California Roads in Best Shape Since 2001 – Caltrans
April 7, 2014
A new Caltrans report finds California’s roads are in their best shape since 2001.
Officials said 84 percent of the state’s roads are in good, operating condition thanks to voter-approved bonds and federal stimulus money totaling to nearly $4 billion.
“It was good that we had it. A lot of projects that had been waiting for funding got funded,” Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said. “And we took care of them and they’ll be good for years to come.”
Several motorists said they were surprised to hear of the report’s claim.
Perea wants truck weight fees to fix highways
April 7, 2014
Perea says stop diverting fees intended to fix transportation infrastructure
Central Valley Assemblyman Henry Perea, D-Fresno, says it’s time the weight fees paid by truckers are put back where they were intended: into fixing the roads.
“Redirecting truck weights fees back to their intended purpose will help California invest in our state highways and create about 18,000 good jobs,” says Mr. Perea. “These fees would provide funding for projects leading to a beneficial multiplier effect in the state economy, through the vital creation of new jobs and overdue investment in our transportation infrastructure.”
His legislation, Assembly Bill 2728, would provide funding to rehabilitate California’s dilapidated roadways. The weight fees were redirected during the Great Recession to keep state government afloat.
“Now with the economy and the state budget on better footing — and with our state transportation program woefully underfunded — it’s time to redirect truck weight fees back to their intended purpose of repairing our highway system,” says Jim Earp, executive director for the lobbying group California Alliance for Jobs.
Will Kempton, executive director of another lobby group, Transportation California and himself a former director of the California Department of Transportation, says it’s time to put the fees where the rubber meets the road. “The public recognizes the need to take care of our existing system, and recapturing these fees is a simple way to provide more money for the transportation program without raising taxes,” he says.
Read more in the Central Valley Business Times.
Bad roads just aren’t acceptable
March 31, 2014
Improvements in pavements are a small, temporary silver lining, writes the Lompoc Record.
A recent editorial states: “California highway conditions are among the worst in the nation. The latest data from the California Transportation Department confirms the worst-in-the-nation claim, although things have improved in recent years. Officially, 16 percent of the state’s 50,000 miles of highway lanes are considered to be in “poor” condition. Unofficially, we’d have to say that the percentage of bad roads most of us have to drive on is higher than 16 percent.
“There is a small, temporary silver lining — California road conditions have actually improved over the past four years, thanks in no small part to the Transportation Department using nearly $4 billion in state and federal funds in a wide-ranging highway repair campaign. But, because just about everything in California is a roller-coaster ride, those four years of repairs are about to come to an end, with both federal and state funding sources drying up. And the money is running out while a backlog of unmet highway maintenance needs continues to increase.”
Read more here.
California highways a bit better, but may get worse
March 28, 2014
Pavement conditions on California’s highways are among the worst in the nation, but the state transportation department says they’ve gotten a bit better in the last four years, thanks to spending $3.9 billion in state and federal funds.
Dan Walters Daily: State debt should account for crumbling highways (article & video)
March 28, 2014
The budget may be balanced on paper, but we’re running up debts with deferred maintenance on our crumbling highway system, Dan says.
Dan Walters Daily: State debt should account for crumbling highways (video)
March 28, 2014
AASHTO | Nation at a Crossroads
March 28, 2014
Without a strong transportation network, America goes nowhere. And without federal investment, our system falls apart.
What happens to our economic future if the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) dead-ends?
A Gas-Tax Increase For Transportation Improvements Is Dead On Arrival
March 24, 2014
Meanwhile, the Highway Trust Fund may dry up by July
Forbes says a gas-tax increase is not in the offing, and the trend is toward general fund revenue to support transportation. The Highway Trust Fund, which has relied on general fund infusions for several years, is set to go belly up in July. Read more here.
Transit ridership hits highest level in six decades
March 17, 2014
Yet 75 percent of daily trips are still by car.
It’s the 8th year in a row that public transit trips topped 10 billion for rides on commuter rail, light rail, para transit, buses, etc. Transit spokespeople say there’s a fundamental shift in how we move around our communities. And while this figure is the highest since 1956, the numbers of people using transit in 1956 was over 20 billion, and the nation’s population has blossomed since then.
Here are two stories on travel habits, one about the transit study, and the other about a survey from Caltrans. A third article sees the important factor in this trend as choices and options for Americans.
Economic recovery's Catch-22: Traffic is back
March 10, 2014
Congestion marks country’s recovery from the Great Recession.
After seven years of modest gridlock during the Great Recession, data from 2013 shows that traffic congestion is on the way back, even with only moderate job growth in some cities.
Nationwide, congestion was up 6% in 2013, with the average commuter in the nation’s 10 worst traffic cities wasting an average of 47 hours a year — or more than a week’s vacation — sitting in traffic; that’s up from 42 hours for those cities in 2012.
“Traffic’s coming back,” says Jim Bak, INRIX’s director of community relations and author of the report. “It’s still not where it was before the recession. However, it is getting worse, and the question now is how do we prevent bad traffic from inhibiting our economic recovery.”
Read more in USA Today, here.