Daily News Briefs, June 22, 2022

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President Biden Will Ask For A Gas Tax Suspension, But Congress May Not Comply

CNN reports, President Biden has scheduled a speech this afternoon to ask Congress to “suspend federal gasoline and diesel taxes until the end of September, . . . framing the move as necessary to provide relief to American consumers but itself not enough to resolve the problem of surging energy prices. Biden will also call on states to take steps removing their own taxes on gas and diesel. And he’ll tell oil refining companies to increase their capacity. . . .”

A White House Fact Sheet outlines the president’s rationale for the suspension.

The Washington Post reports, Biden’s proposals won’t be easy to sell in Congress. Prominent Democrats and Republicans “have questioned the wisdom and effectiveness of suspending the federal gas tax, saying it may provide scant help to Americans in need.”

The New York Times reports on concerns that Biden’s “latest step to address one political vulnerability could undermine funding for one of the primary legislative accomplishments during his time in office: investments in infrastructure.” The president maintains that a three-month gas tax suspension will not seriously impact transportation infrastructure projects, and he says he will “demand” that Congress move money into the Highway Trust Fund to backfill revenue losses.

US Gov't Transportation Funding US Highway Trust Fund US Infrastructure Funding And Financing Initiatives


Planners, Engineers And Drivers Are Split Over Fixing US Transportation

Route Fifty reports on a new study that reveals the depth of disagreements among transportation planners, engineers and the general public over fundamental transportation topics, especially those involving automobile travel. The authors suggest that the differences in attitudes and beliefs contribute to the slow pace of US infrastructure development and account for public skepticism about proposed solutions for transportation problems.

Congestion Pricing Public Outreach And Communication Transportation and Infrastructure Research & Development


Residents Of A VA County Favor Route Numbers Over Highway Names

Sun Gazette reports, Fairfax County, Virginia, which is in the process of redesignating major roads whose names are associated with the Confederacy, has released results of a non-scientific survey of residents and businesses who would be affected by changes. Interestingly, an “overwhelming number of respondents favored simply using the roadways’ numerical designations” instead of assigning new dedicatory names. County officials stated they were not surprised, because using route numbers might be easiest and current naming has created confusion because of inconsistency among local jurisdictions. (Changes will ultimately require Commonwealth Transportation Board approval and US Postal Service notification.)

Virginia Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Washington (DC) Metro Region


Arizona DOT Will Use Thermal Cameras To Improve Wrong-Way Driving Alerts

Fronteras Desk (via KJZZ public radio) reports, “In an effort to help police officers zero in on wrong-way drivers, the Arizona Department of Transportation says it’s expanding the use of thermal cameras,” although it currently has no timeline for installation. A spokesperson says ADOT won’t rely on the cameras to prevent wrong-way driving, but they have other valuable functions. They can help alert law enforcement officers, and thus improve response times, and allow for the faster display of warning messages on roadside electronic signs.

Arizona Arizona DOT Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts)


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

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