The Deadly Costs of Failing Infrastructure
Failing infrastructure is a life and death matter. Decaying roads, bridges, dam, pipelines, water delivery, and railroads lacking safety controls are responsible for the loss of thousands of lives annually, on top of illnesses and injuries.
Feds Award nearly $28 Million for Washington to Baltimore Maglev Project
The 105-year old Hudson River Rail Tunnels may desperately need replacement, but the Federal Railroad Administration also has an eye on the future, awarding $27.8 million to prepare a maglev application between Washington and Baltimore.
President Obama Signs 3-Week Highway Bill and Railroad Safety Extension
A three-week extension of federal transportation spending and three-year extension for railroads to install positive train control was signed on Oct. 29, the date the current highway extension expired.
Railroads Given Three More Years to Install Positive Train Control
Agreement has been reached by Congress to extend the vital but costly safety system said to prevent many train crashes. Had it not been reached, freight railroads warned they would shut down, as would passenger rail lines running on their tracks.
White House Smart Cities Initiative Uses Connected Vehicle Technology
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx unveiled a $42 million transportation program in Manhattan that is part of President Obama's new $160 million Smart Cities Initiative. Funds will go to NYC, Tampa, and Wyoming to reduce congestion and crashes.
What's the Rush on the Highway Bill Reauthorization?
Surprise! A three-month transportation funding bill turns out to have funds for nine months! While unanticipated funds certainly sound like good news, it also takes immediate pressure off the House to working on a six-year reauthorization bill.
A Really, Really Big Fuel Cell Vehicle Possibly Coming to the Bay Area
This vehicle would be larger than a Hummer, a bus, and even an 18-wheeler. Then again, it would not travel on land. The proposal goes by an appropriate acronym: SF-BREEZE. Think fresh air over the bay.
New Crude-by-Rail Rule Restricts Access to Information
A May 1 Federal Railroad Administration rule on moving crude by rail was supposed to make routing information more accessible to the the public, but due to lobbying by the rail industry, it will do just the opposite.
Has Fuel Efficiency Been Scapegoated to Avoid Raising the Federal Gas Tax?
Vermont's Transportation Secretary points to increased fuel efficiency as reason to look for an alternative revenue option, favoring Oregon's Road Usage Charge. Meanwhile, U.S. DOT reactivated its "ticker" to warn of funding cutoff after July 31.
Record Memorial Day Travel Due to Low Gas Prices, Improved Economy
In addition to record travel this Memorial Day, the U.S. DOT reports that March broke the record for the most vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Gas prices, though rising since late March, are predicted to drop and remain low through the end of 2015.
Five Days after DOT Releases Crude-by-Rail Rule, Another Oil Train Explodes
Critics warned that a Department of Transportation rule allowing up to 10 years to phase out existing oil tank cars would result in more explosions. The rule was issued on May 1; an explosion occurred May 6.
Older Oil Tank Rail Cars Face Three-Year Deadline to be Replaced
Following up on last month's emergency rule addressing trains speeds, the Transportation Department issued new rules addressing tanker car standards, long thought to be one of the most important factors contributing to fiery oil tank car explosions.
Emergency Crude-by-Rail Safety Orders Take Effect
The emergency rules issued by DOT, including lowering oil-train speeds to 40 mph in urban areas, go into effect on April 20. They are in addition to rules expected to be released May 12 that address oil tanker car construction.
Highway Trust Fund Expiration Pushed Back to July or August
Congress just got one or two months of extra breathing room to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent. Heretofore the patch bill was said to exhaust its funding on May 31, but the new word from Transportation Secretary Foxx is that it will be later.
Crude-by-Rail's New Workhorse No Better than the Old Workhorse
The new oil tank cars were supposed to be key to preventing the fiery explosions associated with oil-train derailments. However, four recent explosions since Feb. 14, with two occurring last Thursday and Saturday, all involved the new tankers.
Cause of Crude-by-Rail Explosions Identified
The Wall Street Journal's senior energy reporter, Russell Gold, is interviewed on NPR about the February 16 derailment and explosion in West Virginia of an oil-train hauling 109 tanker cars of Bakken crude from North Dakota.
Revised Data Shows Vehicle Miles Traveled Increased in 2013
Peak VMT reportedly occurred in 2007, but that may not stand long according to updated DOT estimates of 2013 travel. According to the data, Americans drove nearly three trillion miles. Another finding is the large increase in number of vehicles.
Peak Driving Record Shattered
So long 2007. Hello 2014. According to new DOT data, peak driving is no longer in the rear view mirror but ahead of us thanks to cheap gas getting even cheaper, the rebound effect, an improved economy, and warmer weather.
Florida High Speed Rail to Remain Privately Funded
Apparently some in Florida were uncomfortable with the much touted "privately funded railroad" using a $1.6 billion Federal Railroad Administration loan, so All Aboard Florida applied for tax exempt bonds to supplement or replace the loan.
Freight Rail Conundrum: Speed vs. Safety
Safety would win hands down for passenger rail, but for-profit railroads have a bottom line to consider. Regulators have proposed reduced train speeds, opposed by railroads, to prevent fiery derailments that have resulted from shipping shale oil.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Chaddick Institute at DePaul University
Park City Municipal Corporation
National Capital Planning Commission
City of Santa Fe, New Mexico
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.