I've always chuckled at the naivety of demands for tough border security to keep out 'illegals.' They picture the typical illegal as wading the Rio Grande or snipping barbed wire in southern Arizona, and they demand some kind of Berlin Wall on the 1,969 miles, 3,170km of our southern border. The US Senate as I write is apparently debating a bill which is all about Stasi-like measures on the US-Mexico border.
Toll industry association IBTTA is calling on the Feds to ease their restrictions on toll financing, saying: "The federal government can’t afford to pay for many of the transportation investments the country needs…state and local governments should have the flexibility to choose the funding tools that work best for them."
Transurban, operator of the 495 express toll lanes in the Capital Beltway in Northern Virginia had their first toll-free period this weekend as a promotion.
They're trying to get drivers to try out the lanes, which have had pretty light patronage since their start-up five months ago.
A complaint has been that the entries and exits are complicated to get the hang of.
The separate ramps for the express lanes provide different access and egress routes especially in the commercial Tysons center in the northern part of the facility.
March traffic numbers reported at the US-Canada toll crossings Ontario to Michigan and New York continue weak, 3.06m vs 3.07m in March of 2012. That's a pretty insignificant decline at 0.3%. For the March quarter the overall decline is 92,000 or 1.1%. Both aggregates comprise slight strengthening of car numbers but continued significant decline in truck traffic.
Truck traffic in the first quarter this year was 1.55m vs 1.69m in the March quarter last year - a drop of 143,000 trucks or 8.5%.
By contrast cars were 6.64m 2013/1Q vs 6.58m 2012/Q1, a 0.8% increase.
"We still waste money in all kinds of things that don't work, and we have the capacity to shift those dollars into things that do work and that will grow our economy." So spoke President Obama at a Democratic National Committee fund raising event in Atherton, California Thursday morning.
He didn't volunteer quite what things they spend money on that "don't work."
But in transportation clearly what don't work are federal handouts known as grants:
And we thought we might get chopped from her email list - The Nation's expose of anti-union activism
A chatty publicist for The Nation emails us:
"Peter, I wanted to alert you to Nation reporting fellow Lee Fang's latest investigative piece, "The Right Leans In," which explores how conservatives have developed a new political infrastructure in the states—expanding and creating state-level think tanks, new local attack blogs, reporting outfits, and grassroots organizing efforts.
26 year old loll collector William Bradshaw is up on grand larceny charges for stealing what may total about $75,000 in toll money at the PANYNJ's Staten Island bridges, according to a report by Stephanie Slepian of the Staten Island Advance. He was arrested last Thursday by PA police. They caught him failing to 'register' vehicles and pocketing the money.
Bradshaw confessed to detectives they said in court papers filed with the charges. He called his actions "stupid" and claimed he'd never stolen anything before in his life. He said he wanted to cooperate.
For years environmental groups have opposed replacement of the New York State Thruway's Tappan Zee Bridge, threatening to delay it with a string of lawsuits. They said construction would wreak havoc with the delicate ecosystems of the Hudson estuary, and that if it had to be built it must incorporate a transit line in addition to the road lanes. The demand for a transit line loaded huge expense on the project no part of which would ever be funded by train fares.
- from a correspondent:
The wealthiest entrepreneur in Pennsylvania has to be the producer of “Road Work” signs. I have just driven from western Maryland to New Jersey – most of this along the Penna turnpike – and there are thousands of them.
“Roadwork in 2 miles” “Roadwork in 1 mile” “Form One Lane” “Prepare to Stop” “Trucks entering” “Fines doubled in Work Area” and on and on. These are all in an aggressive black sans-serif type on a showy orange background, and some even have little lights flashing on and off.
Maryland's State Highway Administration has another small stage of the MD200, Intercounty Connector (ICC) tollroad well under way. And the project has got the attention of the Washington Post because of a few complaints about construction related traffic delays. An $89m contract with a Shirley, Clark, Facchina & Trumbull joint venture is extending the tollroad just 0.9 miles east of its present end at I-95 to US1 in Laurel.