Saturday, May 21, 2016

Transportation News Round-Up: May 21, 2016

Photo courtesy of the Washington Post.

This week in transportation, the presidential candidates found one thing to agree on, the White House expressed frustration with the permitting process, and DC Metro continued to be unpopular. Here are the most important and interesting stories from the past week:

The Hill: Rebuilding plans capture spotlight
All three of the remaining presidential candidates, including presumptive nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, have spoken on the importance of federal investment in transportation infrastructure. Given the sorry state of our transportation system, this is heartening. It is somewhat discouraging, however, to see the author write that Trump "sounds like a Democrat" when he talks about the importance of investing in infrastructure: that was not always a partisan issue.

Morning Consult: White House official says infrastructure permitting process needs work
Jason Millar, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, said this week that the Obama Administration will tackle challenges related to our infrastructure in two ways: first through new investment under the 21st Century Clean Transportation System, and through a review of inefficiencies related to our infrastructure permitting system. This could certainly be helpful, as we've seen a connection between the large-scale projects that have trouble getting through the permitting system, and the projects that would create the most jobs and other economic benefits.

Next City: This is what a smarter 21st-century transportation system will look like
Next City outlines the three criteria that a "smarter, more equitable 21st-century transportation system" should meet: it should leverage transportation investments to drive job growth, it should put racial and economic equity at the center of the investment decision-making process, and it should ensure that the communities that will be affected by those investment decisions have a part in the decision-making process.

Washington Post: Nearly half of you use public transportation - and less than a third are satisfied, according to new survey
It's almost too obvious to be newsworthy, but a new study has found that while DC-area residents continue to rely on public transportation, a majority of them are unsatisfied with the quality of our  transportation system. WBA Research found that 47 percent of respondents use public transportation (42 percent of which use Metro, and the rest Metrobus and other options like MARC and Circulator), but less than a third of those riders would rate the system at least 8/10. However, vast majorities of DC, Virginia, and Maryland commuters would be at least somewhat likely to support increased government funding for public transportation.


California High-Speed Rail Authority: Central Valley Construction Update - April 26, 2016
This is a bit longer than a week old (it was posted May 10), but CHSRA has released a  new video updating residents and transportation wonks on the progress that's being made to California's new high-speed rail system. The video takes us on a tour of the Central Valley, highlighting developments from bridges and viaducts to tunnels that will allow the train to circumnavigate existing infrastructure. One thing we're not seeing yet: tracks.



Happy reading, and happy weekend!

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