (2 miles) in long range transportation plans.

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Going Solar in America: Ranking Solar Value to Consumers

Monday, January 26th, 2015
Overall City Rankings

Most Americans are unaware of the true financial value of solar today. Seen by many as a technological luxury, solar energy is not seriously considered as an option by most homeowners in the U.S. However, our analysis shows that, in 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, a fully-financed, typically-sized solar PV system is a better investment than the stock market, and in 42 of these cities, the same system already costs less than energy from a residential customer’s local utility…So why aren’t more Americans investing in solar? There is a clear information gap, and with this report, we intend to open the eyes of average homeowners by showing that solar can generate both significant monthly savings and long-term investment value, and not infrequently, cost less than energy from some of America’s largest electric utilities.

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Intercity Bus Service: Adding on Amenities, Broadening the Base

Friday, January 23rd, 2015
Figure 2 Largest Intercity Bus Operators

CHADDICK INSTITUTE FOR METROPOLITAN DEVELOPMENT
DEPAUL UNIVERSITY
Increasingly, business travelers who have tended to shy away from bus service in the past are now jumping onboard. In the midst of another wave of expansion, the intercity bus retains its status as America’s fastest-growing intercity travel mode. This Chaddick Institute report, the seventh in an annual series, summarizes changes to the sector during the 2014 calendar year:

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The Innovative DOT: Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015
Innovative DOT: Area 2 - Revenue Allocation and Project Selection

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Scarce transportation dollars need to be spent where they do the most good. But making changes to long-standing practices, some of which are ensconced in law, can be difficult and present a hurdle to state departments of transportation (DOTs) looking to get the best bang for their buck. Pressing forward with revenue allocation and project selection reform represents a major way in which DOTs can deliver projects with greater impact more quickly. Many agencies are now reforming project selection and formula funding processes for sub-state units of government, often tying proposed spending to state, departmental, and/or local goals and objectives.

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Georgia Infrastructure Funding Needs

Monday, January 19th, 2015
Chart 1: Average Fuel Efficiency vs. Total Miles Traveled

JOINT STUDY COMMITTEE ON CRITICAL TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING, GEORGIA
Like many other states, Georgia is faced with a growing crisis with regard to funding the construction, repair, and maintenance of its transportation infrastructure. Georgia primarily funds its transportation needs with a combination of state motor fuel taxes and federal funds.

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South Carolina Transportation by the Numbers

Friday, January 16th, 2015
South Carolina Cost Breakdown

TRIP
South Carolina must improve its system of roads, highways and bridges to foster economic growth and keep businesses in the state. In addition to economic growth, transportation improvements are needed to ensure safe, reliable mobility and quality of life for all South Carolinians. Meeting South Carolina’s need to modernize and maintain its system of roads, highways and bridges will require a significant boost in local, state and federal funding.

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Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
epa1

UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (EPA) General Information The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development (ORD) has finalized the science report, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence.The purpose of this report is to summarize the current scientific understanding about the connectivity and […]

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