Congestion Pricing Architect Believes New Yorkers Will Ultimately Embrace MTA’s Program

The Cool Down, a website that provides news and advice on “sustainable living,” offers a positive and optimistic look at Manhattan congestion pricing through an interview with Alex Matthiessen, one of the MTA program’s most prominent proponents. The article’s premise is that an expected overall traffic reduction of 15-to-20 percent could mean “less asthma-causing pollution, fewer vehicle and pedestrian accidents, less annoying horn-honking, higher worker productivity, and a huge investment in the city’s public transit system.” Matthiessen discusses the origins of the MTA program and its current, mostly unpopular, public perception. He also responds to several common criticisms. Like MTA chief Janno Lieber, Matthiessen expresses confidence that New Yorkers will come to accept — and even embrace — congestion pricing once they experience its benefits.

E-470’s ExpressToll Becomes Interoperable With Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas Systems

KDVR reports, effective Sunday, June 2, E-470 Public Highway Authority’s ExpressToll and toll systems in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas will become interoperable. An authority announcement stated the enhancement follows its board’s 2022 decision to join the Central United States Interoperability Hub (CUSIOP). “This is a major milestone for the Authority, and the E-470 Board of Directors is proud to support an initiative that will provide a better experience for the people in Colorado when they travel to neighboring states, and also for those customers visiting our state,” commented E-470 chair John Diak. ExpressToll is also accepted on the Northwest Parkway and Colorado DOT express lanes. Colorado is the fourth state to participate fourth state in the Central Hub, joining Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

KMGH also covers this story.

CFX Will Open Florida’s First Flex Lane This Summer

Testing of Florida’s first flex lane is underway on a section of the Central Florida GreeneWay (SR 417) outside Orlando, WKMG reports. The Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX) intends to selectively utilize the roadway’s shoulder as a travel lane to keep tollway traffic flowing when there’s an accident and during periods of peak congestion. “When the system is operational, a green arrow will signify an open lane. Red Xs will show lanes that are closed. There is also a yellow sign for caution, or to signal a lane will be closed up ahead.” The timeline for full implementation isn’t specified, but CFX reportedly intends to open its first SR 417 flex lane between International Drive and John Young Parkway before extending the facility as far as SR 528. The authority also has plans to open a flex lane on SR 429 (Wekiva Parkway) sometime in 2025.

A Wisconsin DOT flex lane facility on the Madison Beltline (US 12/US 18) earned national recognition last year. At the time, WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said travel times decreased up to 45 percent and crash rates dropped by 20 percent from pre-pandemic levels during times the lane was open.

New York Thruway Opens Niagara Region Replacement Bridge

New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) announced that the New York Thruway Authority opened the new Beaver Island Parkway Bridge over I-190 in Grand Island in time for the Memorial Day weekend. Beginning in late March 2023, the bridge (built in 1954) underwent an $8.3 million replacement that, among other things, increased vertical clearance and widened lanes and shoulders. The span serves 13,000 motorists per day and provides access to Niagara Falls and Beaver Island State Park. Union Concrete and Construction Corporation, West Seneca, New York, was the Thruway’s contractor.

Governor Hochul noted that more than $126.1 million in capital improvement projects are now in progress in the Thruway Authority’s Buffalo Maintenance Division, which includes the I-190 segment.

Woolpert GIS Services Will Support Miami-Dade’s Transition To Digital Emergency Routing System

Woolpert announced today it received a contract to provide Geographic Information System and consulting services to Miami-Dade County in support of the county’s development of a Next Generation 911 (NG911) routing system for emergency service requests. Woolpert’s responsibilities include helping to identify, collect and digitize missing information on both new and existing sites. In addition, the company will “identify and collect information for unique sites, such as dual carriageways that require special consideration for routing.” The tasks will involve both office and field work. Woolpert will also train staff to input system data “enabling new roads and addresses to become available for emergency vehicle routing as soon as they are open for traffic or occupied, respectively.” The company’s news releases did not address the contract terms.