Trends in Transport Infrastructure Investment 1995-2009

The latest update of annual transport infrastructure investment and maintenance data collected by the International Transport Forum at the OECD shows:

► GDP share of investment in inland transport infrastructure has remained almost constant in Western Europe (0.8%) and North America (0.6%) over the past decade;

► Record investment levels were reached in Central and Eastern European countries, with 7.6% growth in 2008/09, amounting to 2.0% of GDP (2009);

► The balance between road maintenance and investment has remained relatively constant over time in many regions, with maintenance making up 30% of total road expenditure on average.

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Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations Installed

The first charging station for electric vehicles has been installed. It’s on the grounds of NextEnergy, the business incubator in Detroit. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus reports on how this new device could become part of a larger industry.

Richard Lowenthal was once the mayor of a small California town. Then about ten years ago, he figured there’s money to be made in the electric car business. He’s now the CEO of Coulomb Technologies. They make charging stations. They’re a key link in the electric vehicle chain.

“One of the things we know about the ev world is that if you can’t fuel your vehicle you won’t buy one.”

President Obama has pledged to put 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. Each car owner will need a charger at home and at work. The 900 chargers have been installed in other states. But this is the first one in Michigan. Says Lowenthal.

“Detroit’s high on our list because this is the heartbeat of the automotive world..”

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New PRT system in Masdar City

A one-minute video showing PRT vehicle in operation at Masdar City is available at


Why Did the Elk (or Bear or Deer or Lynx) Cross the Road?

Author: Stephanie Simon

Landscape architect Robert Rock takes pride in talking to his clients to understand just how they’ll be using the green spaces he designs. In his most recent assignment, however, he hit a roadblock.

“You can’t ask elk what they’d like for dinner,” Mr. Rock said ruefully.


A design from the Olin Studio in Philadelphia would cost about $12 million and span a six-lane highway.

Nor can you ask them what would induce them to nibble that dinner while strolling across a lushly planted footbridge spanning a six-lane highway.

Getting elk to cross highways safely—and encouraging lynx, bear, deer and bighorn sheep to follow suit—was the key challenge in an unusual global contest that concluded this month.

The ARC International Wildlife Crossing Infrastructure Design Competition asked engineers, ecologists and landscape architects to come up with an overpass bridge for pedestrians of the furry sort. The goal: to encourage wildlife to roam freely across their habitat—even when that habitat is bisected by a highway.

The five finalists, unveiled last week in Denver, designed multimillion-dollar bridges that aimed to tempt animals across with tasty foliage, green valleys, gentle streams and curved walls to block out noise and vibrations from the traffic below.

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High-Tech Car Factory

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An Economic Analysis of Infrastructure Investment

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, with the Council of Economic Advisers, has released a report that explores the economic effects of transportation infrastructure investment. According to the report, the four key reasons why this is an optimal time to increase our investment in transportation infrastructure are as follows: well designed infrastructure investments have longterm economic benefits; the middle class will benefit disproportionately from such investment; there is currently a high level -of underutilized resources that can be used to improve and expand the nation’s infrastructure; and there is strong demand by the public and businesses for additional transportation infrastructure investments.

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