Electric buses, asphalt and bridges: Politicians jostle for federal transportation cash
WASHINGTON — The nearly $1 billion that U.S. Rep. Garret Graves is seeking through Congress’ revamped earmarks process isn’t a typo. The Louisiana Republican says Baton Rouge desperately needs a new bridge to alleviate a crush of roadway congestion — at a cost of $955.2 million for several projects. That far exceeds the $20 million that […]
As America’s infrastructure crumbles, politicians treat the problem like a partisan board game
No, America, this is not a drill. In Texas, supposedly the nation’s energy capital, more than 4.5 million homes and businesses were left without light and power for days on end as a freakish winter storm and cold wave caused the state’s insular power grid to fail under the demand. More than 150 deaths resulted […]
With ‘Amtrak Joe’ in the White House, states hope for a passenger rail renaissance
Stu Nicholson has been trying for decades without success to get Amtrak —or any other passenger rail service — to come to Columbus, Ohio. As director of All Aboard Ohio, a passenger rail advocacy group, Nicholson helped explore possibilities, like creating a new route from Chicago to Pittsburgh, with Columbus in the middle. But for […]
Does Virginia need an Office of Trails?
From new walking paths at First Landing to freshly forged mountain biking trails in Pocahontas State Park, Virginia’s General Assembly isn’t unfamiliar with putting money towards outdoor recreation. However, the $10 million for regional trails included in the most recent state budget sets a new precedent for trails funding. Although news of the money was […]
Windsor, site of viral traffic stop, leans heavily on ticketing to fund its budget
The aggressive treatment of an Army lieutenant during a routine traffic stop in the tiny town of Windsor may have surprised some local residents, many of whom called video of the incident a shocking and brazen display of police misconduct. But the stop itself did not: The town is one of a handful of jurisdictions […]
Should Virginia bus systems go fare free forever?
When the General Assembly created the Transit Rider Incentive Program (TRIP) as part of Gov. Ralph Northam’s 2020 transportation omnibus, the lion’s share of the funding was allocated to support new regional bus routes. With COVID’s cancellation of much commuter service across the commonwealth, those dollars are now being dedicated to TRIP’s secondary goal: fare […]
‘A once in a generation investment’: Biden unveils $2T infrastructure package; creating millions of jobs
Unveiling what he called the boldest domestic spending package since the construction of America’s interstate highway system and the dawning of the space race, President Joe Biden released broad details of a $2 trillion infrastructure package that would rebuild highways and bridges, along with providing funding programs for housing, broadband and schools and increasing U.S. […]
Can Virginia’s suburban counties retrofit a city feel?
Far from the mass urban exodus predicted at the beginning of the pandemic a year ago, the great real estate reshuffling of 2020 actually witnessed property values in some cities and suburbs across the commonwealth soar by as much as 9.6 percent. The booming demand for housing coupled with a wave of storefront closures has […]
D.C.‘s Metro system skirts disaster, but will suburban commuters return in the same numbers?
WASHINGTON — Metro is finally catching a break, and it’s a plus for workers in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs poised to start heading back to the office once they’re vaccinated. The $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package signed by President Joe Biden last week ends — for now — the prospect that the bus and […]
Lowering the limit: How allowing 15 mph zones could save lives in Virginia
Just as speed limits set a maximum velocity for drivers, so too the commonwealth establishes a minimum speed limit for localities. Currently, any city or county looking to slow traffic in a busy shopping district or on a quiet residential street can go no lower than 25 mph. A bill passed during this year’s General […]
‘Incredibly important to our long-term viability’: More rail investments coming to Southwest Virginia
Although the General Assembly approved a $83.5 million budget amendment this session, in part to extend passenger rail service deeper into Southwest Virginia, that doesn’t change the fact that there isn’t a train station or even a platform in the New River Valley. However, legislation from local lawmakers that is heading to the governor’s desk […]
Virginia considers overhauling auto insurance to protect crash victims; industry warns of higher costs
In the name of consumer protection, Virginia lawmakers are considering a trio of bills intended to give victims more power to recoup costs after car crashes, a push the insurance industry says could raise premiums for drivers at a time when many can’t afford it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, the three pieces of […]