U.S. Surface Transportation Re-authorization Bill – Update as of June 29, 2011

June 30, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Update Courtesy: ITS America

As the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee continues to work on finalizing its six-year surface transportation reauthorization bill in anticipation of an early July introduction, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has announced plans to introduce the Senate version of the bill during the week of July 11, hold hearings the week of July 18, and is expected to proceed with a Committee mark-up on July 27.  The Senate bill, which is rumored to be a two-year bill instead of six, is expected to face a $12 billion funding shortfall which would require the Senate Finance Committee to come up with additional revenues before the legislation could be passed.  Committee staff continues to craft the bill in a bipartisan fashion with their most recent work focusing on a freight section.  ITS America is working closely with Senate staff to include provisions that would promote greater deployment of ITS.

On the House side, T&I Committee majority staff continues to work on their bill but have provided limited details as to what specific policies and programs will be included.  Speculation continues about the time frame for moving a surface transportation bill through the House, with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA/7) taking heat for not including the reauthorization bill in a June 10 memo to House Republicans outlining key pieces of legislation that will be debated on the House floor this summer.  The American Road & Transportation Builders Association obtained the memo and has posted the document on its website here.

Meanwhile Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY/24), Vice-Chair of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, joined ITS America’s Congressional Roundtable members for breakfast to discuss ITS and the transportation reauthorization bill.  As a businessman who spent nearly three decades in the construction industry before being elected to Congress, Rep. Hanna stressed the need for technology solutions that can help public agencies do ‘more with less’.  The Congressman made note of Portland, Oregon as an example of a city that is investing in ITS to help create a more efficient, user-friendly transportation network, while acknowledging the pressure many agencies face to roll out more visible ‘bricks and mortar’ projects.  He also said the “argument is building daily” for investing in transportation as a means to create jobs and bring down the nation’s high unemployment rate.  Read more about the Congressional Roundtable in the AASHTO Journal.

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – June 28, 2011

June 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 – ISSN 1529-1057

Countdown to IBTTA Transportation Finance and Policy Summit – July 17-19, 2011 in Baltimore, MD – Hotel Deadline Extended to July 1st

Hosted by the Maryland Transportation Authority, this Summit will feature interactive sessions covering the full range of issues affecting transportation finance, policy and funding from the action of central banks and congressional reauthorization to regulations affecting TIFIA and other credit assistance programs. Featured speakers include Ray Sheppach, Professor of Practice of Public Policy, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia and Senior Fellow for Economic Policy, Miller Center of Public Affairs; Beverley Swaim-Staley, Secretary, Maryland DOT; and Jack Basso, Director of Program Finance and Management, AASHTO and Commissioner of the Maryland Transportation Authority. This meeting will include a technical tour of the new Intercounty Connector, ceremony recognizing Mary Turkington, Kansas Turnpike Authority Chairman, as an IBTTA Honorary Member, and an evening event at Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Orioles vs. Red Sox). Registration deadline is July 9th. Visit www.IBTTA.org/BALTIMORE to register and learn about sponsorship opportunities. To view IBTTA’s entire 2011 Education Series, click here.


1) FAA Outlines Paths to In-Flight iPad Operations

Link to article in Aviation International News:


2) FAA Keeps Tower Markings ‘Voluntary’

Link to article on AVweb:


3) Twitter is Handy Tool for Airline Passengers

Link to story on CNN:


4) Why Airlines Should Think More Like Apple

Link to commentary on Tnooz:



5) Red-Light Camera Backlash. Are They Causing Accidents?

Link to story and video ABC’s World News Tonight:


6) Novel Testing Device Boosts Traffic Surveillance

Link to article in VTT Impulse:

http://goo.gl/RrZ0o (page 64)


7) Is the E-ZPass Box a Trojan Horse for Privacy Invasions?

Link to article on AOL Autos:



8) New York City DOT Reveals New Street Signs for Disoriented Tourists and Locals

Link to article in the Daily News:


Link to news release from NYC DOT:



9) National Group Wants Public to Lobby for Better, Safer Transportation

Link to story and audio report on West Virginia Public Broadcasting:



10) Latest Issue of Signal, Newsletter of the European Rail Traffic Management System

Link to newsletter:



11) Evacuation Plans Age as Population Near Nuclear Plants Soars

Link to article in USA Today:


12) An Intelligent Watchful Eye On Us All

New camera surveillance technology helps capture potential terrorists.

Link to article in VTT Impulse:

http://goo.gl/RrZ0o (page 42)


13) Staying Connected on the Go

Thailand could use new technology to make commuting more productive.

Link to article in The Nation:


14) Eyes on the Road

Telematic features provide information but can be distracting.

Link to article in Gambit:



15) Georgia’s ‘In God We Trust’ License Plate Causes Ruckus

Link to article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle:



16) Weather Service Explores New Ways to Communicate Weather Risk

Link to article in USA Today:


News Releases

1) ITS America Assumes Leadership Role in International Committee for ITS Standards

2) Toyota Announces National Expansion of Safety Program for African American and Hispanic Families

3) Traveller Information Services Association and EasyWay Sign MOU at the European ITS Congress

4) Continental Support the TISA and EasyWay Cooperation with In-Vehicle Devices

Upcoming Events

Transportation & Infrastructure Summit and Global High-Speed Rail Forum – August 9-12 – Irving, Texas


Today in Transportation History

1886 **125th anniversary** The Pacific Express, the first transcontinental train of the Canadian Pacific Railway, departed for its first journey from Montreal to Port Moody.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast atbernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2011 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – June 27, 2011

June 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Monday, June 27, 2011 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Indian Government Gives Go-Ahead to Hive Off Air Traffic Control Services

Link to article in The Economic Times:


2) Satellite to Operate GAGAN Air Navigation System in Position: Official

Link to Press Trust of India article:


3) Canadian Law Requiring Ads to Reveal Full Costs May be Too Complicated to Enact

Link to Postmedia News article:


4) Hipmunk to Unveil In-Flight Wi-Fi Indicator

Link to article on Tnooz:



5) ‘Cash Cow’ UK Speed Cameras Will be Named for the First Time in Transparency Drive

Link to article in the Daily Mail:


6) Challenges to Red-Light Cameras Span US

Link to story on MSNBC:



7) Mapping Companies Branch Out

Link to article on ITWeb:



8) Indonesia’s Five Biggest Cities in Line for Electronic Road Pricing Launch

Link to article in the Jakarta Globe:



9) Garmin Cleared of Violating Pioneer Patents

Link to AP article:



10) Federal Player of the Week: Guiding New Transportation Technologies

Link to article from the Partnership for Public Service:


11) Hong Kong Cabs Go Cashless

Link to article in The Wall Street Journal:


12) Hail a London Black Cab with New iPhone App

Link to Reuters article:


13) ERTICO Interviews Rumen Mihaylov, Chair of ITS Bulgaria

Link to interview from ERTICO:


14) Report on 11th Asia-Pacific ITS Forum and Exhibition

Link to article from ERTICO:


15) Greek Stakeholders Workshop on ‘Nomadic Devices in Road Transport’

Link to report from ERTICO:



16) Rutgers Students Developing System to Provide Parking Availability Information

Link to article and video in The Star-Ledger:



17) Phoenix-Area Freeway Ramps Get ‘Smart’ Meters

Link to story on KNXV-TV:



18) Rebellion Over Child-Shaped Road Bollards

Link to article in the Daily Express:



19) Washington State Abandons All Tourism Marketing

Link to AP article:



20) New GPS-Equipped Buses Aim to Ease Commuter Woes in Delhi

Link to article in Mint:


21) Check Out the Port Authority’s New Times Square Look

Link to article on Transportation Nation:


22) Clever Commute Featured in Two Radio Interviews

Link to Joan Hamburg Show on WOR Radio:


Link to Taking Stock on Bloomberg Radio:



23) BEST Consortium on Traffic and Travel Information Services Launched

Link to article from ERTICO:


24) The Dark Science of the Traffic Jam: Ever Wondered Why You’re Stuck In One When There’s No Jam?

Link to article in The Daily Mail:


25) Warning: More Road Signs Ahead

Criticism of signs used to warn of road closings for motorcycle race.

Link to article in the Isle of Man Examiner:


26) Publication – National Special Security Events: Transportation Planning for Planned Special Events

Link to publication from US DOT:



27) Just a Few Talking Cars Could Eliminate Gridlock

Link to article in Wired:


28) Why the World Faces a Massive Traffic Jam

Link to commentary and video by Bill Ford on CNN:


News Releases

1) Boingo Takes to the Skies with Gogo

2) VicRoad’s Phillip Walsh Joins Sensys Networks as Director Australasia, Singapore and Malaysia Markets

Upcoming Events

ITS California Annual Meeting – November 13-15 – Long Beach, California


Today in Transportation History

1911 **100th anniversary** Pilot Lincoln Beachey flew over Niagara Falls and then under the ‘Honeymoon Bridge.’



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast atbernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2011 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Friday, June 24, 2011 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Washington State Teen Crusades Against Ticketing Traffic Cameras

Link to AP article:


2) Rochester, New York Woman Arrested After Shooting Traffic Stop Video

Link to story and video on WHAM-TV:


3) Photography Restrictions – What are the Rules?

Link to Tribune Media Services column:



4) ITS International – June 2011

Link to magazine:



5) US House Bill Calls for Ban on Holding Cellphones While Driving

Link to article in the Detroit Free Press:



6) New I-90 Signs in Washington State to Assist Travelers

Link to article in the Yakima Herald-Republic:


7) With iPad and Facebook, Bangalore Traffic Police Talk to Citizens

Link to article in Citizen Matters:



8) Nevada Authorizes Driverless Cars (Like the Ones at Google)

Link to article in the Los Angeles Times:


9) How Much Tech is Too Much Tech? Drivers Knock Ford, Others Over New Systems

Link to article on Mlive.com:


News Releases

1) Air Transport Industry Cloud Becomes Reality as SITA Launches First Services for Customers

2) C-TRAN in Vancouver, Washington Adds Real-Time Bus Information

Upcoming Events

US DOT Public Meeting on ITS Connected Vehicle Safety Program – August 2-4 – Chicago


Friday Bonus

Different modes often interact, but this is one you don’t often see.


Today in Transportation History

1911 **100th anniversary** The SMS Viribus Unitis, the first Austro-Hungarian Tegetthoff-class battleship, was launched.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2011 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Texas gets controversial, again; This time with a debate on the use of Confederate flag in license plates

June 24, 2011 at 4:54 pm

(Source: KHOU via Huston Chronicle )

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – June 23, 2011

June 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm


1) Pilot Suspended for Slurs, Swearing Over Air Traffic Radio

Link to story and video on KSAT-TV:


2) Info-Sharing Project at FAA Over-Budget, Behind Schedule

Link to article on Fierce Government IT:



3) ‘Silly’ UK Cycles Lanes Featured on Website

Link to BBC News article:



4) Using Hidden Cameras to Catch Car Thieves

Link to article and video in The Baltimore Sun:



5) Egypt’s First GIS-Enabled Information Portal

Link to article in Daily News Egypt:



6) LightSquared, GPS Industry Square Off on Capitol Hill

Link to article in Wireless Week:



7) Pirates Now Using Blogs, GPS to Hunt Merchant Vessels

Link to article in Time:



8) New Law Requires South Carolina DOT to List Railroad Crossings on Website

Link to AP article:



9) Quebec Establishes Committee to Coordinate Roadwork

Link to article in The Gazette:



10) Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to Develop Policy on Public Photography

Link to article in The Buffalo News:



11) Why Your Vehicles Should Tell You Everything They Do

Link to article on GreenBiz.com:



12) BART Riders Try Out New Seat Options at Interactive Lab

Link to article in The Examiner:


News Releases

1) Traffic Jam-Free Future: Opel Presents Status of Telematic Field Test

2) Volkswagen Presents Temporary Auto Pilot

3) TomTom Expands Coverage in Latin America for Industry Partners

4) California Teens Receive $230,000 Grant to Drive Highway Safety

5) Nokia to Integrate Navteq Business with Company’s Social Location Products and Services

6) Pennsylvania DOT’s Motorcycle Safety Campaign Receives Awards

7) Passenger Mobile Services to Benefit Hugely from Increased Airline IT Spending

8) NTSB Unveils New ‘Most Wanted List’

Upcoming Events

Transit ITS Regional Workshop – June 22-23 – Minneapolis


Today in Transportation History

1611 **400th anniversary** Henry Hudson, his son and seven crew members were sent adrift in what is now Hudson Bay.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2011 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Seriously, how did this intersection design get approved? Utah DOT has some major explaining to do

June 22, 2011 at 11:30 pm

(Source: Reddit)

After watching this, I shudder to think how an elderly driver would understand the flow of traffic and negotiate this intersection? Especially, if he she had lived in the area for a while and now had to face this new re-designed nightmare that will make for one heck of an interview.

All joking aside, I’m definitely interested in learning more about efficiency (volume, throughput, etc) and accident metrics (before vs. after) for this particular intersection.  If anyone can find interesting reads/studies/publications on this issue, please share it in the comments section below.

Though it may look efficient (saving an full signal cycle) and creative on the video, I sense there is something inherently wrong with this design.  Accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists seem very minimal.  And the most important question above all – how did they manage to get the community’s buy-in before going forward with spending $$ on this complex mess?  IF anything, I find it quite interesting to see how the average citizen react to this unique design by observing the comments posted on Reddit.

Motorcycle Tango – An Unusual Crash of Two Race Bikes And The Beautiful Dance That Follows

June 22, 2011 at 10:37 pm

(Source: YouTube Via Jalopnik)

Jalopnik reports that this funny accident happened this weekend during the fourth stop on the 2011 French Road Racing Cup Promosport, a formula series for amateur riders at Magny-Cours.  The good thing is that both riders escaped serious injury from the fall and even better did not get run over by the other speeding bikes still flying on the track.

Fighting Lawlessness, the Lawless Way – Walmart Shopper Chases After Thieves, Jumps On Their Car

June 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm

(Source: Good Morning America via Huffington Post)

As crazy as this looks, it also makes you think how fed-up this Walmart customer should have been to take a drastic action like this?  Meet Ms. Monique Lawless, a single mom from Alvin, Texas, who bolted out a Walmart store to stop a bunch of teeny thieves and jumped on top of the feeling criminals’ Camaro, according to ABC. As they began to drive away, she desperately tried to hold onto the car before losing her grip.  Though she was not hurt, this spurt of bravery apparently slowed down the escapees, enough to help the cops to catch up with the thieves.

Note: Next time when something like this happens, let’s hope Ms. Lawless does not risk her precious life to stop a bunch of cowardly thugs. Save it for something more precious, madam.   Let the long arm of law and the police, who are equipped with every weapon in the arsenal, handle such things. In any case, a tip of the hat for her selflessness and valor that is quite inspiring for many ordinary citizens like myself.

Coming To A Cinema Near You – Revenge of the Electric Car

June 22, 2011 at 6:46 pm

(Source: via Real Talkies)

Just noticed this post on my favorite documentary blog  –  Real Talkies and couldn’t help but share. Oh, I’m planning to see it on June 25th when it gets screened at the AFI Silver Docs Documentary Festival.

Here is a snippet of what Real Talkies wrote:  In “Who killed the electric Car?” they followed a group of activists. “REvenge of the Electric Car” sets out to follow Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, GM’s vice chair  – Bob Lutz, Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn and DIY expert  Greg “Gadget” Abbott . Each one allowed access to their journey over three years on condition that the film will not be released until 2011.

This is one rare occasion when we want all of them to win, their cumulative success is success for the earth, for us and for a life without dependence on fossil fuel. This remarkable film is on its festival circuit. DC folks can see it at SilverDocs on June 25th. For future screenings visit their website.

Click here to read the full story.