Transportation and Infrastructure

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

For Indiana cities, having a good relationship with railroad companies can help generate a lot of business. But trains can also clog cities, making drivers wait at blocked road crossings. Mayors have begun to fight freight railroads, who they say have too much power and not enough accountability.

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Lauren Bavis/Side Effects Public Media

Indiana traffic safety officials hope last year's increase in motorcyclist fatalities isn't the start of a trend.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

As West Lafayette and Purdue leaders previewed 2018 construction along State Street Wednesday, one question hung over their presentation: can the new road, with its increased congestion, take the strain it’ll face when several nearby roads close next year?

Traffic signals along the road are not currently responsive to traffic fluctuations. Don Petersen, one of the Purdue representatives on the Joint Board overseeing the project, declined to say whether that would help the several traffic jams the road now sees every day.

A study created for the Indiana Department of Transportation, on how much money tolling would generate for the state, ignores current toll restrictions in state law.

The study found that there is an 85 percent chance toll revenue would exceed $39 billion from 2021 to 2050, if a statewide Interstate tolling program were implemented.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

The success of Indiana’s small regional airports ebb and flow in tune with the economy. Most airports have seen downturns in business and aero tourism the past few years, but they're also reaping the benefits that come from involved local sponsors and pilots.

“A lot of times, on a Saturday morning, pilots do what we like to call ‘go out for the $100 hamburger,’” says Putnam County Regional Airport spokesman J.R. Scott.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday road funding grants that total $150 million for local governments across the state.

The General Assembly created the Community Crossings grants in 2016 to help local road funding efforts. Counties and cities would put up half the money for a project – the state would match that amount.

The program’s second year will send $150 million to almost 400 county and local governments statewide. Applications for the grants increased 48 percent this year.

Eighty-four percent of Hoosiers have broadband internet access. Those that don’t live mostly in rural places – where poor connectivity is an economic problem.

The state legislature heard a range of ideas to fix that problem Thursday in their first of three study committee meetings on rural broadband.

Rep. Dave Ober (R-Noble County) says flat or shrinking populations make for tricky economics that will demand multiple solutions.

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Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao met with Indiana leaders on Tuesday in the Michiana area to open Indiana’s toll road and discuss details of the South Shore Train expansion and double tracking project. Chao touted the public-private partnerships used in the two projects.

She said Indiana’s work on the toll road and South Shore rail line should be viewed as models for the rest of the country.

Courtesy Google Maps

The Indiana Department of Transportation Tuesday devoted a portion of its website to explain J-turns. Meanwhile, proposals for the new type of intersection are still raising concerns.

The J-turn makes drivers turn right to merge into traffic, then merge left into a J-shaped lane and make a U-turn – instead of proceeding directly across oncoming lanes of traffic.

When you drive over a pothole in your neighborhood, you can report it to the city and hope they come fix it soon – or you can fix it yourself. At least, that’s what one Indianapolis man has been doing this year.

Michael Warren’s project, which he calls Open Source roads, reveals a lot about the different ways residents and governments try to care for their communities.

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