Daily News Briefs, April 28, 2021

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NJ Turnpike OKs Billions For NJ Transit Over Objections About Lack Of Transparency

NJ.com reports, “A landmark agreement was unanimously approved [yesterday] to send $3.57 billion over the next seven years from the NJ Turnpike Authority to NJ Transit to help cover its operating costs. Both supporters and opponents criticized the authority for not making details of the memo of understanding agreement public before the meeting so they could make informed comments. The agenda only listed it as a ‘State Public Transportation Projects Funding Agreement with the Treasurer of the State of New Jersey.’” A spokesman for the National Motorists Association told authority commissioners, “From the public’s perspective, we are hearing about this from news accounts concerning NJ Transit last month and from a state budget hearing last week. As to the actual agreement, with all the details regarding the exact amounts and terms and conditions, why didn’t we hear about this earlier from the Authority?”

Company and Agency Financials New Jersey New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) NJ Transit Transit and Toll Roads

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Business Group Seeks Support For Plan To Repurpose Obsolete Iowa Toll Bridge

Quad-City Times reports, “A group of Davenport [Iowa] businessmen is continuing a push to find support for tearing out the suspension portion of the old I-74 bridge but keeping the remaining driving deck and toll plaza for a public pier. The bridge from the toll plaza to the Bettendorf riverfront still would be razed. The views from atop the six-story pier would accomplish a widely embraced Quad-Cities goal: Treat the Mississippi River as the asset it is.” The article notes that pier development backers added some new specifics to their proposal during a presentation they delivered yesterday.

Environmental Protection Policies and Procedures Illinois Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Iowa Iowa Department of Transportation Transportation Infrastructure Research & Development

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Massachusetts Governor Proposes Enhanced Driving And Vehicle Safety Law

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) this week introduced a bill (HB 3706) entitled “An Act Relative to Improving Safety on the Roads of the Commonwealth,” that would, among other things, make failure to use seatbelts a primary offense; increase penalties for driving on a suspended license; allow local governments to install red light cameras at intersections; and require government agencies and contractors to equip certain vehicles with side guards, convex mirrors and cross-over mirrors.

Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts) Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)

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US Senate Hearing Focuses On Worries About Self-Driving Vehicle Technology

Roll Call reports, concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicle technology and the lack of consumer training in the use of that technology were discussed during a US Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday. In addition, “The head of the key trade association representing U.S. automakers warned lawmakers that the poky adoption of a regulatory framework meant that the U.S. risks falling behind competitors such as China, the European Union, Japan and Korea. ‘We have to do better,’ said Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO John Bozzella, saying the technology will ultimately help reduce accidents caused by driver error. “We have to work with a sense of urgency to reduce highway fatalities and injuries on America’s roadways.’”

Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts) Intelligent Transportation Systems Issues of Law Self-Driving Vehicles Tesla, Inc.

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I-70 Wrong-Way Driver Forces Colorado Police To Take Extraordinary Action

CBS News Denver reports, Colorado police were forced to take some drastic measures — such as diverting all traffic from a portion of eastbound I-70 — when a stolen vehicle they were pursuing on Sunday began driving the wrong way on the highway. “One of our troopers narrowly missed getting struck by this vehicle as it continued the wrong direction at a high rate of speed, so the troopers implemented a plan to close down the interstate in multiple locations to prevent a head-on collision,” said a state police spokesman. Officials also used variable message signs to instruct drivers to exit the interstate immediately. The incident occurred in Eagle County, west of Denver.

Colorado Crime Beat Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts)

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These are just some of the toll industry developments TRN is following.

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