Daily News Briefs, November 23, 2022

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Attorney Claims OK Turnpike Bought Domain Names To Hinder Opponents Of Expansion Plan

The Oklahoman reports, two weeks before unveiling its $5 billion ACCESS Oklahoma initiative, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) purchased 23 website domain names that suggest opposition to the expansion plan. Several of the names specifically refer to Norman-area projects that spawned litigation after the initiative’s announcement. The purchases were revealed in emails obtained through an open records request by the attorney representing plaintiffs in one of the pending lawsuits. He called OTA’s reservation of the names “a creepy attempt to snuff out any opposition.” A OTA spokeswoman who denied any intent to silence critics, said the purchases were “common practice” aimed at blocking phishing attempts and preventing web user errors.

StateImpact Oklahoma also covers this story.

Issues of Law Oklahoma Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA) Public Outreach And Communication

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NJ Traffic Fatalities Year-To-Date Are Ahead Of 2021's Pace

NJ.com (subscription required for full access) reports, “New Jersey is already on track for another deadly year as traffic fatalities continue to increase in 2022, with this year’s death toll already outpacing last year’s total for the same period . . . , according to State Police data. State Police have recorded 623 traffic fatalities this year, as of Nov. 21, which is 1.6% higher than the same time last year. . . . Last year, there were a total of 697 traffic fatalities in the state, a number not seen since 2007.”

Highway and Bridge Safety (Including COVID-19 Impacts) New Jersey

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AAA Expects Heavy Holiday Road Traffic

Associated Press reports, “The Thanksgiving travel rush was back on this year, as people caught planes in numbers not seen in years, setting aside inflation concerns to reunite with loved ones and enjoy some normalcy after two holiday seasons marked by COVID-19 restrictions. Changing habits around work and play, however, might spread out the crowds and reduce the usual amount of holiday travel stress. Experts say many people will start holiday trips early or return home later than normal because they will spend a few days working remotely — or at least tell the boss they’re working remotely.” AAA is projecting that 54.6 million Americans will venture at least 50 miles from home over this year’s holiday, 49 million of them by car.

American Automobile Association (AAA) Economic Conditions Affecting Transportation

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

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