cars

WAMC News
9:58 am
Fri April 18, 2014

MassDOT Surveys Commuters In Planning I-91 Project

The elevated highway in Springfield, MA known as the I-91 viaduct will be rebuilt beginning in November. The project is expected to take 3 years to finish

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 6:52 pm

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation as part of the planning for a major highway project in western Massachusetts is surveying commuters.

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Solar Power
4:08 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Man Reaches For The Sun For A Solution To Pakistan's Gas Crisis

Pakistani motorists wait in line at a refueling station in the outskirts of Islamabad on Jan. 20, 2013. Waits of up to four hours have become a way of life since Pakistan decided to switch to compressed natural gas about a decade ago.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 17, 2014 10:46 am

Spring has crept up to the foothills of the Himalayas and, in Islamabad, Pakistan's purpose-built capital, the air is full of the scent of roses and the yelling of birds.

Yet, even in this most stately of South Asian cities, it is impossible to escape the realities of an unstable nation that has yet to figure out how to meet some of the basic needs of its 200 million or so citizens.

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Transportation
2:04 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Dutch Test Glow-In-The-Dark Road Of The Future

Glowing Lines are tested earlier this month on a highway near Oss in the Netherlands. The road markings absorb light during the day and emit the green glow at night.
Remko De Waal EPA/Landov

There's a half-kilometer stretch of road in the Netherlands that looks a bit like something out of the movie Tron, thanks to new luminescent markings that glow green in the dark.

The photoluminescent paint, a sort of amped-up version of what is found on many wristwatches, charges up during daylight hours and then emits the green hue at night along the short test patch of N329 highway in Oss, according to Dutch companies Studio Roosegaarde and Heijmans, a road construction firm.

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Recalls
2:52 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

What's Behind The Auto Recall Surge?

Following GM and Toyota, BMW is the latest auto maker to issue a recall of thousands of its vehicles. (Ron Sombilon/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri April 11, 2014 2:57 pm

BMW is the latest automaker to announce a car recall. Yesterday, the automaker announced it’s recalling 156,137 luxury cars and SUVs because of possible stalling issues.

This comes on the heels of Toyota’s recall announcement this week, and General Motors’ recent vehicle recall notices. There have been more than 11 million vehicle recalls so far this year, and it’s part of the rapid rise of recalls in the past five years.

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Parking
11:45 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Study: Hartford, New Haven Hurt By Abundance of Parking

Downtown Hartford has a lot of parking space, and the city is forgoing tax money for it.
Credit Heather Brandon/WNPR

Regardless of how hard it can seem to find a parking spot sometimes, Hartford and New Haven have built a lot more parking over the past few decades. But that can be a bad thing.

A team of researchers at the University of Connecticut recently investigated the impact of parking policies in six cities across the U.S. 

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Electric Cars
5:32 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Connecticut Fights Climate Change With Electric Car Selling Contest

Credit Nissan

Connecticut is running a contest to boost sales of electric vehicles: The dealer that sells the most electric cars between now and July gets an award. There's no prize money, but the contest is part of an effort to meet an ambitious quota.

Car salesman Joe Quistorff just sold a plugin hybrid car (a car that can run on either gas or electricity) a few days ago.

"My sales effort was actually fairly simple, fortunately," he said. "These are the kind of people that buy those vehicles."

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Distracted Driving
4:33 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Teens Say They Don't Text Or Drink While Driving

I'm not really texting. I'm checking my homework assignments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 11:03 am

Many teen drivers are earnest when they say they know the risks of drinking and driving or texting behind the wheel. But it seems many either ignore those dangers or don't fully understand what it means to drive safely.

About half of teens who say they never text while driving admitted to texting at red lights or stop signs, according to a survey released Tuesday. And while 86 percent of teens consider driving under the influence to be dangerous, one in 10 who say they never drive under the influence actually do drive after drinking.

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Transportation
11:03 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

3 Cities With Freeways Going Nowhere

An artist's sketch of the revamped I-10/Claiborne Overpass in New Orleans.
CNU

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 9:00 am

When I was growing up in Memphis in the 1960s, the Feds — and state and local officials — unveiled plans to build a short stretch of Interstate 40 to connect East Memphis with downtown.

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Moving Violations
1:28 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

State Police to Motorists: Back Off

Credit John Steven Fernandez / Creative Commons

Connecticut State Police are launching an "educational" campaign targeting tailgating motorists on highways.

The program will run throughout March in the areas of Hartford, New Haven, Meriden, Middletown, and Old Saybrook. That includes interstates 84, 91, 95 and 691 and routes 8,9, and 15. 

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Electric Cars
11:36 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Any Way It's Measured, Tesla's $5B 'Gigafactory' Is Huge

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 1:31 pm

Just how big a deal is the "gigafactory" that Tesla Motors says it's going to build to make batteries for its electric cars?

-- It's projected to cost $5 billion between now and the year 2020. Tesla expects to invest about $2 billion. Partners — who it's rumored could include Apple and Panasonic — would invest the rest.

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Host's Diary
5:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Most People Are DJs, But Sometimes It's Nice If They're Not

Credit C.P. Storm / Creative Commons

Last Sunday morning, I read with interest this essay by writer Beth Boyle Machlan on the joys of driving with her kids and listening to commercial radio -- the antithesis of the modern i-music experience which involves carefully choosing and curating one's own "playlists," and never subjecting oneself to anything as vulgar and top-down as listening to a whole bunch of songs picked out by other people. 

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NASCAR
4:21 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

It's Winner-Take-All In NASCAR's New Chase

Jimmie Johnson, celebrating a win in July, is a six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ. He says the playoff changes should still result in a top driver taking the title.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 7:53 pm

NASCAR's old point system was a mathematical labyrinth concerned with consistency: Drivers didn't have to actually win a race to make the playoffs, as long as they were in the top 10 often enough.

Even NASCAR CEO Brian France has joked that fans needed a computer next to them to figure it out. Take this announcement at a race in Richmond, Va., last year:

"Joey Logano is still barely clinging to that 10th spot in points, but he's 25th two laps down. Jeff Gordon only 2 points behind him."

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Transportation
4:27 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Why Hartford's I-84 Viaduct Is a Futureless Freeway

I-84 Viaduct
Credit I-84 Hartford Project

Hartford's Aetna Viaduct is among the top ten urban highways that deserve to be torn down, according to a new study by Congress for the New Urbanism. The yearly report, "Freeways without Futures" lists the elevated stretch of I-84 (in no particular order of futureless-ness) with such highways as I-10 in New Orleans, I-81 in Syracuse, and I-70 in St. Louis.

The criteria for being a futureless freeway?

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Pennsylvania
11:14 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Dozens Hurt In Massive Pileup On Pennsylvania Turnpike

Vehicles are piled up in an accident on Friday in Bensalem, Pa.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 4:25 pm

This post was updated at 4:20 p.m. ET.

A chain reaction of crashes involving dozens of cars and tractor-trailers has left at least 30 people hurt and forced the closure of the eastbound lane on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near the town of Bensalem, local news reports.

The lane is now reopened after being closed for much of the day.

Some 100 vehicles were reportedly involved in multiple accidents stemming from an initial 14 or 15-vehicle collision in southern Bucks County at about 8:25 a.m. ET.

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Connecticut First
4:58 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Connecticut Battles a Nor'Easter; Snow Removal Budget Depleted

A winter storm has dropped heavy wet snow on Connecticut, along with rain and sleet that began in the southern part of the state overnight before moving northward. Total snow accumulations were about 10 inches in many areas. Connecticut has depleted its budget for snow and ice removal. A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said this week that the agency has spent all $30 million on a dozen storms for the season.

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Indiana
8:57 am
Fri January 24, 2014

At Least 3 People Killed In 40-Vehicle Pileup In Indiana

Emergency crews work at the scene of a massive pileup Thursday involving more than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, along Interstate 94.
AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:12 am

More than 40 vehicles, many of them semitrailers, were involved in a massive pileup on a slippery stretch of Interstate 94 in northwestern Indiana that killed at least three people and injured 23 others.

The accident occurred near Michigan City, Ind., about 60 miles from Chicago around 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday.

The Associated Press reports:

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Political Snarl
11:53 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Emails Tie Gov. Christie's Aides To Lane Closings Controversy

Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J.
Kena Betancur Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:20 pm

Update at 8:15 p.m. ET: Gov. Christie Responds

In the late afternoon, Gov. Chris Christie released a statement expressing anger at the situation and denying involvement in what appeared to be an act of political payback:

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Distracted Driving
5:08 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

When Teen Drivers Multitask, They're Even Worse Than Adults

You can do it. But your 16-year-old can't. Teens were more likely to have accidents while eating or talking in the car.
iStockphoto

Everyone knows that the first rule of driving is never take your eyes off the road.

Teen drivers start off being careful, but they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel, according to research published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

And while older drivers can handle eating or talking to passengers, which trip up the newbies, dialing a cell phone increased the risk of accidents among young and experienced drivers alike.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

The Road Safely Traveled: Driving Safer in the New Year

The risk of fender benders and other more serious accidents don't deter many from their daily commute.
Credit epSos .de / Flickr Creative Commons

Fatalities on the roads are going down despite distractions going up. Cell phones, GPS devices, iPods, electronic billboards..there’s no shortage of things to take our attention away from driving.

As we make it through another holiday season, we’ll take a look at our driving habits. Are you driving as safely as you possibly can? Or is the glow of your iPhone pulling your eyes away from the road?

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Ice Missiles
12:04 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Clean Snow Off Your Car, Or Face Fines

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, imrambi

Motorists who fail to remove ice or snow from their vehicles will face possible fines beginning Dec. 31.

The so-called "ice-missile" legislation requires drivers to remove any "threatening" ice or snow from the hood, trunk, and roof of their car or face a $75 fine. Fines will be even higher if the ice or snow causes property damage. Non-commercial motorists could face a $200 to $1000 penalty for each offense. Commercial violators could be fined between $500 and $1200.

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Holiday Driving
3:29 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

State Police: Traffic Violations Down Over Thanksgiving Weekend

WNPR

The Connecticut State Police are "hopeful" that drivers are receiving the message when it comes to safe driving. 

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Why Not Just Charge It?
3:42 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

New Round of Incentives Aims to Bring More Electric Vehicle Charging Stations to Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy addresses reporters outside the 2013 Connecticut International Auto Show in Hartford. He announced a new round of incentives for building additional electric vehicle charging stations around the state.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

When you drive an electric car, you have to charge it, but sometimes finding those charging stations can be hard. Drivers call that "range anxiety" and it's stopped some consumers from going electric. Now, the state is looking to change that. Earlier this month, it announced more than $135,000 in grants to assist in the construction of 56 new, publicly available charging stations. 

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Sharing the Road?
5:54 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Londoners Urged To Cycle, But Commute Can Be Treacherous

Cyclists negotiate rush hour traffic in central London on Nov. 15. Fourteen London cyclists have died so far this year, all in accidents involving heavy goods vehicles.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 7:30 pm

London's colorful mayor, Boris Johnson, has made it a priority to get more of his constituents on two wheels. But a series of deaths on the city's roads have shaken cyclists and noncyclists alike.

The number of Londoners cycling to work has more than doubled in the past decade. On some roads, cyclists now make up more than half the rush hour traffic.

And for years, Johnson has been among them. Many think the London mayor has his eye on Prime Minister David Cameron's job.

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Where We Live
8:39 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

Credit aldenjewell, creative commons

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

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Transportation
2:55 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Reverse Commutes Now Often A Daily Slog, Too

Reverse commuters, include Kathy LeVeque (in the foreground), wait for an approaching outbound Metra commuter train at the Mayfair neighborhood stop on Chicago's northwest side.
David Schaper NPR

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:49 am

It is still as dark as night as Jim Rix steps out of his red brick Chicago bungalow and gets into his car, parked on the street. It's 6 a.m., and the 53-year-old engineer is getting an early start on his 35-mile commute out to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago's southwest suburbs.

"Depending upon weather and time of day, it can take 45 minutes to two hours to get to and from work," Rix says.

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Obey the Orange
9:03 am
Mon October 21, 2013

More Penalties for Speeding Through Work Zones

Connecticut has launched an "Obey the Orange" campaign to encourage safer driving in work zones.
Credit cgosnell90 / Flickr Creative Commons

Starting this month, Connecticut began imposing stiffer penalties against drivers who speed through work zones. The endangerment charge will be applied to motorists driving more than 75 mph or truckers going faster than 65 mph in a work zone.

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Electric Cars
4:51 pm
Sun October 6, 2013

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:52 am

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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Green Means Go, Yellow Means Duck
4:18 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

We Almost Lost Mary-Ann Tirone Smith

Why not let one of Connecticut's best-selling authors tell it in her own words?:

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7:46 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Car Ignition Lock Use Tripled in a Year in Connecticut

Lead in text: 
Use of ignition interlock devices has tripled since a state law took effect in 2012 requiring first-time DUI offenders to have the device installed. The Day reports that nearly 2,700 people in the state currently use such a device in their cars. The device is wired to the car's ignition and requires a breath sample before the car will start. Mothers Against Drunk Driving is pushing for the device for all convicted drunken drivers and intends to reintroduce state legislation at the 2014 legislative session.
Publication: The Day Norwich - Jacqueline Caron of Norwich has spent months perfecting the proper steps needed to start her car. On one recent afternoon, the 52-year-old planted herself in the driver's seat, inhaled deeply, pursed her lips and exhaled into a tube while humming a tone reminiscent of a prolonged "whooo."
Where We Live
10:30 am
Fri September 27, 2013

The Excitement and Terror of Buying a Car

John DeSimone, Modern Tire
Chion Wolf

Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”

Read more

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