Now 71, traffic engineer Sam Schwartz has pushed for congestion pricing in Manhattan for 48 years, and his vision is about to become a reality. Cities including London and Stockholm have successfully adopted congestion pricing, and in 2021, New York City will become the first city in the US to charge a fee to drive in certain areas.
BNSF Railway this summer will charge a toll on vehicles entering Fort Madison, Iowa, over the Fort Madison bridge, but drivers leaving the city will not be charged. The company is installing new tolling equipment that accepts cash and credit cards.
Workers have been reconfiguring the toll lanes at the Bob Sikes Toll Bridge at Florida's Pensacola Beach to improve traffic flow. The project will create one additional SunPass-only lane and makes cash payment available at two left-side beach entry lanes.
Congress is working on the 2020 fiscal budget, and a House subcommittee has advanced a transportation funding bill to the Appropriations Committee. The bill would provide $1 billion for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants, $100 million more than in fiscal 2019.
As Seattle's population has boomed, the region's investment in light rail and other public transportation has caused car traffic to decline. Rather than investing in congestion pricing and banning cars in areas of the city, Seattle is spending billions of dollars to improve the light-rail system and make the city safer for bicycles and pedestrians.
In order for a vision of shared riding of autonomous vehicles to be fulfilled, transportation and political leaders must invest in infrastructure. Stop lights are currently geared toward human drivers, for example, but other systems might be needed to accommodate autonomous vehicles.
While the federal government has been unable to pass major infrastructure legislation, state and local governments have filled the gap. Many are looking to alternative forms of financing, and construction spending on infrastructure at the state and local level rose 9% year-over-year in March, when it reached $298 billion.
The Delaware Department of Transportation is considering changes to invoices, violation letters and toll statements for the US 301 bypass toll road. The potential changes are based on customer feedback, and they are designed to provide greater clarity.
Portsmouth, R.I., had filed a lawsuit over the state Department of Transportation and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority's legal authority to impose tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, but the Federal Highway Administration has officially revoked that authority. The town ended the lawsuit after the decision.
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