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transportation

Congressman Antonio Delgado on the House Floor speaking about rural broadband in October 2019
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Antonio Delgado

A New York congressman has introduced legislation to boost funding for rural public transportation.

Assemblymen D. Billy Jones (left) and William Magnarelli tour Nova Bus in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The chair of the New York state Assembly Committee on Transportation was in Plattsburgh Monday visiting the region’s transportation manufacturers. Officials wanted to highlight the opportunities for growth in green transportation initiatives.

Our tech-guru Jesse Feiler joins us to discuss current trends in tech.

Jesse Feiler is an author and developer who focuses on small business and nonprofits along with iOS technologies. He has recently added book publisher to his roles: his Champlain Arts business has published apps for a number of years, and has recently added books. Uta Hagen’s memoir Sources is back in print through ChamplainArts.com.

Road signs over Route 5 in Amsterdam
Lucas Willard / WAMC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this week announced more than $144 million in infrastructure funding across the state. The funding is intended to support roadway, bicycle and pedestrian improvements. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports the City of Amsterdam was awarded millions to support two projects.

CDTA Head In Washington For Infrastructure Talks

Mar 19, 2019
CDTA Bus
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

The chief executive officer of the Capital District Transportation Authority is in Washington as part of a national lobbying effort for more funding for infrastructure, notably mass transit and regional bus services.

In his new book, "The Edge of Anarchy: The Railroad Barons, the Gilded Age, and the Greatest Labor Uprising in America," Jack Kelly offers an account of the explosive 1894 clash of industry, labor, and government that shook the nation and marked a turning point for America.

At the pinnacle of the Gilded Age, a boycott of Pullman sleeping cars by hundreds of thousands of railroad employees brought commerce to a standstill across much of the country. Famine threatened, riots broke out along the rail lines. Soon the U.S. Army was on the march and gunfire rang from the streets of major cities.

Jack Kelly will be reading from and signing the new book at Oblong Books on January 10, Northshire Books on January 11, and at The White Hart Inn on February 7.

Mick Cornett served four terms as Oklahoma City's longest-serving Mayor from 2004 to 2018. Midway through his time in office, Newsweek called him one of the five most innovative mayors in the country, and at the end of his Mayoralty he was named #25 on Fortune Magazine's "World's Greatest Leaders" list. London-based World Mayors listed him as the #2 mayor in the world, and Governing magazine named him the Public Official of the Year in 2010. Best known for helping Oklahoma City attract the NBA's Thunder franchise and putting Oklahoma City "on a diet" to lose a collective million pounds, Cornett also led the charge to pass MAPS 3, an innovative $800 million civic infrastructure investment in parks, urban transit, wellness centers, and downtown amenities that have dramatically reshaped Oklahoma City.

Cornett's books, "The Next American City: The Big Promise of Our Midsize Metros," is a hopeful and illuminating look at the dynamic and inventive urban centers that will lead the United States in coming years.

The State Of Massachusetts

A Western Massachusetts state senator has been tapped to lead a commission on public school transportation.

The Berkshire Metropolitan Planning Organization wants to see how its federal transportation dollars are being spent.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik holds transportation roundtable
WAMC/Pat Bradley

New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik was in Plattsburgh this afternoon to host a transportation roundtable. The Republican says it was vital that Congress passed long-term infrastructure funding.

The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn't just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history.

The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face to face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity.

The new book: Heaven's Ditch by Historian Jack Kelly illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this "psychic highway" from its opening in 1825 through 1844. 

Jack Kelly will be at Oblong Books in Rhinebeck July 14, at the Schenectady Canal Festival at Mabee Farm Historic Site July 16, and at Northshire Books in Saratoga July 17. 

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  The Northeast has America’s oldest infrastructure.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock there is some good news on the rail front. 

  Janette Sadik-Khan is one of the world’s foremost authorities on transportation and urban transformation. During her time as New York City’s Transportation Commissioner from 2007 to 2013, under former mayor Michael Bloomberg, Janette Sadik-Khan transformed the streets of one of the world’s toughest cities into dynamic spaces that are safe for pedestrians and bikers. Now a principal with Bloomberg Associates, Sadik-Khan works with mayors around the world to reimagine and redesign their cities.

In Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution, Sadik-Khan provides a roadmap for rethinking, reinvigorating, and redesigning city streets across the country to function better for the people and communities that use them. The book was co-authored by Seth Solomonow who joins us along with Janette Sakid-Khan.

  Physical infrastructure in the United States is crumbling. The American Society of Civil Engineers has, in its latest report, given American roads and bridges a grade of D and C+, respectively, and has described roughly sixty-five thousand bridges in the United States as "structurally deficient." This crisis shows little sign of abating short of a massive change in attitude amongst politicians and the American public.

In The Road Taken, historian Henry Petroski explores our core infrastructure from historical and contemporary perspectives and explains how essential their maintenance is to America's economic health. Recounting the long history behind America's highway system, Petroski reveals the genesis of our interstate numbering system (even roads go east-west, odd go north-south), the inspiration behind the center line that has divided roads for decades, and the creation of such taken-for-granted objects as guardrails, stop signs, and traffic lights--all crucial parts of our national and local infrastructure.

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University.

Congressman Joe Courtney
http://courtney.house.gov/biography/

  How safe is that four-lane highway you take to work? 

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut representative Joe Courtney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about the recently passed transportation bill.

mayors sign transportation agreement
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A delegation from a Montreal suburb got a look at the transportation manufacturing sector in Plattsburgh Monday and the mayors signed a mutual cooperation agreement.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  Experts say our railways are not as safe as they should be.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that progress has been slow.

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty
Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

  By and large, the nation’s roads and bridges are in bad shape.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that infrastructure spending is a wise investment in America.

United States Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Charles Schumer

Sen. Charles Schumer says he's trying again with legislation to require car rental companies to fix vehicles subject to a manufacturer's recall before handing them over to customers.

Pixabay/Public Domain

Among the key bills the new Congress will consider is transportation and infrastructure funding. It will also review the Highway Trust Fund, due to become insolvent at the end of May.  Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin was among governors testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works today about state-level transportation funding concerns.

Wikimedia Commons/Ildar Sagdejev

This week, the Cuomo administration announced $4.3 million in grants for projects that would reduce the environmental impact of transportation in New York.

The 17 awards, administered through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority – or NYSERDA – are focused on technologies that would reduce dependence on fossil fuels, cut down on pollution, and promote healthier lifestyles.

Spokeswoman Kate Muller said NYSERDA’s focus on technology is an aspect of reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

U.S. Senator Edward Markey visited Pittsfield today on a tour of western Massachusetts.

Recognizing 100 Years at Grand Central

Aug 12, 2013
Jim Levulis / WAMC

An upcoming lecture in western Massachusetts will celebrate 100 years of New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. Francis Morrone has long been fascinated by Grand Central and its engineering feats that occurred near the turn of the 20th century.

The Berkshire Train Campaign

A group advocating for passenger rail service from the Berkshires to New York City is launching a new volunteer effort to bring its message to a wider audience.

Karen Christensen, a Great Barrington resident and founder and CEO of the Berkshire Publishing Group, said she first became interested in advocating to bring passenger rail service from New York to the Berkshires after returning from a trip to China in August of 2011. After communicating with her neighbors, colleagues, and other business owners, by late 2012, she had founded the Berkshire Train Campaign.

Lawmakers in the Berkshires are reacting to the fiscal year 2014 budget signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Friday.

Last week, Governor Patrick signed a $33.6 billion state budget into law. Patrick’s initial budget proposal called for significant investments in education, which lawmakers in the Berkshires supported.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today signed the fiscal year 2014 budget into law and vetoed millions of dollars dedicated toward transportation and local aid in a bid to pressure lawmakers to accept his revisions to a still unresolved transportation finance bill.

Governor Patrick addressed reporters at a press conference after signing the $33.6 billion spending plan. He paid specific attention to programs that aim to close the achievement gap, reduce healthcare costs, and prevent youth violence. 

MassDOT

Democratic lawmakers in the Berkshires have voiced their support for a transportation budget that would reinstate tolls on the Massachusetts Turnpike from the New York border through Springfield.

Planning efforts surrounding economic development through the life sciences and transportation in the Berkshires are about to head into their next stages.

The Berkshire Regional Planning Commission is asking county residents to weigh in on planning efforts examining potential station locations for North-South passenger rail between Pittsfield and the state border with Connecticut, as part of a $240,000 federal grant. 

WAMC

The Massachusetts House of Representatives is poised to vote on raising taxes, including a 3 cent increase in the gasoline tax, to fund the state’s transportation system.

   The $500 million dollar tax increase faces an uncertain fate in the Massachusetts Senate, according to Democratic State Senator James Welch of West Springfield.

Ride Works to End in Berkshires
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority

The transportation funding plan unveiled by Democratic leaders in the Massachusetts state legislature has been met with a mixed response, with Democratic Governor Deval Patrick threatening to veto the plan if certain objectives aren’t met and House Republicans criticizing the plan for raising taxes without making other reforms to government.

And lawmakers in the Berkshires seem to be equally as divided on supporting the plan introduced by House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray, both Democrats, last week.

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