Transportation and Infrastructure

courtesy Tippecanoe County Area Plan Commission

Tippecanoe County leaders will get a look Thursday at one of the first data-driven attempts at measuring cycling and walking in the community.

The Area Plan Commission will see a map showing more than 40 sites where volunteers have measured the volume of bikes and pedestrians.

APC Assistant Director for Transportation Planning John Thomas says it’s just a first step – more sites will still be surveyed – but it’s a way to keep lawmakers skeptical of building more bike-ped infrastructure engaged in the discussion.

courtesy Indiana House Republicans

State Representative Sally Siegrist (R-West Lafayette) has been named to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission – a group advocating for train travel in the nation’s midsection.

It’s a position also held by Siegrist’s legislative predecessor, Rep. Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette). And, like Truitt, she says she’d like to see more trains between Indianapolis and Chicago on a daily basis – but she admits there are challenges.

More than 800 people died on Indiana roadways in 2015 – slightly higher than the last five years.

Still, a National Safety Council report ranks Indiana 8th in the nation when it comes to policies that protect people on the roads.

Helping that ranking: Indiana laws address distracted driving, teen drivers, seat belt use and alcohol impaired driving. And the Indiana Governor’s Council on Impaired and Dangerous Driving helps fund extra DUI checkpoints.

INDOT

Indiana Department of Transportation officials pitched the department’s proposal for two new J-turn intersections in Logansport Tuesday night. But residents appear to want to put a halt to the idea.

Indiana Transportation Museum To Sue Port Authority

Jun 19, 2017

The Indiana Transportation Museum will sue the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority and the cities of Noblesville and Fishers for money lost when it was was ordered to close an historic stretch of track.

On one side, the Hoosier Heritage Port Authority and the cities of Noblesville and Fishers are concerned the Indiana Transportation Museum doesn’t have enough money to keep its tracks in working order. City officials from Noblesville and Fishers want to see the Nickel Plate tracks transformed into trails.

UPS announced plans this week to open a $260 million shipping hub in Plainfield by 2019 – one of the first big logistics investments to come after the state passed its road funding plan.

The repairs and upgrades that $1 billion-a-year funding package will fund with tax and fee increases are a big deal for companies that rely on roads.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA

The West Lafayette City Council is set to vote Monday on the Parks and Recreation Department’s action plan, which includes spending more than $1.8 million on the Morton Community Center – a building that’s been the de facto city hall for the last three years.

cycleluxembourg / https://www.flickr.com/photos/cycleluxembourg/

The Lafayette City Council Tuesday night is expected to conduct a second reading of an ordinance creating an advisory committee which would be charged with making the city’s streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Mike Mozart / flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/14319904578

A Purdue agricultural economist is projecting gasoline prices will remain low this summer.

Wally Tyner says there’s usually a bump in price for the summer months, but an industry surplus has kept crude oil around $50 a barrel.

“What that did is it gave the U.S. shale oil producers enough profit margin to increase their production,” he says. “Their costs have fallen 30-percent in the last three years.”

Tyner says the increase in shale oil production – now up to 600,000 barrels a day – should balance out OPEC’s 1.2 million barrel cut by the end of the year.

Road construction season is underway, and after state lawmakers allocated more money for local roads, House Speaker Brian Bosma says communities should see a big season.

“We want them to start smelling asphalt in July,” Bosma said after unveiling the road funding package in April.

Indiana’s local communities will receive at least $200 million for roads and bridges in the state’s new infrastructure funding package.

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