"When the history of the global warming scare comes to be written, a chapter should be devoted to the way the message had to be altered to keep the show on the road. 'Global warming' became 'climate change' so as to be able to take the blame for cold spells and wet seasons as well as hot days. Then, to keep its options open, the movement began to talk about 'extreme weather'.
Local and national environmental groups are challenging the Federal Highway Administration's approval for the Illiana Expressway on the southern fringe of the Chicago area. Joined in a suit in US court Open Lands, the Sierra Club and local groups claim the permitting process was flawed.
In El Paso Texas the local toll authority (Camino Real RMA) is moving to develop its second toll lanes project on Loop 375 heading away from the Mexican border on the southeast side of the city.
The new toll lanes would run along the North Americas Avenue freeway lanes leading from the Zaragoza/Waterfill border crossing 4 miles to I-10 (known as 14b in CRRMA planning) and another 2 miles northeast to Pellicano Drive.
The NY state Cuomo administration's efforts to break up the binational Peace Bridge toll authority (Buffalo and Ft Erie Public Bridge Authority) could put the authority debt "under negative pressure" the New York rater, Fitch said today. Cuomo's delegates to the board have been boycotting its meetings in an effort to force the Canadian government to agree to disbandment of the authority and a division of the bridge into US and Canadian properties.
Weak traffic numbers in the early months of the 495 Express Lanes and on WA167 in Washington state recently provoked an outpouring of popular commentary along the lines of "Why are HOT Lanes struggling to make money?" a headline of a piece in The Atlantic Cities June 24. The articles focussed heavily on lower performing toll lanes and notably avoided mention of the solid ones - 91 Express, CA/I-15, FL/I-95, MN/I-394, GA/I-85… so they were describing an unrepresentative sample.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike's new CEO Mark Compton this week announced appointment of three people to a Special Advisory Committee to review its policies and procedures for contracting. The commission was announced a reform initiative by Compton March 18 at the same time the state attorney general's charges were unveiled against eight top former Turnpike officials and associated vendors and politicians.
At a meeting of the full Turnpike Commission June 4 the formation of the advisory committee was formally approved.
Georgia SRTA gets industry "awards" for disastrous mismanagement of I-85 Express Lanes planning and launch + COMMENTBy Peter Samuel on July 2, 2013
Of all the launches of toll express or HOT lanes projects - and there are over 25 operating now - by far the worst was Georgia I-85 Express Lanes, on the northeast side of Atlanta. Every day for the first days of the launch early October 2011 the lanes were virtually empty, while congestion alongside was noticeably worse than before they were instituted. Georgia SRTA screwed up royally.
IBTTA has a press release out saying a sample of traffic data from "a dozen tollroads" across the country showed "a small uptick" in traffic for Memorial Day this year compared to last. They say the increase was 0.02%.
We'd say that change whether positive or negative is so small the data indicate no more than that traffic is flat.
"Nation's tollroads show no change in traffic over year…" would be our headline.
AP reports that FBI agents arrested Gerardo Blasi, 54, a former insurance claims officer at the New Jersey Turnpike Authority Monday on charges of fraud. He is accused of stealing a total of $120,000 between April 2011 and June this year through a variety of schemes skimming money from insurance settlements and establishing fictitious repair businesses to which Turnpike checks were sent.
The boards of directors of The Toll Roads in Orange County California this week approved budgets for the 2014 fiscal year that provide $12.2m for conversion to all-electronic toll collection. Cash toll collection will cease and the combination of highway speed transponder tolls (FasTrak) and license plate imaging should be in place by the summer of 2014.
The Toll Roads say in a statement today that current cash customers will be given a choice of several new payment methods and account types from early 2014.
The budgets also provide for: