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Infra Views

Tolling in the United States

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
HIGHWAY TRUST FUND RECEIPTS: 1970 - 2009

INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE, TUNNEL AND TURNPIKE ASSOCIATION (IBTTA)
Q: Why do we need tolls to pay for roads and crossings?
A: No matter how you slice it, federal and state fuel taxes are insufficient to support America’s highway infrastructure. Tolls provide a valuable source of revenue both to build new roads and maintain existing roads.

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Adapting To Climate Change in Coastal Parks

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
2 Figure 1. Location of all 40 NPS units analyzed as part of the WCU/NPS sea-level rise study.

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Over the next century, warming global temperatures will present many challenges for the National Park Service (NPS) and public land managers. Rising sea level will be one of the most obvious and most challenging impacts of this warming. Even a minor increase in sea level will have significant effects on coastal hazards, natural resources and assets within national parks. To begin addressing these issues, the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University (WCU) has partnered with NPS to begin an assessment of the level of exposure that park owned assets will face during a period of rising sea level.

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Transportation of U.S. Grains

Monday, June 29th, 2015
Figure 1: Estimating modal tonnages and share

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
The purpose of this analysis is to examine trends in the type of transportation used to move grains grown for the food and feed industry. Grains produced in the United States move to domestic and foreign markets through a well-developed transportation system. Barge, rail, and truck transportation facilitate a highly competitive market that bridges the gap between U.S. grain producers and domestic and foreign consumers.

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Competitiveness of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency in U.S. Markets

Friday, June 26th, 2015
Figure A. Actual vs. Projected U.S. Installed Solar Power Capacity

ADVANCED ENERGY ECONOMY INSTITUTE
Questions have been raised about whether renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) resources can provide substantial emission reductions at reasonable cost under EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP). These concerns reflect fundamental misperceptions about the performance and cost of today’s renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, rooted in outdated information and perpetuated by inaccurate official market projections. This paper shows that RE and EE are competitive resources in today’s marketplace that will not only be cost-effective mechanisms for CPP compliance but should also be expected to grow strictly on the basis of competitiveness.

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The WalkUP Wake-Up Call: Michigan Metros

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Metropolitan Land Use Options in the United States

LOCUS
SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Walkable urban places are not just a phenomenon of coastal U.S. metropolitan areas. This report demonstrates that the market desires them in Michigan—and they are gaining traction. If this emerging trend in favor of walkable urbanism plays out in Michigan as it has in the other metro areas studied by George Washington University—Atlanta, Boston, and Washington, D.C.— it will mean an historic shift away from the drivable development patterns that have dominated development for the latter half of the 20th century. The state could return to the walkable urban development pattern that predominated before World War II.

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Passenger Flows in Underground Railway Stations and Platforms

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Figure 1. Conceptual Diagram of Rail Station Passenger Flow

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE
Why people choose to travel by private car rather than by public transit is of major concern to transportation planners and transit operators. For some reluctant would-be riders, the answer might be summed up by the words of Yogi Berra when asked why he no longer patronized a popular St. Louis nightspot: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

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Renewables and Electricity Storage

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
Figure 1: Annual share of annual variable renewable power generation in 2014 and in 2030 if all REmap options are implemented

INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY AGENCY
International and national assessments of the global electricity storage market have been hindered by uncertainty
about which technologies and market segments to include. A central question for this roadmap is
whether storage is used to support the integration of renewables or for other purposes.

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Core Values: Why American Companies Are Moving Downtown

Monday, June 22nd, 2015
downtownthumb

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Hundreds of companies across the United States are moving to and investing in walkable downtown locations. As job migration shifts towards cities and as commercial real estate values climb in these places, a vanguard of American companies are building and expanding in walkable downtown neighborhoods.

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The Great Port Mismatch: U.S. Goods Trade and International Transportation

Friday, June 19th, 2015
Map 1. U.S. Customs Ports of Entry, 2014

GLOBAL CITIES INITIATIVEBROOKINGS METROPOLITAN POLICY PROGRAMSummary The United States traded over $4 trillion worth of international goods in 2014, ranging from raw agriculture to advanced precision instruments. The enormous variety of exports and imports powers American industries, allowing industrial and household consumers to enjoy cost-effective products and exporting producers to access global markets. Even with […]

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Road Diet Case Studies

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
Road Diet Case Studies

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
A Road Diet is generally described as removing vehicle lanes from a roadway and reallocating the extra space for other uses or travelling modes, such as parking, sidewalks, bicycle lanes, transit use, turn lanes, medians or pedestrian refuge islands.
Road Diets have the potential to improve safety, provide operational benefits, and increase the quality of life for all road users. Road Diets can be relatively low cost if planned in conjunction with reconstruction or resurfacing projects since applying Road Diets consists primarily of restriping.

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