Federal law mandates that high-occupancy vehicle lanes and toll lanes that receive federal funding keep traffic flowing at 45 mph 90% of the time. That doesn't always happen in California's Los Angeles County, and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is thinking about tolling more lanes and increasing vehicle occupancy requirements to try to speed things up.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to add tolled express lanes on Interstate 55 in the Chicago suburbs and wants the legislature to give the green light to the project by month's end. However, the House wants more information on the public-private project's costs and fees.
A survey reveals that 96% of residents in Ontario, Canada, want the government to invest in transportation infrastructure. More than half want efforts focused on highways and bridges, while only 26% want the focus on public transit.
Mobile sensors installed in vehicles can gather a significant amount of data that could be used for machine-learning algorithms to better understand the environment. Startups are beginning to utilize this technology, such as Nauto's data set that includes changes in road conditions and UrbanLogiq's platform for using data for responsive traffic lights.
Civil engineer and former West Virginia Secretary of Transportation Samuel Bonasso has partnered with Jim Matuga to create a device that can fill a 3-by-3-foot pothole for less than $100. The Pothole Terminator by Mechanical Concrete uses crushed stone placed inside an old tire stripped of its sidewalls and functions like a "structural French drain," Bonasso says.
The failure to raise the gas tax in the 2015 FAST Act has left a shortfall in transportation funding, writes policy analyst Noel Popwell, but raising gas levies is not the long-term answer to the cash gap. Alternative funding such as fee-for-miles-traveled must be considered, and the public educated about costs associated with building and improving roads.
Drivers who evade toll charges could have their vehicle registration revoked or suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles under a new Senate bill in New York state. It's estimated that about $16 million a year in revenue could be collected if the bill becomes law.
Rules regarding high-occupancy vehicle lanes in California's Riverside County are in effect 24 hours a day, which means the lanes aren't all that well used outside of commuting hours. A bill now headed to the Assembly Appropriations Committee would change that and allow solo drivers to use the lanes during non-peak hours.