Thursday, November 15, 2018
My favorite bridge – the Headquarters Road Bridge in Upper Bucks County, Pennsylvania – has to defend itself in court. The Delaware Riverkeeper (my client in this affair) is suing FHWA and PennDOT to prevent them from demolishing this 200-year-old one-lane bridge, which sits at the heart of a rural historical district, to replace it with a modern, two-lane structure. It’s sad to think that the future of this beloved little bridge couldn’t be determined through real collaborative planning. Or at least it hasn’t happened yet.
My thoughts are summed up in the quote I did for the press release:
“This is a land of narrow, winding, country roads and one-lane bridges that are well-suited to the scenic, rural character of the place. A two-lane bridge here – at the heart of the Ridge Valley Rural Historic District – is both unnecessary and out of place. I’m also concerned that building a two-lane bridge here will cause new safety problems by encouraging higher speeds and more truck traffic in an area where you don’t want to see those things.”
Press account here.
(Photo courtesy of the Delaware Riverkeeper)
Thursday, November 8, 2018
People outside the transportation agency world often think that bike-ped projects (sidewalks, bikeways, bike lanes, etc.) should be quick and easy to design and build. But it ain’t necessarily so. These projects often have problems and issues just like other, larger projects, including competition for funding, lack of expertise, controversy within agencies, controversy with the local community, and – wait for it – challenges from environmental agencies.
There are ways of speeding up these projects, and I’m happy to have been part of a great team that has put together a workbook filled with tips for doing just that. Sponsored by FHWA, the workbook is entitled “Strategies for Accelerating Multimodal Project Delivery” and is available here. Also available on that webpage are a related slideshow and access to a webinar (including my dulcet tones). The document is based not only on the pooled expertise of the authors but also on extensive conversations with many practitioners, who shared their experience with us. All this information has been distilled into easy-to-use text, with case studies and links to other sources.
If you are involved in any step in the project development pipeline for bike-ped projects, I think you will find this workbook very useful.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
A few weeks ago I commented on the new hydrogen fuel cell train now in revenue service on a commuter line in Germany (here). This promises to be transformative technology and bears following. The BBC has now done a story (here) which gives another (video) look at the new train.