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Performance measures for freight transportation

As a prelude to a national freight report card, researchers looked at 360 potential freight performance measures. They picked 29 that looked promising. The intent was to develop “a comprehensive, objective, and consistent set of measures to gauge the performance of the freight transportation

From FHWA, a template

Recognizing the need for more attention to freight in the planning process, FHWA has developed a Statewide Freight Plan Template to help states include freight in their planning: “Today, one of the biggest challenges facing public sector transportation professionals is incorporating freight

From US EPA, other freight resources

SmartWay Transport is an innovative collaboration between the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the freight sector designed to improve energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions, and improve energy security. Developed jointly in early 2003 by EPA

Testing now: Vehicles that communicate with each other to avoid crashes

US DOT launched a major test of innovative vehicle safety technology using cars and trucks that will communicate hazards in real time. The connected vehicle test will go on for a year in Ann Arbor, Michigan on ordinary roads and highways. As noted in US DOT’s press release: “We envision

No unanimity on Illinois Tollway proposal to increase tolls

The Illinois Tollway wants to fund a $12 billion 15-year capital plan with increases in tolls. Two-thirds of the money is to keep the existing 286 miles of the Tollway in a state of good repair and one-third to expansion projects. If the increase goes through, I-PASS holders will see their rates

And in Washington State: Anti-toll initiative heads to the ballot box

A citizen-sponsored initiative to restrict use of highway tolls, targeting both road and related transit projects, will be on the November ballot in Washington State. The measure would restrict toll revenues to the facility on which they are collected; end tolling “after the cost of the project

Indiana toll road trouble

Although public-private partnerships (PPPs) for transportation infrastructure are often portrayed as losing propositions for the public, the private partner is sometimes on the losing end of the deal as well. As reported in an article in Bloomberg Businessweek, the private partners that won the

San Diego to buy bankrupt toll road (Is it a good deal?)

As reported recently by the LA Times, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) is considering purchasing the South Bay Expressway (State Route 125), located near the US-Mexico border, for $345 million. The 10-mile toll road was initially expected to exemplify the benefits of

Road pricing: public perceptions and program development

As state and local governments grapple with reduced revenue from traditional sources, deferred maintenance needs, and traffic congestion, many are searching for ways to generate revenue and reduce congestion without making major capital investments. An NCHRP report released earlier this year,

How do you get there from here?

Fuel taxes are no longer a good way of funding the transportation system. With increasing fuel efficiency and new fuels powering transportation, the fuel tax as we know it is not sustainable. Two national commissions set up by the U.S. Congress recommended replacing fuel taxes with a

Higher gear: To fund transportation, congress should tax travel, bot fuel

Paul Sorenson, Liisa Ecola, and Martin Wachs argue for funding highways by using a tax on miles traveled, rather than the current method of a tax on fuel: “Better fuel economy is good for the economy, energy independence, and reduced air pollution. But better fuel economy also means that

And in the same year that Eisenhower introduced the National Highway System

Time Magazine in 1955 gushed about toll roads: “EVERYBODY agrees that the U.S. needs more and better roads, but almost nobody agrees on how to pay for them. While the argument rages, Texas has gone ahead and devised something new: the nation’s first privately owned and privately financed

Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Advisory Commission

The Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Advisory Commission’s recent report found that “due to increasing vehicle fuel efficiency, Pennsylvania now collects less fuel tax revenue per mile traveled than it has at any time in the past. This has led to a serious decline in the amount of money

Failure to act will cost money, a lot of money

“The nation’s deteriorating surface transportation infrastructure will cost the American economy more than 870,000 jobs, and increase transportation costs by $430 billion by 2020,” according to a report conducted by the Economic Development Research Group of Boston for the American Society

The next roundabout?

A new intersection design is being introduced at high volume highway interchanges in states across the U.S. The diverging diamond interchange (simulation), described by Tom Vanderbilt in a recent Slate article, reduces queue lengths and significantly reduces the number of conflict points where