Friday, September 18, 2009
Va. lawmakers question ignoring local road funding - Forbes.com
RICHMOND, Va. -- Some members of the Virginia Senate's money committee questioned Thursday whether it's wise - or legal - to sacrifice the state's local roads in order to secure federal dollars to maintain and build highways.
Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer told members of the Senate Finance Committee that revenue reductions of $4.6 billion over the next six years have forced the state to choose to go after federal highway funding instead of repairing and improving other roads and bridges.
To qualify for federal funds that contribute $4 for every $1 the state pitches in, Virginia must meet minimum construction requirements. In order to get those, Virginia has reduced funding to maintain state and local roads by 25 percent.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tea Party Protesters Protest D.C. Metro Service - Washington Wire - WSJ
Evidently the Teabag-Birfers feel their 9/12 unity protest was derailed by sub par service on Metrorail. Some complained that Metrorail didn't increase capacity beyond normal weekend levels to accommodate the tens of thousands of protesters who came out. They didn't plan on requiring such a high level of government service for their anti-government rally. Of course none of them will walk away from this thinking Metro deserves a dedicated funding mechanism. Because that is socialist.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Norfolk light rail stations' look is built on flexibility
"...City officials have decided on a neo classical style for the 11 light-rail station shelters that is designed to fit in historic neighborhoods, including Freemason, as well as more suburban settings, including Ingleside.
"The shelters' appearances will vary, with heavier columns and finishes downtown and lighter, more airy features in the outlying neighborhoods, planning director Frank Duke said. Their size will vary as well, with larger shelters at stations that are projected to carry more passengers.
"Each will have benches, trash cans, lighting and a ticket vending machine.
"They're nice, considering we went at it with a bare-bones perspective," said City Councilman W. Randy Wright, who has championed the rail project.
"The original design was very basic, but council members agreed to enhance the look at the city's expense. Hampton Roads Transit is now advertising for bids to build the stations."
I think this neoclassical station design is really unique. I'm not aware of any other US light rail systems that have tried to blend station design with surrounding historic buildings. Largely because existing light rail systems in the US are few and far between, but also because many are in the West where there isn't the same stock of antebellum neoclassical buildings we have in the East- particularly in Virginia. Also, many light rail systems have little to no infrastructure in the way of stations, rather they are simply signed areas on the street for boarding and deboarding.
So it seems that Norfolk may soon have the world's only modern-neoclassical LRT system!
By the way- why did the sketch artist for the above illustration choose to draw an SUV in front of the train station?? I guess if they can use bikes to sell SUV commercials they can also use SUV's to sell light rail?