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Infra Views

Star Power: The Growing Role of Solar Energy in America

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
Figure ES-1. Solar Electricity Technical Potential Compared with Electricity Consumption

ENVIRONMENT AMERICA
Nationally, solar PV capacity increased at a rate of 77 percent per year from 2010 to 2013. If solar installations continue to increase at less than one-third of that annual rate of growth (22 percent) between 2013 and 2030, America would have enough solar energy to generate 10 percent of its electricity.

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Climate Change & Resilience: Recommendations to the President

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
High tide flooding in Broward County, Florida. Photo Credit: Paul Krashefski.

PRESIDENT’S STATE, LOCAL, AND TRIBAL LEADERS TASK FORCE ON CLIMATE PREPAREDNESS AND RESILIENCE
At state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, leaders are making bold decisions on ways to invest in more resilient infrastructure, revise land use, update building codes, and adjust natural resource management and other practices to improve the resilience of their communities to climate impacts. The Federal Government has a critical role to play in supporting these efforts by ensuring that Federal policies and programs incorporate climate change, incentivize and remove barriers to community resilience, and provide the information and assistance communities need to understand and prepare for climate risks.

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Virginia: Local Government Funding and Financing of Roads

Monday, November 17th, 2014
Figure 2. Local Funding Sources for Highway Projects Nationally, 2003-2012. The data used for this figure were compiled from the data in Table LGF-1 in the 2003-2012 editions of Highway Statistics (Federal Highway Administration, n.d.).

VIRGINIA CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION INNOVATION & RESEARCH
…the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has historically funded, constructed, and maintained all public roads. With the exceptions of Alaska, Delaware, North Carolina, and West Virginia, this is in contrast to other states, which have state oversight of primary roads but local control of and funding responsibility for secondary (or county) roads…This has spurred some localities to seek ways to obtain local funding to continue their priority projects.

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Computer and Internet Use in the United States

Thursday, November 13th, 2014
Figure 3. Percentage of Households by Type of Internet Subscription: 2013

UNITED STATES CENSUS BUREAU
As part of the 2008 Broadband Data Improvement Act, the U.S. Census Bureau began asking about computer and Internet use in the 2013 American Community Survey (ACS). Federal agencies use these statistics to measure and monitor the nationwide development of broadband networks and to allocate resources intended to increase access to broadband technologies, particularly among groups with traditionally low levels of access. State and local governments can use these statistics for similar purposes. Understanding how people in specific cities and towns use computers and the Internet will help businesses and nonprofits better serve their communities as well.

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Mapping Freight: The Highly Concentrated Nature of Goods Trade in the United States

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
Figure 2. Top 1 Percent of Trade Corridors Based on Value, Domestic Corridors Only, 2010

METROPOLITAN POLICY PROGRAM
BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
Each year, the United States moves over $20 trillion in goods weighing over 17 billion tons between hundreds of metropolitan, non-metropolitan, and international regions. It does so using an extensive network of freight assets: over 4 million miles of highways, local roads, railways, navigable waterways, and pipelines; hundreds of seaports and airports; and thousands of intermodal facilities to tie the network together. Without this network, it would be impossible for regional economies to trade goods and reach their full economic potential.

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Options For Increasing Surface Transportation Revenue

Monday, November 10th, 2014
Policy Optimality Considerations for Federal Revenue Options ($ in billions)

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS (AASHTO)
In an attempt to provide a viable solution to the surface transportation funding debacle, this post offers a matrix of dozens of possible methods of funding surface transportation in the U.S., including the few that are already being implemented along with the many that have yet to be explored.

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Understanding Bikesharing Trends During a Period of Rapid Expansion

Friday, November 7th, 2014
Figure1: IT-based public bikeshare systems

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE

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Rising Waters, Rising Threat: How Climate Change Endangers America’s Neglected Wastewater Infrastructure

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
The frequency of extreme precipitation events in the United States is increasing

CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
As climate change strains aging sewer systems around the country through increasingly severe weather and sea-level rise, the resilience of wastewater infrastructure is becoming a critical public and environmental health issue for communities and municipal and state governments.

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Chicago: Waste Management – Unrealized Environmental & Economic Benefits for Chicagoland

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014
Figure 1. Average Total Costs of All Waste Management Components for 20 Municipalities in the Chicago Metro Region

DELTA INSTITUTE
The Chicago Metropolitan Region’s waste management statistics lag behind national averages. Currently, Cook County residents produce 7 pounds of waste per day compared to the average American who generates 4.4 pounds of waste per day, and Cook County’s 29% (excluding Chicago) recycling rate trails the national average of 34%. Concerned by Cook County’s above-average waste generation and below-average recycling rate, Delta Institute sought to determine the existing conditions of the region’s waste management system and its associated environmental and economic impacts.

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Assessment of California’s Local Streets & Roads

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014
Breakdown of Road Centerline Miles by Agency

SAVE CALIFORNIA STREETS
Every trip begins on a city street or county road. Whether traveling by bicycle, bus, rail, truck or family automobile, Californians need a reliable and well-maintained local street and road system. Unfortunately, these continue to be challenging times for our street and road system due to increased demand and unreliable funding. There is a significant focus on climate change and building sustainable communities, yet sustainable communities cannot function without a well-maintained local street and road system. The need for multi-modal opportunities on the local system has never been more essential. Every component of California’s transportation system is critical to providing a seamless, interconnected system that supports the traveling public and economic vitality throughout the state.

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