IN THE NEWS — Articles From Around the Country

Across US, Bridges Crumble as Repair Funds Fall Short

September 3, 2013 (Los Angeles Times) — America’s roads and bridges have been eroding for decades, but the deeper they fall into disrepair, the less money there is to fix them. First, the recession crippled local budgets, cutting the money available for transportation projects. As states began to recover, the federal government adopted its own mandatory budget cuts via sequestration. Then last month, the federal legislation that annually funds transportation projects across the country hit a roadblock of Republican opposition that throttled multibillion-dollar transportation bills in the House and Senate. Read the full story.

The Loss of the Public Good

August 21, 2013 (Baltimore Sun) — Much of the rest of what’s considered “public” has become so shoddy that those who can afford to do so find private alternatives. As public schools deteriorate, the upper-middle class and wealthy send their kids to private ones. As public pools and playgrounds decay, the better-off buy memberships in private tennis and swimming clubs. As public hospitals decline, the well-off pay premium rates for private care. Read the full story.

HOT Lanes are Even More Popular When They’re Expensive

August 19, 2013 (Atlantic Cities) — Everyday, sometimes twice a day, commuters in the increasing number of U.S. metro areas with a HOT lane ask themselves that timeless question: to pay, or not to pay. How they answer depends on the toll price, which charges single-occupancy cars for HOT access based on congestion levels. Logic suggests that as the toll goes up, fewer drivers would fork over the money — for the same reason we sit coach on a plane once we see the price of first-class.Read the full story.

Old Tax, New Fees Among Options for Highway Funding

June 6, 2013 (Politico) — The next highway and transit bill might be more than a year away, but a string of major infrastructure failures has lawmakers and advocates already thinking about how to boost funding. Read the full story.

Obama to Nominate Anthony Foxx as Transportation Secretary

April 28, 2013 (Reuters) — President Barack Obama plans to nominate on Monday Charlotte, North Carolina, Mayor Anthony Foxx to be his next transportation secretary, a White House official said on Sunday. Read the full story.

Obama Wants $50B for Roads, $40B for Rail, MAP-21 Exension in 2014 Budget

April 10, 2013 (The Hill) — President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal calls for Congress to approve $50 billion in immediate spending on U.S. highways and $40 billion on long-distance railways. Read the full story.

Silver Spring Transit Center’s Inspectors Ran Poor Concrete Tests, Report Says

March 26, 2013 (Washington Post) — The firm hired by Montgomery County to perform field inspections on the Silver Spring Transit Center improperly tested the strength of concrete, apparently failed to measure its thickness and didn’t raise sufficient concerns when the concrete started to crack, according to independent engineers and county officials. Read the full story.

I Will Not Serve a Second Term; But We Have More Work to Do

January 29, 2013 (USDOT) — One of the best things about the four years that I (USDOT Secretary Ray LaHood) have served in this office is the ability to share the achievements of DOT with readers of this blog. It’s no secret that I value the work we do here, and it has been a pleasure to demonstrate that twice daily on the Fast Lane. Read the full story.

Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Plan For Infrastructure Wins Thumbs Up From Mayors

July 23, 2012 (Huffington Post) — In a Friday news release, Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and mayor of Philadelphia, applauded the Chicago Infrastructure Trust for “looking outside the box” for ways to finance transportation improvements. The trust, passed in April by the Chicago City Council, seeks to secure $1.7 billion from private investors to modernize what Mayor Rahm Emanuel has deemed the city’s “crumbling infrastructure.” Read the full story.

House approves 90-day highway bill, dares Senate to reject it

March 29, 2012 (The Hill) — The House on Thursday morning approved a 90-day extension of federal highway programs over the objections of angry Democrats, a move that dares Senate Democrats to reject the bill just days before federal authorization expires.  Read the full story.