Senatorial Transport Index 09

As per usual, the Transport Politic has provided an innovative insight into the world of transportation.  This week he has developed a Senatorial Transport Index for 2009, measuring how progressive senators are regarding transportation issues.  For further explanation of how these ratings were measured you should click on the link to get the breakdown of what votes were measured.

What is interesting to me is the curious correlation or lack thereof of votes to urban density.  I understand the role of party affiliation and how that affects the votes of various senators, but states with high urban density are most likely to get federal public transit funding, especially regarding high speed rail.  It makes all the sense in the world that the senators from Wyoming do not support such funding, but that the senators from Texas are lukewarm is odd; especially given that the state is home to three of the eight largest cities in the country (Houston, Dallas and San Antonio) and six of the 21 largest.  The truly perplexing state is Arizona, given that 81.4% of it’s population lives in the Phoenix and Tuscon metropolitan areas.  However, Phoenix is built on the American dream of sprawl, roads and now foreclosure.  At the same time, only politics can explain the “good” behavior of the senators from Montana, Vermont and West Virginia.  Although we can all hope that senators truly have the nation’s best interest at heart and realize that what is good for the country may be good for their constituents, even if the money does not flow directly.

Alaska Railraod

I just updated the blog’s page linking to all state departments of transportation.  In the process I noticed that almost all of them have something quirky or interesting.  In a four part series the blog will look at the most intriguing links on each state’s page.

Alabama: a video of the hidden treasures of traveling while the stars fall on.

Alaska: stunning pictures of and from the Alaska Railroad.

Arizona: I applaud the Department’s effort to promote the underused and incredibly safe roundabouts.

Arkansas: I’ve never driven through, but now that I know 600 species of wildflowers are protected on the side of the road I want to!

California: A neat story from the California Transportation Journal on the history of the Caltrans Translab, which does work on projects like greener concrete.

Colorado: A great campaign to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians called “Oink“.  This particular ad is hysterical.

Connecticut: Connecticut is attempting build public transportation in its major cities and is offering a free 10 day trial ride to get people hooked, if seats are available.

Delaware: The Department of Transportation has a cultural resources department which conducts archaeological digs.  Here are the periods of history preserved in Delaware.

Florida: I learned that South Florida has commuter rail.  I did not even know it existed.

Georgia: The state is installing HOT lanes on I-85, which goes through Hotlanta Atlanta.

Hawaii: Apparently in Hawaii one celebrates energy efficiency with a big check and a lei.

Idaho: The state is battling a plight of invasive plant species brought in by pesky cars from other states.  You won’t find great pictures of trains but you will find great pictures of herbicide treatment.