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Infra Views

A Citizens Guide to Kentucky Infrastructure

Thursday, May 25th, 2017
Kentucky Key Facts

Kentucky is in a prime spot — within a day’s drive of two-thirds of the nation’s population. That makes the Commonwealth a key site for industries needing to transport products across the country. In fact, University of Kentucky economists report more than a quarter of the state’s economy is made up of industries highly dependent on transportation. National surveys of corporate executives rank highway accessibility as the top factor in business location decisions. All of that means transportation infrastructure maintained in top condition is a key requirement for a healthy economy.

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Miles to Go: Bringing School Transportation into the 21st Century

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017
School buses in the 21st century

Despite its symbolic value, the yellow school bus creates significant operational and environmental inefficiencies in many districts—inefficiencies that increasingly drain district budgets, hamper families’ access to high-quality schools outside their neighborhoods, and damage the environment.

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Harvesting the Value of Water: Stormwater, Green Infrastructure, and Real Estate

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
The courtyard of ECO Modern Flats in Fayetteville, Arkansas, prominently features green infrastructure, including a bioswale that filters runoff from parking areas. (Timothy Hursley)

Water abundance and scarcity are topics of increasing importance in cities across America. With growing concern about flooding, weather-induced overflows from sewer systems, and extreme storms, communities are seeking strategies to better manage stormwater runoff, improve local water quality, and decrease pressure on overloaded sewer systems. At the same time, water is increasingly recognized as a community resource, one that can be harnessed to make cities more sustainable and livable.

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Rethinking Transportation 2020-2030: The Disruption of Transportation and the Collapse of the Internal-Combustion Vehicle and Oil Industries

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017
Figure 2. Consumer Choices: cost-per-mile analysis9

We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.

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Threats on Tap: Widespread Violations Highlight Need for Investment in Water Infrastructure and Protections

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017
nrdc figure 1

This report expands our analysis beyond lead to examine all drinking water contaminants regulated under the SDWA. Much as Flint is not the only water system with lead problems, we have found that Lead and Copper Rule problems are far from the only widespread violations of drinking water rules. Our research shows that in 2015 alone, nearly 77 million people were served by more than 18,000 community water systems that violated at least one SDWA rule, and there were more than 80,000 violations of SDWA rules that year. These violations included exceeding health-based standards, failing to properly test water for contaminants, and failing to report contamination to state authorities or the public.

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A Jobs-Centric Approach to Infrastructure Investment

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
Exhibit | Infrastructure Jobs Are Distributed Across the Nation

The Trump administration has proposed investing an extra $1 trillion in infrastructure to create millions of new jobs. To maximize the impact of such investment on employment, planners need to adopt a new jobs-centric approach that prioritizes investments in infrastructure projects on the basis of their job creation potential.

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Economic Implications from Proposed Public Transportation Capital Funding Cuts

Monday, May 1st, 2017
Exhibit 1: At-Risk Transit Projects by Mode

The Administration’s proposed funding cuts for transit capital projects would jeopardize $38 billion of planned projects. These projects would support 502,000 jobs within the span of constructing these projects — representing project construction jobs, transit equipment manufacturing jobs and wider multiplier effects on jobs associated with parts & materials suppliers and worker re-spending. The time span for completion of these projects vary, but overall, they would be completed over a period of slightly more than ten years, representing an annual average of 49,000 jobs supported each year over that period.

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Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State

Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Table 1 Pedestrian Fatalities and Percent of Total Traffic Fatalities, 2006–2015

The number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States (U.S.) increased 25 percent from 2010 to 2015, while at the same time, total traffic deaths increased by about six (6) percent. Pedestrians now account for the largest proportion of traffic fatalities recorded in the past 25 years. Earlier studies by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), based on preliminary data reported by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs), were the first to predict recent increases in pedestrian fatalities.

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Airport Infrastructure Needs

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
The Infrastructure Needs of America’s Airports SURVEY SNAPSHOT

The ACI-NA total estimate of U.S. airports’ infrastructure needs for 2017 through 2021, adjusted for inflation, is nearly $100 billion ($99.9 billion) or almost $20 billion annualized. Sixty-three percent of the development is intended to accommodate growth in passenger and cargo activity, and thirty percent is intended to rehabilitate existing infrastructure, maintain a state of good repair, and keep airports up to standards for the aircraft that use them.

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The Last Mile: Connecting Workers to Places of Employment

Monday, April 17th, 2017
Public Policy Forum: The Last Mile

In 2013, the Public Policy Forum published Getting to Work, a report that explored efforts to connect Milwaukee County residents with major job locations in the region via public transit. The report identified several common barriers, including one known as the “last mile” problem, which can arise when transit services allow individuals to get relatively close – but not all the way – to their job sites. This challenge is particularly common in suburban areas, where jobs are more dispersed and difficult for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS) and suburban transit systems to serve efficiently, but it also can arise in some parts of the city that are difficult to reach by transit.

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