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Transportation News

Regional Roundup

A roundup of transportation news from daily, weekly and online outlets.

NJDOT Provides Update On Route 9 Paving Project In Berkeley, 10/7/21 - The New Jersey Department of Transportation has provided an update on the scheduled paving of Route 9 after Berkeley Township officials called on the agency to repave the road immediately last week.
Masks required on NJ Transit: What happens if you refuse to wear one?, 10/7/21 - NJ Transit buses and trains have more passengers now than they did a few months ago but mass transit travel continues to be impacted by concerns about the highly contagious Delta variant.
New Traffic Signal for Eighth Street and the Boulevard Approved, 10/6/2021 - Citing an existing traffic condition requiring an additional traffic signal in Ship Bottom, the borough council last month approved an agreement with the N.J. Department of Transportation for the installation of one at the intersection of Eighth Street and Long Beach Boulevard.
Continued bad air days mean NJ should cut emissions, activists urge NJSpotlight, 10/6/21 - Even as a pandemic shut down much of the state’s economy in 2020, most New Jersey residents suffered through 46 days of elevated air pollution last year, according to a new report.
Biden signs Surface Transportation Extension Act, 10/5/2021 - On Friday, President Joe Biden signed the Surface Transportation Extension Act, which would extend funding for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s surface transportation programs through Oct. 31, into law.
NJBPU launches program to encourage EV charging stations in New Jersey, 10/4/2021 - The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) recently launched a program to encourage electric vehicle (EV) charging locations at tourism destinations statewide. The announcement corresponds with Drive Electric Week.
Asbury Park's LINK E-Scooters Can Now Be Found On Via Phone App, 10/4/21 - LINK scooter riders in Asbury Park can now quickly locate scooters throughout town using the Transit app, making it easier for riders to plan trips.
NJ TRANSIT’s Mobile App Upgrades: Keeping Riders in the Know, 10/4/2021 - With more and more riders returning to public transportation, NJ TRANSIT’s recent changes to mobile apps literally represent well-timed upgrades.
NYC pushes ahead with massive toll hike plan on NJ commuters, 10/4/21 - The simmering border war between New Jersey and New York over the city's congestion pricing plan is threatening to explode with Governor Phil Murphy threatening to use a "nuclear option" if Garden State commuters are not exempted from the massive toll hikes.
I-78 lane closures part of 6-week toll plaza work, 10/4/2021 - A six-week project at the Interstate 78 toll plaza on the Pennsylvania-New Jersey border will include overnight lane closures in both directions, the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission said.
Congress didn’t do enough to prevent fatal truck crashes, advocates say. They’re going to Biden., 10/4/21 - With deaths in truck crashes up 30% in a decade and the current transportation policy bill expiring, safety advocates saw their best chance in years to get Congress to require new technologies and new policies to make the roads safer.

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Issues & Insights

A list of links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research.

The Unstoppable Appeal of Highway Expansion CityLab, Sept. 28, 2021 - U.S. transportation authorities have spent billions widening urban freeways to fight traffic delays. What makes the “iron law of congestion” so hard to defeat?
How to end the American obsession with driving Vox, Sept. 12, 2021 - Data from the EPA shows that the transportation sector is actually the biggest source of pollution in the US, and that light-duty vehicles (or passenger cars) are responsible for 58 percent of those emissions. Overall, the EPA’s research — and the 2021 study — reinforce the fact that the transportation systems of American cities over-rely on cars in ways that are not sustainable should the US actually want to approach its stated greenhouse gas reduction goal of 50 percent by 2030, a number it has to reach in order to limit global warming by 1.5 degrees Celsius or less. 
The case for funding bike infrastructure Sep 22, 2021, Vox -  The Transportation Alternatives Program, also known as TAP, was established in the 2010s as a way to get federal money to states and other regional authorities to use for biking and pedestrian projects. As it stands now, different entities including states and metropolitan planning organizations receive annual TAP funding, which they then dole out to localities that apply for it. This program currently represents the largest proportion of federal funding for biking and pedestrian needs. 
Climate Change Is an Infrastructure Problem. A Map of Electric Vehicle Chargers Shows One Reason Why NextCity, September 20, 2021 - Today the U.S. has around 43,000 public EV charging stations...
The existing network is acceptable for many purposes. But chargers are very unevenly distributed; almost a third of all outlets are in California. This makes EVs problematic for long trips, like the 550 miles of sparsely populated desert highway between Reno and Salt Lake City. “Range anxiety” about longer trips is one reason electric vehicles still make up fewer than 1% of U.S. passenger cars and trucks.
Self-Driving Car Company to Test a Second Autonomous Vehicle in NYC Streetsblog, Aug. 13, 2021 - A tech firm that has been quietly testing a single self-driving car on the streets of New York City — which prompted the Department of Transportation to initiate a process to further regulate the testing of such driverless vehicles — is about to deploy a second “look-ma-no-hands” car in Gotham this month, with plans for five more by the end of the year, Streetsblog has learned.