Archive | infastructure RSS feed for this section

Living Up to the Potential of Clean Transportation

17 Apr

Transportation accounts for a sizable share of our carbon output. In 2006 almost a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions came from the movement of goods and people. As we continue to tackle the task of curbing emissions from this unwieldy and varied sector of the economy, local governments and policymakers are devising techniques to integrate clean transportation investment into larger sustainability and economic development goals. Everyone seems to agree that we need to invest in improved (and more sustainable) transportation infrastructure, but a coherent transportation investment strategy that serves as a driver for economic development still seems to allude us. Continue reading

LADWP’s Pre-Craft Utility Program

16 Apr
Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

Image from PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives: http://www.flickr.com/photos/acwa/8461634441/sizes/h/in/photostream/

California has long been a national leader in energy efficiency and clean energy, investing upwards of $6 billion a year across both sectors. Many of these investment dollars are held by public and private utility companies. This substantial investment in energy also presents a unique opportunity for utility companies to be drivers of economic development, leveraging their investments to create and transform jobs in the construction and utility sectors. Continue reading

Katherine Perez-Estolano Appointed to the CA High Speed Rail Authority

29 Mar

On Thursday, March 28th Governor Jerry Brown appointed Katherine A. Perez-Estolano to the California High Speed Rail AuthorityContinue reading

Transportation Innovations Down South

20 Mar

The sequester has taken some of the wind out of the sails of efforts at federal transportation reform. With funding sources running dry, potentially game-changing transportation improvements are left on the table or scrapped completely. Those that do pass have to contend with continuing hurdles of opposition. What to do when the feds are scaling back? We’ve decided to pack our bags and head to South America: a place where winter comes in June and transportation innovations come year-round. Continue reading

Chicago Infrastructure Trust Embarks on its First Project

14 Dec

“As long as our city rests on a 20th century foundation, we won’t be able to compete in a 21st century economy,” says Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He made that observation when noting that Chicago is suffering from limited resources to help build and maintain its vast infrastructure network of roads, bridges, transit, schools, and other public facilities. As the Mayor announced last spring, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust is aimed at luring private investment to help fund public infrastructure projects. Now, the trust is launching its first project. Continue reading

Adapting to the New Normal

16 Nov

After a drought-plagued summer and the recent havoc wrought by super storm Sandy, scientists, policymakers, and the public are looking for long-term strategies to minimize the damage caused by Mother Nature. Strictly speaking, there is not enough evidence to fault global warming for any one extreme weather event. However, scientists warn that as temperatures rise, we can expect to see these types of events occur with more frequency.

Continue reading

The State of U.S. Transport

17 Sep

Transportation policy has gotten short shift on the national stage during this election cycle. For all the talk about the economy and jobs, it doesn’t seem like anyone is promoting sound national transportation policy as a means to help bolster the nation’s economy. Continue reading

Water Politics and the Art of Legacy-Making

20 Aug

A few months back, we noted that California was a state in serious need of a vision. Considered ungovernable by some, the Golden State has no shortage of problems. Governor Jerry Brown is weathering a slow recovery from a severe economic downturn, and a policymaking system that is often beholden to the whims of a disjointed electorate. These significant hurdles tend to complicate the task of legacy-making. In spite of this, Governor Brown has decided to stake his gubernatorial claim to fame on the promise of two massive infrastructure projects. Continue reading

Harvesting Kinetic Energy

18 Aug

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will soon be harvesting additional energy from its rail system by taking advantage of regenerative braking. The technology, widely used in hybrid vehicles, converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electricity that can be used later. Continue reading

New Directions in Stormwater Management

15 Jul

In Los Angeles County, the finger pointing about who is responsible for cleaning up polluted stormwater has bubbled up to the United States Supreme Court.

In 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court found that the County and its Flood Control District were in violation of the Clean Water Act by allowing the release of untreated water into the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers. The Flood Control District claims that it cannot be held responsible for the polluted waterways, since it is not the source of the pollution. The County is hoping that the Supreme Court agrees, and finds that the County’s Flood Control District is not responsible for mitigating pollution from urban runoff that ends up in local waterways.

The battle in Los Angeles County represents a national trend of cash-poor localities scrambling to comply with the regulations of the Clean Water Act.  Cities are predictably looking to other entities to foot the bill. Continue reading