Cargo Unloading

Applications for Department of Transportation TIGER (Transportation Invesments Generating Economic Recovery) were due September 15th.  The DOT got an overwhelming response for the available $1.5 billion available.  Applications came in from all 50 states totaling $56.9 billion in applications.  According to the DOT (pdf graph), 1381 applications were received.  Unfortunately, 56% of the money requested was for highways, but 19% of the money requested was for transit and another 10% for railroads.  Here are some of the applications that have received media attention.

I’m just glad I’m not the lawyer who has to read all of those applications.

MagLev

Welcome back to Part 2 of our trip through the highlights of state transportation websites.  Today we’ll go alphabetically from Illinois to Missouri.

Illinois: Ever care to know how bridges are kept free of ice?  Me neither.  But this video of a salt spray truck is wonderfully esoteric.

Indiana: INDOT is full of great information, such as the benefits of rail (e.g. Railroads are a vital component in the nation’s economy. Railroads move over 40 percent of all tonmiles of intercity freight, nearly as much as trucks, barges, and airlines combined)!  However, the coolest part of the site in my opinion is the link to multiple GIS maps of Indiana.

Iowa: I’m a sucker for good maps.  This one of the bike trails of Iowa is full of detail.  I’m tempted to buy a roof rack (and a car) to go riding in Iowa.

Kansas:  The DOT links to the Kansas Transportation Online Community, which has another video, called Behind the Vest, on the lives of highway workers.

Kentucky: A state without much in the way of mass transit — despite two large urban centers — is promoting cleaner air via common sense activities like carpooling and bicycling.

Louisiana: The Department of Transportation and Development has a glossary of terms, including the appropriate alligator cracking.  Other intriguing terms include raveling and California profilograph.

Maine: Ever since I read Travels with Charley Maine has a rustic allure.  However, Maine apparently also has a long railroad history, and it makes you appreciate how old this technology is and what a shame it is that we’ve so underutilized it over the past century.

Maryland:   The region is exploring the possibility of a maglev link between Baltimore and D.C.  Also, the state is giving away free calculators in an effort to get people to calculate the saving in better transportation methods.

Massachusetts: In shocking news, the state reported that public transportation save money, fuel and time for the people and the state.  What do you know?

Michigan: I cannot resist posting these pictures of the famous Mackinac,mackinac dividing the Yoopers from the Trolls.

Minnesota: This will appeal to a small segment of the population, but here is the Duluth public transportation service map.

Mississippi: I am all for anti-litter campaigns, such as the famous “Don’t Mess with Texas.”  However, Myrtle the Turtle?  I’m not so sure about this one.

Missouri: I’m from New Jersey.  Maybe that’s why highway beautification via junkyard concealment seems a tad bit ridiculous.

Boarding Green Line

The MBTA (disclosure, I currently intern for them) had to curtail its list of projects for which iting desires federal fund.  The Green line extension is incredibly important as it would finally make Tufts and other parts of Somerville and Medford easily accessible to downtown Boston.  By Tufts’ own directions, getting there currently requires a trip on the Red Line, a connecting bus, and a 15 minute walk.  The extension would also prevent more cars from driving downtown.  I am for any project that helps keep cars off the streets, especially during work hours.

In other news, the General Mining Act of 1872 may finally be changed.  While this is not a specifically transit related issue, the Act has acted as a de facto subsidy for certain types of non-renewable energies, especially coal.  It is also an abysmal piece of legislation, and one the Bush administration proudly exploited for all their cronies, in this age of environmental protection.

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