Carlos Braceras, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials 2018-2019, says transportation officials must communicate to the public how vital transportation is. "Transportation represents freedom," said Braceras, "the freedom to move where, when and how we want." Braceras spoke at the Mid-America Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials gathering in Indianapolis.
Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, analyzes and challenges the "iron law" of transportation that says building capacity induces demand, meaning the more you build the more people will use and congestion will not ease. Poole takes a deeper look at the 2011 American Economic Review study underpinning this oft-cited claim and examines some of its shortcomings.
Interstate 95 in Florida's Broward County has new express lanes open to traffic, but officials will not implement the toll or limit traffic until the entire stretch between Hollywood and Delray Beach is complete in 2024, said the Florida Department of Transportation. The project converts HOV lanes to tolled express lanes that FDOT officials hope will maintain speeds of 45 to 50 miles per hour.
A Chinese company has unveiled electric scooters that drive themselves to charging stations, removing a pain point for the businesses that rent them out. Firms such as Bird and Lime, which already buy scooters from the company, currently pay contractors to collect the devices and transport them to charging stations.
The mile-long Cline Avenue Bridge in East Chicago is slated to open in early 2020, said officials from Figg Bridge Group and bridge owner United Bridge Partners. More than 120 of the 685 steel and concrete segments comprising the segmented bridge have been erected.
What toll E-ZPass customers pay depends on where they bought the pass, and the American Automobile Association doesn't like the practice, says Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations for AAA of Western and Central New York. Several states charge the cash toll rate or 5% more to E-ZPass holders of passes purchased in another state, a practice that Carey says undermines the "idea of interoperability" underpinning the E-ZPass system.
The Mobile County Metropolitan Planning Organizations and the Eastern Shore MPO are meeting in the next few weeks, and they have the ability to vote the Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project out of county Transportation Improvement Plans. Such a move could endanger $125 million in federal funding, as well as plans to finance a sizable portion of the project through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, said Alabama Department of Transportation spokesperson Allison Gregg.
Alabama's Lieutenant Gov. Will Ainsworth has said he will vote against the proposed Interstate 10 toll bridge in south Alabama, saying that "A state that built the rockets that sent men to the moon should be able to find a way to build a bridge without extorting the citizens it seeks to serve." Gov. Kay Ivey has said citizen ideas for alternative funding measures will be heard at the Oct. 7 meeting of the Toll Road, Bridge and Tunnel Authority, but not moving forward on the 25-year project is not an option.
Submit your application now for IBTTA's 2020 Leadership Academy, Feb. 23 through Feb. 28, 2020, in Washington, DC. More than 300 IBTTA members have graduated from the week-long intensive training for senior-level managers in public and private sector organizations. The deadline to apply is October 7, 2019.
Travel to Lisbon October 27 through 29, 2019, and meet your colleagues from across the globe. Our host, Brisa, will begin the Summit with a technical tour of their Operational Centre. Then you will have the opportunity to learn about the Portuguese mobility infrastructure challenge, hear from tolling experts from Europe and across the globe as they share their knowledge and expertise on tolling improvements and reconstruction, flagship initiatives on cooperative, connected and automated mobility, incident and safety management and much more. To learn more about Lisbon, visit www.visitlisboa.com.