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Transportation Infrastructure

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NEWS
August 13, 2007 | By David Weinstein
Transportation infrastructure discussions aren't sexy - they're policy talk, not pillow talk. A new school or a good local grant? Those are politically sexy. Voters line up behind them. Transportation infrastructure, on the other hand, is boring. It's difficult to say and to explain. It's maintenance and repair, like on your home. Like improved plumbing or new duct work. It's the roof and the windows. It's expensive. Boy, is it expensive. But sexy? Nope. So New Jersey has a political dilemma.
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis and Megan Rogers, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - The state Senate approved a $2.5 billion transportation-funding bill Wednesday, aimed at repairing thousands of aging bridges and miles of roads while pumping more money into transit, setting the stage for a fight over the bill's fate in the House. The plan, championed by Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), ups the ante on the $1.8 billion proposal Gov. Corbett unveiled in February to address the state's infrastructure problems. Rafferty's bill, was approved on a 45-5 vote, would increase driver's license and vehicle-registration fees, and put a hefty surcharge on speeders and others who violate traffic laws.
NEWS
February 19, 2007 | By TOM CARAMANICO
GOV. RENDELL'S recent announcement that he wanted to explore the possibility of selling or leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike has kick-started a fascinating conversation across the commonwealth. The governor's stated goal is to raise revenues that would be used to complete desperately needed transportation projects. We applaud the governor for "Thinking Outside the Box" - in fact, that was the title of a report that we at the CEO Council for Growth issued last spring on the potential of public-private partnerships as a new way to address transportation needs.
NEWS
November 26, 2012
Singer takes partisan positions Stephanie Singer ("Commission must stay on track," Tuesday) indicates her removal as chairwoman of the City Commission was the result of a takeover by the state Republican Party. In point of fact, her removal was bipartisan. Her letter to the editor is the product of a mind-set completely incompatible with her position as a commissioner. For example, she characterizes her removal as bad news for Democrats. Apparently, she does not feel it is necessary to give even the appearance of acting on behalf of all voters.
NEWS
February 13, 2013
Is Gov. Corbett's plan to raise more than $5 billion for transportation infrastructure a tax hike? The short answer is yes. But the governor's proposal takes pains to make short answers difficult. As Corbett's own task force and a broad spectrum of interest groups agree, he faces a massive and mounting need to pay for work on roads, bridges, and mass transit systems. But given the governor's political alignment and the formal antitax pledge he and many other Republicans have taken, he faces repercussions for any tax increase.
NEWS
November 12, 2007 | By Matthew J. Brouillette and Leonard Gilroy
Pennsylvania lawmakers should reconsider the money they left on the table earlier this year after rejecting Gov. Rendell's initial plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike to a private-sector partner. Such an agreement could generate billions of dollars needed for transportation infrastructure and transit systems without raising taxes, adding tolls, or incurring more taxpayer debt. Amid increasing doubts about the viability of Act 44 of 2007 - the law that permitted the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission to raise money by putting tolls on Interstate 80 - the governor will soon announce a short list of teams that will make multi-billion-dollar bids for a potential turnpike lease.
NEWS
October 27, 2012 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia region faces a future of potholes, closed bridges, and reduced public transit unless government leaders raise much more money through tolls, fares, fees, or taxes, the region's planning agency said Thursday. The costs of maintaining and improving area roads, bridges, and transit far outstrip the money now available, said a report issued by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. The nine-county region spends about $1.4 billion a year on highway, bridge, and transit projects, while the annual need is about $2.5 billion, DVRPC planners said.
NEWS
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
NEWS
November 23, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - Wild weather is taking a toll on roads, airports, railways and transit systems across the country. That's leaving states and cities searching for ways to brace for more catastrophes like Superstorm Sandy that are straining the nation's transportation lifelines beyond what their builders imagined. Despite their concerns about intense rain, historic floods and record heat waves, some transportation planners find it too politically sensitive to say aloud a source of their weather worries: climate change.
NEWS
March 13, 2006
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT Pennsylvania's transportation needs don't usually occur until SEPTA cries out that it's in financial trouble. Again. But last week, the CEO Council for Growth, comprising 55 executives and affiliated with the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, released a study that says the private sector could build and expand highways, bridges and rail lines, and ease the government's costs for such projects. The council is seeking legislation from Harrisburg. But no one has taken the bait - yet. Called "Thinking Outside the Box: Addressing Greater Philadelphia's Transportation Investment Needs Through Public-Private Partnerships," the study says the partnerships could close the "regional investment gap" and help "deliver, operate, maintain and, in some cases, even finance highway and transit infrastructure.
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NEWS
February 23, 2015
ISSUE | ELECTIONS Open primaries, better democracy The need for a more fair and open political process expressed by Phil Goldsmith is felt by the many independent voters who are locked out of primary elections, and independent and third-party candidates who struggle to even make it onto the ballot ("Clean politics requires vigilance," Feb. 15). Although many voters seem unable to break from the two-party mind-set, the founders never would have accepted the decline of our electoral system into a bickering and stagnant two-party duopoly.
NEWS
September 26, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
TRENTON - Pressure is ramping up on Gov. Christie and the Legislature to develop a long-term plan to shore up New Jersey's depleted transportation fund. For decades, the state has borrowed money to finance road and bridge repairs, instead of finding new revenue to pay for maintenance and upgrades. Now, that policy has resulted in a crisis: All revenue from the state gasoline tax is devoted to more than $1 billion in debt service, and the Transportation Trust Fund won't have enough money to last through fiscal year 2016, which begins in July.
NEWS
November 20, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - After months of debate, the state House failed to pass legislation Monday night that would have provided $2.3 billion to complete long-overdue repairs to the state's aging transportation infrastructure. In a stunning 103-98 vote that teetered between passage and defeat until the last moment of the roll call, lawmakers shot down an amendment to fix thousands of substandard bridges, repave hundreds of miles of crumbling roads, and pump hundreds of millions into modernizing mass transit systems across the state.
NEWS
June 25, 2013
By John A. Fry The United States is witnessing something that seemed next to impossible not long ago - the rebirth of its urban centers. Nowhere is this seismic shift more prevalent than along the 450 miles stretching from Washington to Boston, otherwise known as the Northeast Corridor. Indeed, this area is quickly becoming the nation's epicenter of high-quality urban living. This transformation is being driven by a powerful combination of demographic and social trends. Key among them is the millennial generation's strong preference for working, living, learning, and socializing in urban environments.
NEWS
June 7, 2013 | By Angela Couloumbis and Megan Rogers, Inquirer Staff Writers
HARRISBURG - The state Senate approved a $2.5 billion transportation-funding bill Wednesday, aimed at repairing thousands of aging bridges and miles of roads while pumping more money into transit, setting the stage for a fight over the bill's fate in the House. The plan, championed by Transportation Committee Chairman John Rafferty (R., Montgomery), ups the ante on the $1.8 billion proposal Gov. Corbett unveiled in February to address the state's infrastructure problems. Rafferty's bill, was approved on a 45-5 vote, would increase driver's license and vehicle-registration fees, and put a hefty surcharge on speeders and others who violate traffic laws.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
Plans show zoo's going places As a Fairmount Park Conservancy board member, I was pleased to read about the Philadelphia Zoo's new parking garage and traffic improvements ("Zoo wants a SEPTA stop," April 2). Given that the zoo has experienced record attendance during the past four years, it is commendable to see the organization realize its impact and plan for its future and that of the community. It is also tremendous that the zoo is exploring the long-term possibility of a train station in this much-needed area of West Philadelphia.
NEWS
March 22, 2013
I DO NOT want to bash unions or politicians, but this past week I had to drive to North Carolina, and along my way (Route 301, in Virginia), there was a short roadway bridge that was being re-decked by at least 100 men. The span of this bridge could have been no longer than 100 yards. Perhaps Philadelphia, the DRPA and other entities could take a look at this so that the citizens of the Delaware Valley do not have to put up with constant bridge traffic. The repairs that have been ongoing to the Walt Whitman, Platt and Girard Point bridges have taken way too long.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer
It certainly wasn't the topic that drew 150 teenagers Wednesday to the South Jersey Debate League's high school championship. "Resolved," it read, "the United States federal government should substantially increase its transportation infrastructure investment in the United States. " More funding? Less funding? It didn't matter. Debate is sport, and up on the stages of Lenape High School would be the two top performing schools - Cherokee and Eastern Regional - from Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties.
NEWS
February 13, 2013
Is Gov. Corbett's plan to raise more than $5 billion for transportation infrastructure a tax hike? The short answer is yes. But the governor's proposal takes pains to make short answers difficult. As Corbett's own task force and a broad spectrum of interest groups agree, he faces a massive and mounting need to pay for work on roads, bridges, and mass transit systems. But given the governor's political alignment and the formal antitax pledge he and many other Republicans have taken, he faces repercussions for any tax increase.
NEWS
December 23, 2012 | Reviewed by Paul Jablow
The Blood of Free Men The Liberation of Paris, 1944 By Michael Neiberg Basic Books. 352 pp. $28.99   Legendary World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle felt he had seen it all, and "I had thought that for me there could never again be any elation in war. But I had reckoned without the liberation of Paris. " Quoted toward the end of Neiberg's riveting account of a generally neglected subplot of the war, Pyle observed how the citizens of the city, with minimal help from Allied forces, threw off the yoke of Nazi occupation with what Albert Camus described as "the blood of free men. " The short version goes something like this: German forces occupied Paris on June 14, 1940, and eight days later, an armistice was signed between Germany and France setting up the collaborationist Vichy government headed by World War I hero Marshal Philippe Petain.
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