In the Loop: June 8, 2012
In the Loop is your Friday round-up of what's going on in the transportation world, posted in conjunction with Talking Transit.
MPC recommends congestion pricing and more transit for the I-90 Tollway, while the state's General Assembly plans for future high-speed rail maintenance costs by creating an escrow account. Chicago employer Labelmaster encourages workers to ride their bikes. Mark your calendars for CTA/CDOT BRT Open House meetings.
Transportation conference committee update: Senate delivers House a proposal, House counters on bike and ped and Speaker Boehner talks of a tenth extension. Frustrated business chambers and transportation groups beg conferees to pass a bill. Confused yet? Check out a visual on the process. Tired of waiting on Congress, the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Washington, and the cities of Missoula, Mont. and Atlanta, Ga. are exploring transportation funding on their own, while New Jersey is borrowing money.
The south (Dan Ryan) branch of the CTA Red Line will close for five months for rehab, the alternative being four years of weekend-only work at an extra $75 million. Cook County Board President Preckwinkle thinks it’s worth it, after all it’s not unprecedented. Also, the entire CTA bus fleet will be modernized. Increased ridership and higher sales tax revenues helped to close CTA’s budget deficit, and the agency’s selling naming rights to 11 stations. Planning and design work will begin on the western access to O'Hare. IDOT wants to hear from you on its state transportation plan. Chicago’s getting more protected bike lanes, because it’s a simple and inexpensive way to transform cities. Remember, next week is Bike to Work Week!
Transit ridership is up five percent nationally, and that number will only grow because 62 million people nationwide plan to use local public transportation on their summer vacation. Seattle will build final two BRT lines of its six corridor Rapid Ride system. That’s just what the country needs, as Eno finds transportation investments will reduce the deficit. Walk score: Meet bike score. On the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, California is thinking big again, and why not: A little TIFIA can go a long way.
Need to borrow a book or charge your phone? You can at a Paris bus stop. China’s gas demand will double by 2015, as infrastructure investment results in economic growth for Africa. The World Bank has issued a PPP guide.