Keyword: highways

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  • Constitutional Use of Toll Revenue the Subject of Recent Federal Court Decision

    09/10/2016 8:01:28 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    Lexology ^ | September 8, 2016 | Nossaman LLP - Fredric W. Kessler and Shant Boyajian
    Public agencies with toll-setting authority should take note of a recent federal court decision relating to the uses of user fees and toll revenue, as well as the stated goals of the plaintiff in that case.The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently clarified the constitutional uses of toll revenue in American Trucking Associations v. New York State Thruway Authority, 13 Civ. 8123 (CM) (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 10, 2016). In this case, commercial trucking companies and the American Trucking Associations (ATA) claimed that the New York State Thruway Authority violated the Constitution by charging inflated toll rates...
  • Fix the damn roads and ban the bad drivers

    09/08/2016 10:55:44 AM PDT · by Peter ODonnell · 39 replies
    original to FR | Sept 8, 2016 | Peter O'Donnell
    Some time back, I published an opinion piece stating that it might benefit Trump to be pro-water-resources in the western states. But I have found a much better wedge issue for him to exploit, and I know he is part way there already. Fix the damn roads and get the worst drivers off them. I just came back from a six-day driving trip that included the states of WA, OR, ID, NV, and UT in a loop starting and ending in my home in BC, Canada. Our roads are not always that great either, and all my comments about drivers...
  • How Republicans in Congress Would Respond to Big-Spending Infrastructure Push

    08/29/2016 8:55:10 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 17 replies
    The Daily Signal ^ | August 26, 2016 | Josh Siegel
    Fresh after Congress and the White House scored the largest transportation spending package in a decade, both presidential candidates this year are proposing billions in funding to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. While both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump—and the parties they represent—agree the nation’s roads, bridges, airports, rail system, and ports are in need of repair, the new proposals invite familiar questions over how the spending would be paid for, and whether the federal government is the best provider to pay for it. Those questions, and the lack of a must-pass infrastructure initiative requiring Congress’ attention in 2017, mean that...
  • Highway project delays rack up $700 million cost overruns

    06/24/2016 9:54:35 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | June 13, 2016 | Catie Edmondson
    Madison— Faced with delays and inflation over the past five years, four major state highway projects — including a Madison artery — have accumulated overruns in excess of $700 million. While some of these increases come from faulty cost estimates or unavoidable inflation, the new figures underline the obvious: Delays can be costly for Wisconsin taxpayers. When projects are paused because of financial challenges in the state's road fund, the price of materials, labor and real estate can rise. The numbers compiled by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel underline the urgency of a divisive issue for Wisconsin's Republican leaders: finding a...
  • Donald Trump: Would He Be Good for Construction Industry?

    06/19/2016 10:46:26 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 4 replies
    Construction Equipment Guide ^ | June 20, 2016 | Giles Lambertson
    Let's play Jeopardy. The answer is… “A five-letter word for someone who might be good for the construction industry.” The question: “Who is Trump?” Let me hedge a little—something that Alex Trebek doesn't allow on the TV program, by the way—by noting that the key word in the equation is “might.” A President Donald Trump “might” be good for the construction industry. That is a generous caveat, but we're talking here about politics, after all. Trump certainly knows his way around a construction site after all these years of erecting buildings with his name prominently displayed atop them. He knows...
  • Vice President Biden applauds RhodeWorks during visit

    05/30/2016 12:39:06 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies
    Turn To 10 ^ | May 27, 2016 | Associated Press
    EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Vice President Joe Biden said Rhode Island needs to invest in its transportation infrastructure after touring a dilapidated highway bridge he joked is being held up by a children's toy. "For 10 years, you've had Lincoln Logs holding the damn thing up. Go look at it," he told a crowd of local politicians and construction trade and labor leaders who gathered Friday to hear him speak.
  • It's time for Wisconsin to seriously consider tolling

    05/29/2016 1:11:28 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 38 replies
    The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel ^ | May 16, 2016 | Patrick Jones
    America's roads and bridges got a real workout in 2015. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, drivers last year logged more miles on our roads than in any year in U.S. history — more than 3.1 trillion miles — an increase of more than 3% over 2014. Wisconsin is part of that trend with more than 60 billion of those miles traveled. But, too often, Wisconsinites find themselves idling in traffic or on slow-going, bumpy roads. I'm sure it was not a surprise when a study commissioned by the Local Government of Wisconsin Institute concluded last spring that Wisconsin...
  • South Florida drivers feel they're spending more money on tolls

    05/25/2016 7:49:30 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 25 replies
    Local 10 News ^ | April 29, 2016 | Amy Viteri
    MIAMI - Drivers throughout South Florida have said no matter where their daily commute takes them, they feel they're spending more money, more often on tolls. Local 10 News spoke to several drivers who said the tolls are another expense and don't necessarily help them reach their destination any faster. "Three hundred to four hundred (dollars) a month," Maribel Masvidal estimated she spends commuting from Homestead to her job in South Miami. "A lot of money that could be used on other things for my family." Masvidal said that commute can take her up to two hours one way on...
  • DOT pushing highway projects to help revitalize urban areas

    04/15/2016 10:54:14 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 21 replies
    The Hill ^ | March 31, 2016 | Melanie Zanona
    Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is calling for infrastructure projects he says can help revitalize urban areas and close gaps in economic inequality. The new Department of Transportation (DOT) push will place a greater emphasis on projects that connect people who live in low-income and minority neighborhoods to “areas of opportunity” and prioritize projects that encourage investment in underserved communities. It's part of a fight against the tendency for highway projects to be routed through low-income and minority neighborhoods. Foxx on Wednesday said that, after the interstate highway system began, bulldozing urban areas to build roads that bypassed the communities they...
  • ‘Hanging over us’: Homeowners face uncertainty as I-395 plan ramps up

    04/10/2016 11:03:09 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    The Bangor Daily News ^ | April 10, 2016 | Nok-Noi Ricker
    BREWER, Maine — When Ken and Jo-Ann Arbo moved into their home in Eddington 22 years ago, they thought they found the perfect place to live.“I hunt right there. I fish out there. I snowmobile out there,” Ken Arbo said of the woods and fields near the couple’s home. “That is why we moved out there.”Now the Arbos face the real possibility of moving again.Their Lambert Road home is within the path of the controversial I-395/Route 9 connector, a proposed two-lane road from Brewer to Eddington meant to ease heavy truck traffic and improve safety on nearby routes 46 and...
  • Here’s how to really make America great again

    03/30/2016 12:59:55 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 14 replies
    Market Watch ^ | March 17, 2016 | Jeff Reeves
    What the heck is wrong with us? On Wednesday, Washington, D.C.’s entire Metro subway system shut down with almost no notice to perform emergency inspections, just days after a cable fire “crippled” three lines. The nation’s second-busiest rail system has been plagued by safety problems in recent years, including a 2015 incident where smoke from an electrical malfunction killed one person and a deadly 2009 crash on the system’s Red Line that killed nine people. And with a new Metro chief that has been vocal about returning to a culture that puts safety first, many say that Wednesday’s move is...
  • Highway construction dollars, local police protection clash

    03/29/2016 11:09:58 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 28 replies
    The Carlisle Sentinel ^ | March 13, 2016 | Marc Levy (AP)
    Call it Pennsylvania’s highway robbery. A pot of money from a huge increase in fuel taxes and motorist fees under a 2013 law designed to shore up Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges is not so huge anymore, as a growing amount is getting diverted to the Pennsylvania State Police. Now, alarmed transportation planners, construction firms and engineers are looking at 12-year Department of Transportation projections that show a fattening state police budget consuming more dollars for construction projects. Lawmakers are taking notice, too.
  • Confusing ramps lead Fort Worth drivers onto toll lanes

    03/28/2016 9:50:07 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | March 27, 2016 | Gordon Dickson (AP)
    HALTOM CITY, Texas (AP) - Shon Newsome almost got tricked into paying a toll for a third time. But on a recent afternoon, just before she was about to drive onto a Loop 820 on-ramp that would have required her to pay a toll, the sales executive pulled off the highway in Haltom City and asked a bystander for directions. She was trying to figure out which lane on the two-lane ramp would take her to the toll-free lanes - but the answer wasn’t clear.
  • Lawmakers Consider Bills on Bikes, Historical Markers, and Skunks

    02/26/2016 10:27:55 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    Memphis Flyer ^ | February 25, 2016 | Toby Sells
    Tennessee's rule factory is cranking at full tilt, and Nashville lawmakers want to tell Memphians how to pay for bike lanes, what monuments we can move, and whether or not we can own skunks (seriously). No gas tax for bike lanes A new bill would prohibit spending any gas tax revenues on bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and "other non-vehicular facilities." Portions of the state gas tax are required to go to cities and counties. Those governments sometimes use the gas tax funds for matching dollars to get federal money for bike and pedestrian projects. The new bill says all of...
  • Congress Passes Long-Term Highway Bill Including Heller’s I-11 Extension

    02/02/2016 1:10:04 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    KOLO News Now 8 ABC ^ | December 3, 2015 | Associated Press
    WASHINGTON (AP) — After years of stymied efforts to address the nation's aging and congested highways and transit systems, Congress found the sweet spot for passage on Thursday — a 5-year, $305 billion bill laden with enough industry favors, parochial projects, safety improvements and union demands to gain overwhelming support. The bill was approved 359 to 65 in the House, and 83 to 16 in the Senate. The bill now goes to the White House for President Barack Obama's signature.
  • Legislator's highway plan includes toll road interstates

    12/21/2015 12:53:47 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 30 replies
    The Lebanon Reporter ^ | Decembe 19, 2015 | Maureen Hayden
    INDIANAPOLIS — Maintaining the state’s roads and bridges is work fraught with obstacles and hazards. It doesn’t daunt Ed Soliday, a retired pilot and safety expert who loves telling stories and spinning metaphors. “I’m evangelist, and may 1,000 angels sing when somebody comes to see the light,” said Soliday, Republican chairman of the House Roads and Transportation Committee, who aims to convince fellow lawmakers to set aside politics in search of sustainable road funding. Don’t queue the music just yet. Soliday’s ideas for raising cash for deteriorating roads and bridges include some politically unpalatable proposals, such as tax hikes and...
  • Let States Build Their Own Highways

    11/13/2015 8:09:51 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 28 replies
    Reason ^ | October 6, 2015 | Veronique de Rugy
    When Congress left town for the August recess, it did so without coming to an agreement on a long-term transportation bill. Instead, the president signed a three-month extension that set the stage for another showdown this fall. More than 30 such temporary extensions have passed since the last multi-year transportation bill expired in 2011. The inability of Congress to come together to pass a transportation package has frustrated the myriad special interests whose lobbyists want assurances that the dollars will keep flowing for years, and not just months, to come. And the media, which seldom miss an opportunity to push...
  • The Worst Damn Freeways In America

    11/06/2015 6:49:00 AM PST · by C19fan · 73 replies
    The Thrillist ^ | November 5, 2015 | Aaron Miller
    This isn’t about how long you sit in traffic. That's just one part of it. This is about the entire godawful experience that is commuting on the US interstate system, day in and day out, navigating around terrifying Final Destination-esque scenarios, jostled by relentless potholes that the bottleneck-inducing, 365-days-a-year construction never seems to fix. Here are the absolute worst freeways in America, as determined by a metric of suck that we’re calling the Total Horribleness Index. Basically, we combed through a ton of data from the Federal Highway Administration to find out just how awful a city's traffic really is....
  • Reevely: Tolls are coming to Ontario's HOV lanes

    11/04/2015 1:02:31 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Ottawa Citizen ^ | November 2, 2015 | David Reevely
    More tolls are coming to Ontario roads, Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said Monday, with details on the province’s plans due in the next couple of months.Del Duca was talking about a report by a group of environmentally minded policy types calling themselves “the Ecofiscal Commission” that says road tolls are the only way to handle worsening congestion. Particularly, the report calls for adding tolls that would allow vehicles that would not otherwise qualify to use existing high-occupancy vehicle lanes.“Road use has traditionally been freely available to anyone with a driver’s licence, and the open-access nature of roads makes them...
  • Power Grab: STIB Directly Paying Companies Millions

    09/20/2015 10:17:42 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 3 replies
    The Nerve ^ | June 1, 2015 | Rick Brundrett
    Most folks probably think of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank as just that – a bank that finances major highway and bridge projects. S.C. Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston and a member of the Infrastructure Bank (STIB) Board of Directors, described the bank, created by the Legislature in 1997, as a “funding arm” in a recent (Charleston) Post & Courier story. But in addition to providing funding to the state Department of Transportation and local governments, STIB in recent years also has assumed the role of a general contractor or project manager, paying millions of dollars directly to certain companies for...
  • McCain: Senate transportation bill would provide long-term certainty

    08/05/2015 10:10:02 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 12 replies
    The Arizona Capitol Times ^ | August 3, 2015 | John McCain
    Few things are as essential to economic growth and development as our nation’s roads. In a state as expansive as Arizona, riders understand the importance of having sound infrastructure, especially when it fails, as it did with the recent bridge collapse on I-10 in California not far from the Arizona border that continues to impact travelers across our state and region. Throughout history, providing for our nation’s infrastructure has been a central priority for both political parties. And, since President Dwight Eisenhower created the Interstate Highway System in 1956, our roads and bridges have served as the backbone to our...
  • McConnell: Highway vote 'first step on much longer road'

    07/23/2015 9:03:47 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 10 replies
    The Hill ^ | 7-23-2015 | KEITH LAING
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said a vote to begin debate on a massive highway bill he is pitching is "an important first step" toward solving a transportation funding shortfall that has bedeviled Congress for a decade.  "There are lot of tired cliches about not giving up after an initial set back," McConnell said, referencing a failed test vote on Tuesday that placed the Senate's ability to pass a long-term highway bill in doubt.  "I won't subject our colleagues to any of those this morning, but I will say that last night's vote represents an important first step toward...
  • Congress Eyes Sales From Nation's Oil Stockpile for Highway Funding

    07/23/2015 8:51:32 AM PDT · by thackney · 40 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | July 22, 2015 | AMY HARDER and NICOLE FRIEDMAN
    Lawmakers are eyeing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a piggy bank, but not without controversy. The Senate is considering legislation that would partly replenish the u.S. highway trust fund with $9 billion worth of sales from the reserve, which at 69S.1 million barrels of oil is close to its 713.S-million-barrel capacity. This month, the House passed a bill to sell 80 million barrels from the reserve to raise $7 billion to help pay for legislation to boost government drug approvals and research funding. But proposals to tap the nation's oil stockpile as a way to pay for unrelated government programs...
  • Paying by the Mile

    07/15/2015 3:44:23 PM PDT · by QT3.14 · 43 replies
    Willamette Week ^ | July 1, 2015 | ANTHONY MACUK |
    Excerpt: ... The agency [ODOT] wants to move away from fuel taxes and instead charge drivers based on the distance they drive. ODOT officials have been conducting a decade long search for ways to do it—and it’s turned into an unfocused, meandering and expensive effort. The latest plan: Starting July 1, the state is seeking as many as 5,000 volunteers to pay the state a mileage-based rate rather than taxes at the gas pump. The pilot program, called OreGo, relies on drivers signing up with one of three companies that will supply plug-in devices to count the miles. But the...
  • New plan could bring tolls to VA interstates

    06/24/2015 12:57:26 PM PDT · by Ray76 · 20 replies
    There's a new push to charge tolls on Virginia's free interstates, and it's coming straight from the White House. Federal funding for Virginia highways is set to expire at the end of May. Part of President Barack Obama's solution is to open all of Virginia's interstates to tolls. Right now, tolls are flat-out banned on existing interstate lanes, but the Grow America Act 2.0, now in Congress, will change that. It's a $500 million plan, and it lifts a huge barrier if it passes. Right now, to toll an interstate, you need to build new lanes. That's how we have...
  • America’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

    07/02/2015 12:25:42 AM PDT · by iowamark · 26 replies
    Most politicians and transportation interest groups claim that America’s infrastructure is in bad shape. At a recent House Ways and Means Committee hearing, Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said our roads and bridges are in “a sorry state.” At the same hearing Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, reported, “Two-thirds of highways are in poor or mediocre condition.” These statements are reinforced every time we drive over a pothole on the way to work. So it’s no surprise that many people think most roads in the United States are of poor quality. However, government statistics tell a...
  • Gov. allots funding for local road improvement

    06/25/2015 7:53:17 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 5 replies
    TheBayNet.com ^ | June 25, 2015 | Governor Larry Hogan
    ANNAPOLIS, MD – Following through on his campaign pledge to provide funding for highways and state-owned local roads, Governor Larry Hogan today announced $1.97 billion for highways and bridges from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. The priority projects, which will get underway by 2018, include $1.35 billion in new projects going to construction and $625 million in preserved projects. The $1.35 billion in new projects includes $845 million for major projects and $500 million to fix bridges and improve roads. “Today, I’m delivering on my promise to provide nearly $2 billion in funding to our highways and bridges across...
  • Let Our Cities Move (by Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett)

    05/13/2015 10:46:59 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 16 replies
    The New York Times ^ | May 13, 2015 | Bill DeBlasio and Mick Cornett
    EVERY day, millions of Americans rely on a remarkable network of roads, bridges, subways, trains and buses to connect us to work, school and opportunity. But our transportation system, once the envy of the world, is in jeopardy. In New York City, subways and buses are overcrowded and often unreliable, and roadways and bridges are in dire need of repair and rehabilitation. From the next phase of the Second Avenue subway to plans to connect the Metro-North Railroad to Pennsylvania Station, to the proposed new subway line under Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, there isn’t a short- or long-term expansion project...
  • [MT Governor] Bullock signs higher 80-mph interstate speed limit into law

    05/11/2015 9:47:55 PM PDT · by WilliamIII · 7 replies
    helair.com ^ | May 5 2015 | Mike Denison
    Starting Oct. 1, Montana drivers will have an 80 mph speed limit on interstate highways in the state, as Gov. Steve Bullock has signed into a law a bill increasing the limit from 75 mph. Drives also will be subject to higher fines if they violate the highway speed limit, on both the Interstate and other highways in the state.
  • Senate set to take up raising Wisconsin speed limit to 70 mph

    05/06/2015 10:13:54 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 20 replies
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ^ | 5-6-15 | Jason Stein
    The speed limit on some Wisconsin highways would rise to 70 mph, under a proposal coming before the state Senate on Wednesday. The bill would end Wisconsin's status as a lone island of 65 mph limits in the Midwest by increasing the maximum speed on stretches of interstates and some other four-lane highways that have overpasses, underpasses and ramps instead other roads that directly cross traffic on the highway. If passed by the Senate, the proposal would return to the Assembly, which passed a different version of the bill on a bipartisan vote in March. The proposal would mean that...
  • Reversible toll lanes on 270? Maybe

    02/27/2015 7:12:39 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 8 replies
    WTOP ^ | February 26, 2015 | Ari Ashe
    ROCKVILLE, Md. — With a new governor viewed as road-friendly in Annapolis, one Montgomery County lawmaker hopes toll lanes on Interstate 270 are a possibility. County Councilmember Roger Berliner supports converting the two High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-270 into reversible toll lanes. “We backed a plan six years ago with two reversible lanes. People in carpools or transit vehicles ride free; everyone else would have to pay a toll,” says Berliner. The concept would be similar to the new 95 Express Lanes in Virginia between Stafford County and Alexandria. Similar to Virginia, any project in Maryland would likely require...
  • Abbott: Texas Must Double the Budget for Border Security

    02/18/2015 1:02:09 AM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 5 replies
    Breitbart Texas ^ | February 17, 2015 | Bob Price
    Texas Governor Greg Abbott delivered his first State of the State Address to a joint session of the Texas Legislature and a packed gallery in the Texas House Chamber. During his address, the new governor laid out his agenda for the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature. He stated, as one of his emergency action items that Texas will more than double state spending on border security. His plan will add 500 new state troopers for border security. Governor Abbott opened his remarks by laying down the foundation of Texas’ success upon which he and the Legislature will build “an...
  • Federal gas tax increase needed for roads, bridges and highways

    01/25/2015 11:12:00 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 50 replies
    The Contra Costa Times ^ | January 24, 2015 | Contra Costa Times
    The president was a conservative's conservative. He had campaigned on reducing taxes and made it his legacy. But when a gas tax increase was proposed, it was a different story. In his weekly radio address, he said, "We simply cannot allow this magnificent (highway) system to deteriorate beyond repair." That was 1982. The president was Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, the disrepair Reagan feared has come to pass. The federal gas tax of 18.4 cents hasn't been raised since 1993, and the Highway Trust Fund is severely underfunded. A 10- to 15-cent a gallon increase would provide enough money to meet the...
  • Hogan taps ‘highway builder’ as transportation secretary, appoints 7 others

    01/13/2015 8:53:24 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | January 13, 2015 | John Wagner
    Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) announced eight more senior members of his administration Tuesday, including a new transportation secretary whom he introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.” Hogan’s nomination of Pete Rahn, who has held top transportation jobs in New Mexico and Missouri, comes amid great uncertainty over the future of the light-rail Purple Line in the Washington suburbs and other proposed mass-transit projects. The governor-elect has strongly signaled that he will emphasize roads over rail after he takes office Jan. 21. Hogan, who made tax cuts a rallying cry of his campaign, also pledged to...
  • Minnesota May Start Taxing Drivers

    12/29/2014 2:31:13 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 47 replies
    SeeBS ^ | 12-25-14 | SeeBS
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gas prices are finally falling, but those savings might not last long.At least 18 states, including Minnesota, are considering taxing drivers based on distance. Gas prices aren’t the only reason for the idea, since newer cars get better gas mileage. Oregon has a pilot project that will start next year to test the idea. They’re having 5,000 volunteers pay 1.5 cents per mile instead of the 30-cents-per-gallon tax.An electronic device attached to their vehicle will report how far they drive in state.
  • Congress Can't Break Highway Gridlock

    11/28/2014 11:04:21 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 20 replies
    Real Clear Politics ^ | November 26, 2014 | Michael Needham
    “I don’t want to say they’re unsafe, but they’re dangerous.” That was how President Obama’s former transportation secretary Ray LaHood described America’s roads and bridges in a pre-Thanksgiving interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes. The high-profile story left viewers with the distinct impression that America’s roads and bridges are crumbling, and politicians were to blame. First, let’s dispense with the notion that travel in America is a life-jeopardizing experience. According to the Federal Highway Administration’s own 2013 report, the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges has decreased every year since 2000. This same report also shows that fatalities and...
  • Rick Scott's Toll Lanes Definitely Newsworthy ... but an Exposé?

    09/19/2014 12:41:14 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 13 replies
    Sunshine State News ^ | September 17, 2014 | Nancy Smith
    In August 2011 Gov. Rick Scott first made it plain he likes toll lanes on major highways and wants more of them. They speed up traffic, he said. In October 2011, PolitiFact Florida checked out his assessment, rated it "mostly true." So it was a little surprising to see the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting (FCIR), whose stated purpose is "to expose corruption, waste and miscarriages of justice," expose Scott's commitment to toll lanes. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great this news is well and truly in front of the public again. And shame on all of us...
  • How did the Transportation Fund Amendment get on the November Ballot in Wisconsin?

    09/18/2014 6:35:14 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 3 replies
    Wisconsin Election Watch ^ | 9-16-14 | Kyle Maichle
    MADISON – Voters in the State of Wisconsin will see a referendum on whether the transportation fund should be protected in the State Constitution. However, most voter are not aware on how the referendum qualified for the November ballot. Under Wisconsin State law, a binding statewide referendum can be qualified if it’s approved by the Wisconsin Legislature by both houses for two consecutive Legislative sessions. According to Ballotpedia, Wisconsin is one of 12 states that uses the two Legislative session method to qualify statewide ballot measures. Extra: Learn More About the Transportation Fund Referendum The Transportation Fund referendum will ask...
  • Feds relax oversight on highway, bridge projects

    09/05/2014 4:49:58 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 3 replies
    The Hill ^ | 09/04/14 03:31 PM EDT | Tim Devaney
    States will have more leeway to build highways and bridges without oversight from Uncle Sam under new rules from the Obama administration. […] Since the 1990s, the FHWA has required states to conduct a cost-benefit analysis known as value engineering on any highway improvement project that costs more than $25 million or any bridge project that costs more than $20 million. […] But the FHWA is loosening the requirements so that states do not have to go through the value engineering process unless they plan on spending more than $50 million for a highway project or more than $40 million...
  • Coalition Urges Malloy, Foley To Consider Taxes, Tolls to Raise Transportation Money

    08/20/2014 12:08:04 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Hartford Courant ^ | August 19, 2014 | GREGORY B. HLADKY
    HARTFORD - A broad coalition of environmental, economic, regional and construction groups urged Connecticut's gubernatorial candidates Tuesday to conduct a debate focused on transportation issues, and to consider higher taxes and tolls to pay for the state's dire transportation needs. The activists put out a four-point program they said the state's next governor must consider, and expressed concern about the possibility that massive federal funding for highways and mass transit might dry up in the next few years. The coalition's key issues are: •Making certain that state revenue that is supposed to be devoted to transportation - such as gas...
  • The Rebuilding of I-45: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Improve Houston

    07/29/2014 10:14:21 AM PDT · by a fool in paradise · 24 replies
    Cite Magazine ^ | Jul. 28, 2014 5:35 PM | Torie Ludwin
    According to proposals on the table at the Texas Department of Transportation, the highway system around Downtown Houston may be subject to a significant transformation. This well may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the city to reconnect neighborhoods long bifurcated by highway IH-45 while also improving traffic capacity of the highways. How to change and improve the highway system is of great debate. As the Department of Transportation follows through on its federally required processes to propose and examine alternatives to the expansion of IH-45, also called the North Houston Highway Improvement Project, itÂ’s winnowing the options quickly. Now is...
  • Apollo 11 and Modern America's Can't-Do Spirit

    07/19/2014 6:28:23 AM PDT · by IBD editorial writer · 42 replies
    Investor's Business Daily ^ | 07/18/2014 | IBD Staff
    Cultural Inertia: Remember how 45 years ago we were suddenly able to say: "If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we (fill in the blank)"? If only we could say the same today. It's worth remembering Neil Armstrong's July 21, 1969 "giant leap for mankind," if only as a measure of what the country used to be able to accomplish, but increasingly can't do today. When President Kennedy announced his goal of "sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to earth" in less than nine years, it was a laughably audacious promise. By...
  • JOSEPH GIGLIO: Let the Highway Trust Fund crumble

    07/14/2014 11:46:51 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    The Quincy Patriot Ledger ^ | July 12, 2014 | Joseph Giglio
    The federal Highway Trust Fund, which provides transportation funding to the states, is projected to run dry in August. But with a technology-driven revolution underway in the way Americans use surface transportation, applying yesterday’s solution and simply replenishing the fund won’t solve the problem. According to the Obama administration, if the fund is exhausted, states will be forced to put off 112,000 highway construction and 5,600 transit projects, resulting in the loss of 700,000 jobs. When dealing with the government, there are always plenty of zeroes to go around. The traditional source of revenue for the trust fund is the...
  • Highway fund running on fumes ("highway fund" = gas tax)

    07/07/2014 6:25:47 AM PDT · by cotton1706 · 28 replies
    thehill.com ^ | 7/7/14 | Keith Laing
    Lawmakers are under pressure to refill the Highway Trust Fund when they return to Washington after the Fourth of July weekend or risk losing thousands of construction jobs that could set back recent job growth. The Department of Transportation has warned that allowing the Highway Trust Fund to go broke would cost the U.S. about 700,000 jobs — more than twice the 288,000 that were created last month according to a jobs report celebrated by the administration. The agency has said that it will have to begin cutting back payments to state and local governments next month adding to the...
  • Five Reasons Not to Raise the Gas Tax

    07/05/2014 8:12:09 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 34 replies
    The Huffington Post ^ | July 3, 2014 | Randal O'Toole
    The federal Highway Trust Fund is running out of money, and some senators have proposed to fix the problem by raising gas taxes. This, however, is the wrong solution because it treats the symptom, and not the underlying reason for the shortfall. Here are five reasons for not increasing gas taxes. 1. The problem is not a shortage of funds but an excess of spending. For more than 50 years after Congress created the Highway Trust Fund in 1956 it was able to avoid a shortage of funds by a simple measure: it didn't spend more than was collected in...
  • OBAMA: My Highway Plan Is 'Not Crazy, It's Not Socialism, It's Not The Imperial Presidency'

    07/01/2014 12:55:23 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 52 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 07/01/2014 | Brett LoGiurato
    A rather exasperated President Barack Obama pressed Congress to find a solution to the looming Highway Trust Fund crisis, arguing "it's not socialism" to want to build new highways and bridges in the country. "It's not crazy. It's not socialism. It's not the imperial presidency," Obama said Tuesday afternoon during a speech in front of the Georgetown waterfront with the Key Bridge in the background. "We're just building roads and bridges, like we have for the past 50 years." The Highway Trust Fund is a transportation and infrastructure fund financed by gasoline taxes. It is headed towards insolvency because the...
  • O’Toole: Why is Congress still running the transportation system?

    06/28/2014 9:12:25 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Greeley Tribune ^ | June 27, 2014 | Randal O'Toole
    Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden has proposed a three-month transportation bill. Three more months, he says, will give Congress a chance to figure out a long-term solution. The only problem is that Congress had three months three months ago and did nothing. Meanwhile, Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., have proposed to increase gas taxes by 12 cents a gallon. Considering that the gas tax hasn’t been increased in more than 20 inflation-filled years, this would seem to make sense.It doesn’t, however, because a gas tax increase assumes there is a shortage of funds for transportation. Instead, the real...
  • How Google Got States To Legalize Driverless Cars

    05/30/2014 11:13:25 PM PDT · by Lmo56 · 85 replies
    Associated Press ^ | 5/30/14 | Justin Pritchard
    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- About four years ago, the Google team trying to develop cars driven by computers - not people - concluded that sooner than later, the technology would be ready for the masses. There was one big problem: No state had even considered whether driverless cars should be legal. And yet this week, Google said it wants to give Californians access to a small fleet of prototypes it will make without a steering wheel or pedals. The plan is possible because, by this time next year, driverless cars will be legal in the tech giant's home state.
  • Rethinking Federal Highway and Transit Funding

    05/20/2014 10:06:25 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 7 replies
    The Cato Institute ^ | May 6, 2014 | Chris Edwards
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today regarding the federal role in highway and transit funding.Federal policymakers are considering ways to close the large funding gap in the Highway Trust Fund. One option would be to reduce spending and downsize the federal role in transportation. That approach would encourage state governments to pursue their own innovative solutions for highways and transit, such as new types of user charges, public-private partnerships, and privatization.Federal aid programs for highways and transit have many shortcomings. Aid redistributes transportation funds between the states in ways that are...
  • Highway Trust Fund: Not Just For Highways, Out Of Money So Not A Fund, And Can't Be Trusted

    05/01/2014 3:00:19 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 12 replies
    Forbes ^ | 4-30-14 | Jerry Bowyer
    It has become a congressional slush fund, in which almost half the money is ladled out through the corrupt system of congressional earmarks. The next time you drive on a highway which is named after a politician, think corruption. Time to shut it down. The proceeds of the tax should be automatically remitted to state governments, or better yet, regional planning agencies. And regulatory barriers to privatization strategies should be repealed. We’re broke. We can no longer afford to be stupid.