Metropolitan War in an Imagined NHL?
January 05, 2010
As part of a great-as-usual exchange between ESPN’s Bill Simmons and noted writer Malcolm Gladwell, the two sports-niks hypothesized about the NHL’s future. Simmons pondered why Canada, the unquestioned home of hockey, doesn’t have more NHL teams. In response he proposed a new, two conference league split evenly between Canadian and American teams. Gladwell replied with: I'm with you on the 24-team, Canadian-American conference idea, particularly since it turns the Stanley Cup finals into a border war every year.
New Traffic Lights Play a Deadly Game of Hide-and-Seek
December 21, 2009
Our friends at Engadget picked up on an unfortunate engineering failure. See, the country has been slowly converting to a low-carbon future, something we here at the Avenue whole-heartedly endorse. However, we’re also pro-safety. And it looks like some developing traffic light technology won’t let us have both: A number of cold weather American states are reporting their dismay at finding out that LED traffic lights are so energy efficient that they do not produce enough excess heat to dissipate any snow that covers them.
Americans Still Driving Less
December 18, 2009
Just about one year ago, Rob Puentes and I published a white paper entitled ‘The Road… Less Traveled.’ As the title suggests, our research found that
Infrastructure Spending's Thin Gruel Gets Thinner
December 14, 2009
A few weeks ago we wrote about how the federal government’s guidance to target funds in “Economically Distressed Areas” is fundamentally flawed. It basically reinforces the ‘peanut butter’ approach of spending infrastructure dollars around very thinly. A new GAO report found that it’s getting worse.
Baltimore Bets on Port Privatization
December 03, 2009
Frank Sobotka never delivered on his dredging in Season 2 of The Wire, but it appears like Baltimore is finally one step closer to getting a much improved Port of Baltimore. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced last week that the state signed an agreement with Port America to operate the port for 50 years. The deal is contingent on Port America, the nation’s largest port operator, to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the facility.
How Should We Target Job Creation?
November 30, 2009
With all the hubbub around job creation it is easy to overlook the fact that the federal government did provide guidance on how best to geographically target funds for highway projects in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). That law directs transportation agencies to place priority on “Economically Distressed Areas” for project selection of ARRA funds. Ok, makes sense. It is natural to want to boost jobs in those communities that are suffering.
Will Looming Debt Issues Penetrate the Federal Transportation Debate?
November 25, 2009
The New York Times ran a fascinating article earlier this week concerning looming federal debt issues. I’ll let the article do most of the talking, but the general rub is that federal debt payments will jump substantially in the coming years--and this has very real consequences for how and what government funds. Without a doubt, those consequences will reverberate across every policy field.
A Two-Sided Stimulus Story in One Dimension
November 09, 2009
This past Saturday the Washington Post ran a detailed assessment of the stimulus funding related to energy-efficiency grants. Definitions differ based on the source, but the article uses the number of $25 billion and is “split roughly equally among programs for homes for low-income workers, federal buildings, public housing, military facilities, and initiatives by local and state governments.” Besides refuting its own awkward headline, the piece also takes a short-run and limited view on a long-range effort.
Forecast for Unfriendly Skies
October 08, 2009
While the debate surrounding surface transportation authorization commands most of the recent transportation news, there’s another serious authorization debate taking place on Capitol Hill: FAA reauthorization. And the debate couldn’t come at a better time. Recent research found that the average air travel arrival delay grew from just over 40 minutes in 1990 to nearly 57 minutes in the most recent twelve month period. Part of this is due to the growth in delays over two hours: They’ve more than doubled since 1990. Just as importantly, these delays don’t occur in a locational vacuum. Rather, th
High Speed Rail’s Missed Connections
August 28, 2009
Ever since its inclusion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment (stimulus) Act, the $8 billion in funding for high speed rail (HSR) has enchanted the American public. Stories abound detailing the potential for new corridors, what it may do to our metropolitan areas, and whether we need the investment at all. Recently Edward Glaeser has been conducting a hypothetical cost-benefit analysis of these projects in the New York Times.