A Driving Force

A Driving Force

Back in 1898, New York City hosted a global environmental summit. Flummoxed, the assembled experts disbanded early without agreeing on workable solutions. What daunting crisis brought about this precursor of today’s big UN climate conferences? Fast-growing cities were...
Going off the Rails

Going off the Rails

When 27 CSX tanker cars loaded with fracked North Dakota crude tumbled onto a West Virginia riverbank on President’s Day, the ensuing fireballs leveled a house and forced hundreds of people to flee amid a heavy snowstorm. Even though 19 of the derailed cars — each...
Future of U.S. Rail

Future of U.S. Rail

This symposium, co-sponsored by the IPS’ New Economy Working Group,  presents the case for US rail electrification and added higher class track for long-haul express (>80 mph) mixed freight and regional passenger service. Transforming the economics of rail...
Lessons From the 60s: Traveling Hopefully

Lessons From the 60s: Traveling Hopefully

Join us for a look at the great anti-freeway fight of the 60s and 70s that saved neighborhoods in Brookland, Takoma Park, and the National Mall, and today’s urgent struggles to preserve DC neighborhoods like Ivy City, Barry Farms, and River Terrace. The event is...
Brazilians’ Demands: From Lower Bus Fares to a Fair Society

Brazilians’ Demands: From Lower Bus Fares to a Fair Society

With a million people demonstrating in the streets of cities throughout Brazil, everyone’s scrambling to understand how a 20-cent bus fare hike turned into a social revolt. Government officials are the most surprised. President Dilma Rousseff hastily cancelled a...
The Airline Industry’s Fee-for-All

The Airline Industry’s Fee-for-All

Those who say we should run government like a business must not be frequent flyers. Flying, which was once a fairly good experience, now amounts to being herded, harassed, barked at, and squeezed — while being dunned every step of the way for onerous fees. Make...
Sorry, You Can’t Get There From Here

Sorry, You Can’t Get There From Here

“Take the train,”We used to say;But now that trainHas gone away. Riding the London Underground from downtown to Heathrow Airport can awaken you to just how archaic America’s transportation system is. Most U.S. cities make heading to the airport a...
Crashing the GDP

Crashing the GDP

At 9 p.m. on June 12, there was a collision on the freeway between Baltimore and D.C. The first car, a beige Prius. The second, a gigantic 18-wheeler tearing down I-95. The truck knocked the Prius sideways, sending it spiraling down the road and into the guardrail,...
Pothole Nation

Pothole Nation

Investing in infrastructure used to be a political no-brainer. Politicians of nearly every ideological stripe supported government spending on everything from school buildings to bridges. The more conservative pols would typically favor highways, the more liberal...
Shifting Gears

Shifting Gears

Over the past 60 years, transportation has changed less than might have been expected. Still no jetpacks, for example. And while this could change after the presidential election, we’re not yet commuting to jobs on the moon. Transportation has changed, however,...
We’re Not Even Paving a Road to Nowhere

We’re Not Even Paving a Road to Nowhere

Plans for rail lines? We’ve a pile; But we can’t build A single mile. The term “American transportation policy” is an oxymoron. The United States has no policy regarding the nation’s transportation networks, no strategic plan, and no...
Right-Wing Politicians Expose Themselves on the Radio

Right-Wing Politicians Expose Themselves on the Radio

If you really want to understand conservatives these days, you should check out some talk radio shows. It might not make for the most relaxing listening experience, but you’ll probably learn things you never knew before. Despite the growing popularity of...
Paving the Way to 60 Miles per Gallon

Paving the Way to 60 Miles per Gallon

Americans use a lot of oil every day: nearly 20 million barrels — or, if you prefer, 840 million gallons. About 9 million of these barrels go toward feeding our cars and trucks every day. What’s more, paying for all of this oil drains as much as $1 billion...
Truckers Play a Key Food Safety Role

Truckers Play a Key Food Safety Role

Food safety is running afoul in Springdale — in more ways than one. First, meat and grain agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. recalled 36 million pounds of ground turkey linked to a salmonella outbreak and temporarily shut its turkey processing plant in the Arkansas...

The Road Not Built: Redefining Progress At Home and Abroad

Most Americans love roads: Ours is a country of roads with a network of highways that rivals any other. So too does the U.S. government love roads. When the Obama administration passed its epic $787 billion stimulus plan just weeks after taking office, where did much...