Category Archives: Infrastructure

Metro-North crash wasn’t human error, it was political error

PTC technology wasn’t in use thanks to our political leaders’ refusal to invest in our infrastructure.

Yesterday Cal policy professor and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich used the fatal Metro-North train derailment in New York City as an opportunity to offer up some thoughts on the sorry state of America’s infrastructure, a topic my Scholars & Rogues colleague Dr. Denny has written about a number of times. It sparked a bit of sniping on one of my Facebook threads. Read more

Infographic: Commuting can be hazardous to your health. Fatal, even.

One in six Americans commutes an hour and a half a day. It makes us more angry, less happy, increases back pain and triples our risk of heart attack.

I hate commuting. Hate. It. Not only is it simply no fun sitting in a rush hour parking lot, I’m stingy about my time. Even if I’m wasting it sitting on the couch, it’s my time. If I have to commute an hour or two a day, that’s time devoted to work that I’m not being paid for. Read more

I-5 bridge collapse: reflecting on our crumbling infrastructure

The I-5 bridge has collapsed in Washington and there are “vehicles and people [in] the water.” No word yet on casualties, and here’s hoping there are none.

Meanwhile, as bad as I hate to say we told you so, we told you so. Various S&R writers have written about various infrastructure issues in the past, and as the story in Washington unfolds, perhaps there’s some value in pointing our readers to some of the more relevant links.

Dr. Denny from July 2010: Drive with care over those 151,394 obsolete, unsafe bridges

Dr. Denny from August 2010: The nation’s 120,000 dams: Much more inspection, repair needed

Wufnik from last November, post-Sandy: Getting ready for the next disaster

If you’re in the mood read more, sift through our Infrastructure category.

Welcome to Colorado Springs, America’s teabagger paradise

Colorado is a beautiful place and it always ranks right at the top of those most desirable places to live rankings (heck, a new poll says the People’s Republic of Boulder is the happiest place in America), but be clear about one thing before you pack up the family to head this way: a consistent voting majority of our citizens are butt-stupid when it comes to taxes. We’re the ones who blazed the trail for the “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” (TABOR) movement, and we’ve been paying a steep price for it ever since. For instance:

  • Under TABOR, Colorado declined from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income.
  • Colorado’s average per-pupil funding fell by more than $400 relative to the national average. Read more

S&R poll: what issues are being ignored?

The results of the most recent S&R poll are in. Readers were asked:

What issue do you feel has not been adequately covered in the presidential debates thus far?

1: Civil liberties (26)
2: Green energy (15)
3: Media consolidation (11)
    Net neutrality (11)
5: Executive power (10)
6: Mercenary forces (9)
    Sibel Edmonds/corruption conspiracy (9)
8: Native American rights (7)
9: Infrastructure (6)
10: Student loan debt (5)
    AFRICOM/US military control of Africa’s resources (5)
12: Other (4)
13: Nuclear proliferation (3)
    Economy (3)
15: Trade policy (2)
16: Sub-prime lending crisis (0)

You’re invited to vote in our newest poll, which asks about your voting plans for November. The poll is live in the column to the right.

All S&R polls and results are non-scientific. At least, they’re not very good science. For amusement purposes only – no betting, please…

The UNFATHOMABLE cost of fixing ALL THOSE BRIDGES: a moment of perspective…

According to an article in today’s Washington Post:

WASHINGTON — More than 70,000 bridges across the country are rated structurally deficient like the span that collapsed in Minneapolis, and engineers estimate repairing them all would take at least a generation and cost more than $188 billion.

One prominent blogger is appalled:

This is the kind of disaster that just doesn’t happen in the United States–a bridge spontaneously collapsing, apparently, into a river. It is hard to convey to those who don’t live here the astonishment of this sort of catastrophe happening on our most traveled highway.

No, this kind of thing never happens in America. Ever! Read more