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Keyword: roads

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  • 'Learning In Progress' on Legislative Roads Proposals

    07/28/2015 6:05:16 AM PDT · by MichCapCon
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/21/2015 | James Hohman
    Both the Michigan House and Senate have passed their own road funding plans after the colossal failure of Proposal 1. Both plans show that lawmakers have learned from that debacle. The House proposal contains only a small tax hike on diesel, plus modest new assessments on electric, hybrid or “alternative” fuel vehicles (whose owners pay little or no gas tax). The rest of its new revenue for roads comes from earmarking a portion of future income tax revenue to road funding. The Senate likewise earmarks some income tax revenue for roads, but also hikes the gas tax from 19 cents...
  • 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...
  • Tom Rice | International Drive another badly needed project delayed [by environMENTALists]

    07/21/2015 8:10:28 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    Myrtle Beach Online ^ | July 17, 2015 | Tom Rice
    I was interested to read the article from The Sun News on Thursday about the last-minute delay of the permit to pave International Drive. This project will take thousands of cars off of the gridlock of Highway 501, and relieve congestion in Carolina Forest. On the day before we were to receive the permit from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Coastal Conservation League filed an appeal. It seems they want the road to be redesigned to include multiple bear crossings, at a cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayers of Horry County. That’s millions of scarce taxpayer dollars...
  • There is Plenty of Money in the Budget for Roads

    07/15/2015 12:50:41 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/13/2015 | Jarrett Skorup
    The Michigan state budget is $54.5 billion — so why can’t legislators find an extra $1.2 billion or so for road funding? That’s the question MLive tries to answer in a video. But they buy into a bad argument in their explanation. Many proponents of raising taxes to increase road funding often say that the total budget number of $54.5 billion is misleading and that lawmakers have “only” about $10 billion to work with. MLive accepts this argument and assumes new spending for roads can only come from this portion of the state budget. But that is incorrect. While it...
  • Michigan House and Senate Pass Competing Road Funding Plans

    07/09/2015 1:01:04 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 7/4/2015 | Jack Spencer
    Two separate plans to increase Michigan road funding are now on the table, one passed by the House and one by the Senate. In contrast to Proposal 1, which rejected 80-20 by Michigan voters in May, neither plan relies solely on a large tax hike. The House plan, passed in May, would provide around $1 billion for roads, only a little of which is from tax hikes. Like the Senate plan, it redirects a portion of state income-tax revenue to roads, and offsets this by cutting corporate welfare, scrapping a state earned income tax credit, and making other changes. In...
  • Good roads shouldn’t cost more money: Current gas tax is sufficient — if the cash is not misspent

    06/29/2015 6:13:28 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 10 replies
    Washington Times ^ | 06/29/2015 | Stephen Moore
    It’s summertime, and that means millions of Americans cramming in their minivans and crisscrossing around the country on family vacation. But how safe are the roads, and will they be backed up for miles of gridlock? This year the highway trust fund that finances our national highway system is running out of money. The federal gas tax will raise about $34 billion this year, but that isn’t enough revenue to cover all the spending Congress wants to do. So naturally, the lobbyists in Washington — including mayors, road builders, transit operators and civil engineers — are demanding a higher gas...
  • 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...
  • Hogan says no to Red Line, yes to Purple

    06/25/2015 4:03:25 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 4 replies
    The Baltimore Sun ^ | June 25, 2015 | Michael Dresser
    Dashing Baltimore's hopes for an east-west light rail line, Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that he will not build the $2.9 billion Red Line. "The current proposal makes no sense whatsoever," the governor told a State House news conference. But Hogan, making his first appearance since announcing Monday he has cancer, gave mass transit advocates a limited victory by giving the green light to construction of a slimmed-down version of the Purple Line light rail project in the Washington suburbs. During his campaign last year, Hogan had said the state could not afford either project. After he took office, however,...
  • Dedicated cyclists claim purity, but I'm not buying it

    06/14/2015 9:02:41 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 27 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-15-15 | Joe Soucheray
    My favorite response was from a woman with a funny name -- one of those names where the alphabet got tossed up in the air -- who told me that she bicycles to and from work, to any event, social or otherwise, to the store, what have you. Really? You ride your bike to social events? Don't you get sweaty? I'm wondering what would constitute a social event that you could ride your bike to. Let's say you're going to an art museum charity fundraiser. Do you wear a dress? Valet park? I'm not buying that, any more than I...
  • Virginia Opens Its Roads To Self Driving Cars

    06/06/2015 11:11:58 AM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 18 replies
    Popular Science ^ | June 3, 2015 | Mary Beth Griggs
    Self-driving cars are taking to the streets in California this summer, but the Golden State isn't the only one opening its roads to autonomous cars.Virginia just announced that 70 miles of highway in the Commonwealth would be open to self-driving cars, like the cars in Google's fleet. Any autonomous vehicle wanting to travel those routes, called the Virginia Automated Corridors, will be overseen by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, which helped the state government plan the project.As the Richmond Times-Dispatchreports the plan is for companies to test how their cars react in real-world situations on highways packed with human drivers....
  • How Michigan Can Pay for its Roads Without a Tax Increase

    05/28/2015 1:19:20 PM PDT · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 5/22/2015 | Jarrett Skorup
    On May 5 voters rejected Proposal 1, the Legislature’s most recent effort to fix Michigan’s roads. This result should not be regarded, however, as an endorsement of the present state of the roads, and lawmakers should quickly explore new approaches. A new road funding plan should include redirecting current or future state revenue to help pay for roads, and ideas to that extent are outlined below. (The figures are based on the House’s proposed state budget.) Most of this money comes from reducing expenditures on programs that offer little or no benefit to the typical Michigan taxpayer. Altogether, these ideas...
  • Trek urges Wisconsin cyclists to oppose governor's proposed budget cuts and bike tax

    05/21/2015 1:05:24 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 45 replies
    Industry News, Bicycle Retailer ^ | May 20, 2015 | Brain Staff
    "I think the reason these anti-bike policies are being proposed is it’s a red-meat issue for a lot of Republicans," Bike Fed executive director Dave Cieslewicz told Madison.com. "They have stereotypes about what cyclists are and they don’t see them as their voters. They see attacks on cycling as politically beneficial." WATERLOO, Wis. (BRAIN) — Trek Bicycle's president, John Burke, is urging Wisconsin cyclists to contact their state lawmakers in support of the state's Complete Streets Law, which Gov. Scott Walker has proposed eliminating. Burke, in an email sent this week, also urged them to oppose a $25 state bicycle...
  • 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...
  • Facts About Road Safety in Michigan

    04/23/2015 6:08:19 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 7 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 4/20/2015 | James Hohman
    According to the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the rates of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on Michigan's roads have been decreasing for decades. Improved pavement conditions will make the roads safer, but drivers should feel at ease that transportation is less risky than it used to be. The highway safety office reports that vehicle accidents are at all-time lows. There were 289,061 crashes in Michigan in 2013, when drivers traveled 95 billion miles on Michigan roads. Thus, there were three crashes per million miles traveled. Ten years ago, it was 3.9 crashes per million. Ten years before that it...
  • Minnesota GOP plan funds transportation with general fund, not tax hike

    03/24/2015 6:08:13 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 3 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 3-24-15 | David Montgomery
    Republican lawmakers on Monday proposed a $7 billion plan that they called an investment in transportation over the next decade. The proposal has some common ground with plans from leaders of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, but big divisions remain. The parties are far apart on how much money a transportation plan should include, how much of it should go to Twin Cities metro-area mass transit and -- above all -- whether the plan should be paid for by raising taxes or cutting spending. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate DFL majority each proposed their own plans in January. Their approaches...
  • Stop MN Gas Tax Hike

    03/18/2015 6:06:18 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 7 replies
    galt.io ^ | 3-17-15 | MR RIGHT
    So Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota wants another new tax--this time adding a 6.5% gas tax at the wholesale level, along with license fee increases and a new metro-wide sales tax for, you guessed it, mass transit. A lack of government revenue isn't what plagues our roads. About 25% of the current federal gas tax of 18.4 (not including diesel) cents per gallon is siphoned off for non-highway uses, primarily via the Mass Transit Account. As a result, the HTF must now rely on general fund bailouts to survive. Recent history here in Minnesota also proves a similar point. In...
  • 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...
  • Senate DFLers put transportation funding plan on table

    01/13/2015 5:14:03 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press | 1-12-15 | David Montgomery
    The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party will present a unified front this year in favor of a transportation funding package, including about $1 billion of increased taxes and fees. Legislative DFL leaders unveiled a proposal Monday that dovetails closely with Gov. Mark Dayton's plan, along with that of advocacy group Move MN: almost $600 million per year in new gasoline taxes, plus $125 million in vehicle registration fees and hundreds of millions of dollars more for metro-area mass transit. The plan forestalls the possibility of a three-way fight among Dayton, the DFL majority in the Senate and House Republicans -- who oppose any...
  • Dayton Slams "La-La Land" GOP Transportation Plan

    01/10/2015 6:31:32 AM PST · by Extremely Extreme Extremist · 10 replies
    KSTP.COM ^ | 09 JANUARY 2015 | KSTP.COM
    Governor Dayton wants to build billions of dollars worth of roads and bridges during the next 10 years, but he's not doing much bridge-building with House Republicans. At a news conference, he slammed their $750 million transportation plan that doesn't call for any new taxes. "The panel of experts I convened said there's a $6 billion shortfall over the next 10 years and their response yesterday was $200 million from the general fund and $550 million from la-la land," Dayton told reporters at a news conference Friday morning. Dayton also accused Republicans of not even wanting to solve the problem.
  • Mark Dayton wants to limit tax increases to transportation funding

    12/31/2014 7:06:21 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 12-31-14 | David Montgomery
    Minnesota's highway needs can't be met without more tax revenue, Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday -- setting him up for a possible clash with the new Republican majority in the House. Dayton is finalizing his 2016-17 budget proposal, which aims to raise what he says is the $6 billion Minnesota's roads need over the next 10 years. The plan calls for a 6.5 percent wholesale surtax on gasoline -- separate from the existing 28.5 cents-per-gallon tax already levied. That means the tax would bring in more money when gas prices increase. "Our transportation systems are getting worse," Dayton said. "Anybody...
  • 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.
  • Ten Reasons Why Per-Mile Tolling Is a Better Highway User Fee than Fuel Taxes

    12/29/2014 3:44:05 PM PST · by TurboZamboni · 93 replies
    Reason ^ | 2-13-2014 | Robert Poole
    This policy brief focuses on the challenge of developing a viable, user-friendly, per-mile charging system to replace fuel taxes for the nation's major highways. In doing so, it outlines 10 reasons why per-mile tolling is a better highway user fee than fuel taxes. Reason 1: Per-mile tolling is a direct, rather than indirect, user fee. Motorists would pay for the amount of service they received; they would pay providers directly for providing that service; and they would know exactly how much they were paying and what they were getting for it. Reason 2: Per-mile tolling is a sustainable long-term funding...
  • Taxpayer Cost for Road Fix 'Compromise' Went from $0 to $1.9 Billion

    12/29/2014 1:05:38 PM PST · by MichCapCon · 6 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 12/28/2014 | Tom Gantert
    The Michigan Senate’s plan to find more money for road repairs was a $1.2 billion gas and diesel tax increase. The State House’s response was to shift some current state tax revenue to roads, with no net tax increase. Leaders from both sides came up with a "compromise," which was adopted in the predawn hours of Dec. 19: Increase state taxes and spending by $1.9 billion, of which just $1.2 billion goes to fix the roads, and the rest for other areas. “It appears that everyone was at the table negotiating except the taxpayers,” said Leon Drolet, chair of the...
  • 'Let's Make a Deal' Time on Road Funding?

    12/17/2014 11:12:28 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 12/17/2014 | Jack Spencer
    As the end of the legislative year draws near, motorists still wonder: What sort of changes will the Legislature and governor make in the way the state funds its roads and highways? Political observers in Michigan expect some sort of compromise among competing plans passed by the House and Senate, but the specifics are still lacking. According to projections from the state and University of Michigan economists, under the House-passed road plan – which devotes $1 billion more to roads with no tax hike – school funding will increase from $11.5 billion in 2014 to $14.0 billion in 2023. With...
  • School Budgets Safe Under ‘No New Taxes’ House Road Funding Package

    12/16/2014 11:14:18 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 1 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 12/14/2014 | Jack Spencer
    When House Republicans passed a version of road funding legislation Dec. 4 that did not include a tax increase, a cry went up that this would jeopardize appropriations for schools and local government revenue sharing. However, regardless of one’s opinion of the overall usefulness of the plan, the plan would not cause school and local government funding cuts. The measure, House Bill 4539, would phase out the 6-percent sales tax on gas and diesel motor fuel sales over a six-year period beginning Jan. 1, 2016. This tax, which is collected at the pump, is used primarily to provide some of...
  • 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...
  • A 'Silver Lining' to Potholes?

    11/07/2014 9:57:55 AM PST · by MichCapCon · 5 replies
    Capitol Confidential ^ | 11/5/2014 | Jarrett Skorup
    While stopping short of going “full Krugman,” Michigan Radio suggests a “silver lining” regarding the state of Michigan’s roads: In our recent conversation with MSU economist Charlie Ballard, he reminded us that we're going to pay for road repairs one way or another. Maybe higher taxes or, in Ballard's case, paying now, with blown tires and bent rims. But, is there some kind of silver lining to the crummy roads? Maybe for local repair shops? The spending certainly helps the local repair shop, but at the expense of the overall economy. The idea that simply spending money is good without...
  • Bloomberg: Colorado Gun Recall Towns So Rural, They Don’t Have Roads

    In what may come as a surprise to residents of Colorado Springs and Pueblo, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t think those cities have roads. Bloomberg told Rolling Stone that he was “sorry” about the recalls of two state senators last year over the Democratic state legislature’s gun-control. “Colorado Springs is the second largest city in Colorado, Mr. Mayor,” said Herpin. “and not only do we have plenty of roads, but we are also home to the United States Air Force Academy, the U.S. Olympic Training Center and Committee Headquarters (which moved here from New York City), major...
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Obama seeks private dollars to repair public infrastructure

    07/18/2014 5:40:52 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 25 replies
    Pioneer Press(NY Times) ^ | 7-17-14 | Michael D. Shear
    WASHINGTON -- How can a president fix more roads and bridges without any new money to spend? President Barack Obama's answer Thursday was to announce new initiatives to encourage private-sector investment in the nation's infrastructure, including the creation of a "one-stop shop" at the Department of Transportation to forge partnerships between state and local governments, and public and private developers and investors. Stymied by Republican lawmakers who refuse to go along with Obama's call for vast new spending on the nation's infrastructure, the president is spending the week trying to demonstrate that he can still find ways to stop big...
  • Who'll Build the Roads?

    07/16/2014 4:14:50 AM PDT · by Kaslin · 21 replies
    Townhall.com ^ | July 16, 2014 | John Stossel
    "Tea party members don't think there's a federal role in transportation!" complained Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, last week, near the site of a $5.8 million highway project. If only most tea party members were that radical. While Brown and other big-government folks worry that Republicans will cut spending, Republicans debate adding another $10.5 billion to the Highway Trust Fund to keep it going another year -- without deciding how to reform it. Now, there's no doubt some roads and bridges need work. But too little transportation money spent by government goes to building and repairing roads. As Cato Institute transportation...
  • 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...
  • Bloomberg: Colorado Gun Recall Towns So Rural, They Don’t Have Roads

    07/12/2014 7:05:56 AM PDT · by george76 · 61 replies
    Colorado Observer. ^ | July 10, 2014 | Valerie Richardson
    In what may come as a surprise to residents of Colorado Springs and Pueblo, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t think those cities have roads. Bloomberg told Rolling Stone that he was “sorry” about the recalls of two state senators last year over the Democratic state legislature’s gun-control laws, but added that their districts were so “rural” that, “I don’t think there’s roads.” “In Colorado, we got a law passed. The NRA went after two or three state senators in a part of Colorado where I don’t think there’s roads,” said Bloomberg in the interview published online Wednesday....
  • 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...
  • Transportation crisis looms, Obama officials warn

    07/01/2014 10:46:54 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Jul 1, 2014 1:36 PM EDT | Joan Lowy
    The Obama administration warns that gridlock in Washington will lead to gridlock across the country if lawmakers can’t quickly agree on how to pay for highway and transit programs. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Tuesday that states will begin to feel the pain of cutbacks in highway and transit aid as soon as the first week in August—peak summer driving time. That’s because the balance in the federal Highway Trust Fund is dropping and will soon go below $4 billion. …
  • 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...
  • Low-Hanging Fruit Can Help Fund Roads

    06/23/2014 6:07:22 AM PDT · by MichCapCon · 2 replies
    Michigan Capitol Confidential ^ | 6/20/2014 | Michael LaFaive
    An old saying goes, "Those who love sausage or legislation should never watch either being made." The road funding debate now underway in the state Capitol is a prime example, with multiple proposals swirling around Lansing. Currently, rather than trim some fat from Michigan's $52 billion budget and reallocate the money to road repairs, Republicans in the state Senate have suggested reaching more deeply into taxpayer pockets for an additional $1.5 billion. But how to get that done? Knowing the difficulty of passing a massive tax increase in an election year, Senate Democrats have suggested that their votes are available....
  • US Gasoline Tax Increase Urged by Bipartisan Pair of Senators

    06/18/2014 5:08:56 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 51 replies
    Two U.S. senators on Wednesday proposed raising federal gasoline and diesel fuel taxes by 12 cents a gallon [3.2 cents a liter] over the next two years to keep a road and bridge fund from going broke. The gasoline tax now stands at 18.4 cents a gallon, and the diesel tax at 24.4 cents a gallon. The politically sensitive levies have not been increased since 1993. The senators' plan faces an uphill fight this year, with congressional elections coming in November. Senators Bob Corker, a Republican, and Chris Murphy, a Democrat, called for the tax increase, with the new revenue...
  • 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...
  • ONCE AGAIN… Obama Dusts Off His “Crumbling Roads & Bridges” Speech in NY Today

    05/14/2014 10:24:38 AM PDT · by Nachum · 48 replies
    The Gateway Pundit ^ | 5/14/14 | Jim Hoft
    In November 2008 after the presidential election Barack Obama promised to fix America’s “crumbling roads and bridges” with his trillion dollar Keynesian stimulus plan. It never happened.
  • ENDLESS ELECTRICITY: Here's A Way Of Turning America's Roads Into Gigantic Solar Panels

    05/14/2014 7:13:32 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 100 replies
    Business Insider ^ | 05/14/2014 | ROB WILE
    Solar RoadwaysJulie and Scott Brusaw. There are about 31,251 square miles of roads, parking lots, driveways, playgrounds, bike paths, and sidewalks in the lower 48 states. If Julie and Scott Brusaw have their way, they will all someday be replaced with solar panels.For the better part of a decade, the Idaho couple has been working on prototyping an industrial-strength panel that could withstand the weight of even the largest trucks. They now appear to have cracked the formula, developing a specially textured glass coating for the panels that can not only bear tremendous loads but also support standard tire traction. By their...
  • 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.
  • Advanced Concrete Means Little Maintenance For A Century

    04/26/2014 9:53:08 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 58 replies
    Txchnologist ^ | 4-16-14 | Michael Keller
    new water-repellant concrete impregnated with tiny superstrong fibers promises to leave roads and bridges free of major cracks for up to 120 years. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee civil engineers have developed a concrete mix that is durable and superhydrophobic. They call it Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC). Preventing normally porous concrete from absorbing water means that liquid can’t get inside, freeze and cause it to crack. The concrete’s unusual characteristics, including being significantly more ductile than traditional concrete, means that cracks that do form do not propagate and cause failure. “Our architecture allows the material to withstand four times the compression...
  • Is the Highway Trust Fund About to Hit a Dead End?

    04/22/2014 2:42:16 PM PDT · by ThethoughtsofGreg · 21 replies
    American Legislator ^ | 4-18-14 | Steven Johnson
    The Department of Transportation (DOT) released a report this past Tuesday showing that the Highway Trust Fund will run out of money by this August. The fund is the primary way by which the government maintains our roads and highways. While the fund received a $9.7 billion dollar infusion from the General Fund just after the start of this fiscal year, the fund’s outlays continue to outpace receipts and it will soon be in the red. To be sure, part of the reason for this is that transportation infrastructure costs are on the rise. As the highways built in the...
  • State’s transportation budget is headed the wrong way(MN)

    04/12/2014 7:50:18 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    Quad Community Press ^ | 4-8-14 | Roger Chamberlain
    During the last twenty years, roads and bridges have taken a back seat to commuter and light rail projects. This was never clearer than in a 2010 report by the Metropolitan Council titled, “Regional 2030 Transportation Policy Plan,” which virtually gives up on constructing any new vehicle lanes in the seven-county metropolitan area. Instead, the plan places heavy emphasis on rail projects. The population of the metropolitan area is about 3.3 million. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are only about 20 percent of that. In other words, most people live and work outside of the two cities. So why is there...
  • Boxer: ‘Absolutely No Way We’re Going to Cut Spending’

    03/03/2014 10:16:30 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 28 replies
    Cybercast News Service ^ | March 3, 2014 - 11:23 AM | Eric Scheiner
    While discussing federal spending and transportation funding, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said “there is absolutely no way we’re going to cut spending.” Boxer was discussing the Highway Trust Fund with members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in Washington on Feb. 26th, when she addressed various tax increases that may be used to raise money for the program. “I don’t see support for raising the gas tax and there is absolutely no way we’re going to cut spending, so it’s going to have to be a creative way to fund this in reality,” Boxer said....
  • House OKs measure redirecting millions from cigarette tax revenue to water projects, roads

    03/03/2014 8:31:06 AM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 15 replies
    The Republic ^ | February 28, 2014 | John Miller (Associated Press)
    BOISE, Idaho — Millions in tax revenue from Idaho's cigarette sales is closer to flowing toward the state's scarred-up highway asphalt and its drought-depleted aquifers. The House voted 63-4 on Friday to redirect cash from the state's 56 cent-per-pack tax — it has totaled about $35 million to $40 million annually — that's currently being used to retire bonds for the $130 million Idaho Capitol renovation, as well as funding cancer programs, state buildings and juvenile probation. With the Capitol bonds nearly paid off, there's been a scramble this session for the money that's no longer needed.
  • This pothole could cost you $500

    02/26/2014 4:46:00 AM PST · by TurboZamboni · 32 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 2-26-14 | John Brewer
    Jonathan Kealing was on his way to the dog groomer Sunday morning when his car hit a line of potholes on eastbound Minnesota 62 in Minneapolis. "We hit some normal potholes, then it got so intense. We slammed into this chasm in the Earth," Kealing said. It wasn't until a stop later in the morning that he saw just how intense: The rim was no longer round, but flat, and the tire couldn't hold air. After getting a $500 repair bill from the auto shop, Kealing took to Twitter to alert the Minnesota Department of Transportation to the situation. "Dear...
  • A Colossal Bridge Will Rise Across the Hudson

    01/21/2014 1:34:24 PM PST · by Impala64ssa · 42 replies
    NY Times ^ | 1/19/14 | JOSEPH BERGER
    David Capobianco was a toddler in 1964 when the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge slowly soared over his neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, and tethered it to Staten Island. As he grew up, the improbable notion of assembling something so big and of such gossamer design propelled him to become a civil engineer. Now after years of public argument and indecision, the first new colossal steel bridge in the New York area since the Verrazano is finally beginning to rise over one of the most spacious stretches of the Hudson River, a replacement for the decaying Tappan Zee, the longest bridge in the...