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transportation

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Connecticut’s special transportation fund could be insolvent within four years if lawmakers don’t take action to secure new revenues. That was the message from the governor’s budget team to members of the legislature’s transportation committee Friday. 

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Proponents of a plan to bring expanded intercity passenger rail service to western Massachusetts are getting support from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy.

The promise of automated cars is that they could eliminate human-error accidents and potentially enable more efficient use of roadways. That sounds, at first blush, like self-driving cars could also mean traffic reduction and lower commute times.

But researchers aren't so sure.

Hesham Rakha is an engineering professor at Virginia Tech who studies traffic's flow — or lack thereof.

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Opponents of a new rail bypass plan for shoreline Connecticut want to see intervention from state lawmakers. Two bills before the General Assembly would mandate that changes to the state’s rail service could only take place after referendums in affected communities.

In late December last year, the Federal Railroad Administration released the latest iteration of its plan to upgrade the Northeast Corridor, including rerouting the line in several places. The aim is to be able to accommodate much higher speed trains.

Connecticut's perennial debate over road tolls starts again this month, but this year there is more momentum after a state panel recommended automated tolling.

Gov. Gina Raimondo's position statement came as a welcome surprise to dozens of protestors gathered at the Statehouse Wednesday.

Residents and lawmakers had crammed into the Statehouse rotunda to protest federal plans to move rail infrastructure in parts of Charlestown and Westerly. Then, Charlestown Town Councilor Virginia Lee told the crowd the governor agreed with them.

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Train travel in the Northeast might soon be faster, more accessible and more reliable, but a lot of this relies on the federal government.

This hour — rail in Connecticut. Is it on the right track?

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Governor Dan Malloy faces low approval ratings and a fiscal crisis as he enters his seventh year in office. Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, he said his popularity isn't his main concern in 2017. 

Hundreds came out New Year's Day to ride the train in New York City, cheering as it left the station. That may sound odd, but this wasn't just any subway or any old station, it was the stuff of urban legend: the Second Avenue subway line.

To understand the crowd, you have to go back to the 1920s when the idea for the subway line was first floated, but never left the station because the Depression hit.

The idea was revived again in the 1950s as a replacement for the elevated trains, but city planner Robert Moses decided to spend money building expressways instead.

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From self-driving cars to 3D printing to hydrokinetic energy technology, New Englanders are at the forefront of the latest cutting edge tech. 

This hour, we explore the latest gadgets and tech trends and learn about their impact locally and around the globe.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A legal fight heated up last summer between state marshals and the Hartford Parking Authority. The question was whether the marshals could, by law, park their cars illegally while doing their jobs. That fight wound up in state court and the marshals lost. 

Federal Railroad Administration

The Federal Railroad Administration has issued a new plan for a controversial changes to the Northeast Corridor, but its fresh solution has no fans here in Connecticut. The original proposal, for an elevated bypass carrying high speed rail through Old Lyme, caused a storm of protest, as town residents said it would create an eyesore in the picturesque shoreline town. 

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As parents, we tell our children to look both ways before crossing the street. We remind them to use crosswalks and to obey crossing signals. But practicing what we preach -- well, that's a whole different story.

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Gustave Whitehead became a household name in Connecticut in 2013 when the editor of the highly-respected aviation magazine IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraftdeclared Gustave Whitehead had been treated "shabbily by history." This comment came after Australian historian John Brown found a picture of a plane he alleged Gustave Whitehead flew in Bridgeport two years before the Wright brothers got their 1903 Flyer off the ground. 

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Clearing Connecticut highways of snow and ice will be quicker and  more efficient this winter, thanks to a fleet of innovative new snow plows. 

The new plow is towed in the rear of a plow truck, which swings out mechanically, essentially doubling the plowing capability of a regular plow to two full highway lanes in a single pass.

A plane carrying a Brazilian professional soccer team crashed in the mountains near Medellín, Colombia, late Monday, killing 71 people.

Five people survived the crash of the charter plane, according to authorities. Officials initially reported that the plane was carrying 81 people and that, variously, 75 or 76 of them had died.

"The British Aerospace 146 aircraft was carrying Brazil's Chapecoense soccer team to a tournament in Medellín, Colombia's second-largest city," John Otis reports for NPR from the Colombian capital, Bogotá.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

The state is making more rebate money available to customers who buy electric vehicles, or EVs: $2.7 million.

Lori Mack / WNPR

The Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven is home to nearly 100 vintage cars from around the country and Canada. But it sits on a floodplain, and much of its valuable collection was damaged after storms Irene and Sandy pounded the East Coast in 2011 and 2012.

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The state is looking for a transportation company to get low-income Medicaid patients to their medical appointments. This comes after legislators overrode a veto of a bill by Governor Dannel Malloy.

Bicycles are a type of vehicle so they belong on the road, right?

This is how the wheels turn in places such as New York City and San Francisco, where bicyclists older than age 13 are banned from riding on the sidewalk. Similar laws exist in many cities and towns throughout the country, such as Columbus, Ohio, and Chapel Hill, N.C.

That's not the case everywhere, though. In Boston and Washington, D.C., sidewalk cycling is allowed — with the exception of the downtown areas. But just because bicyclists are allowed to ride on the sidewalk doesn't mean they are welcome there.

The brakes on the New Jersey Transit train that crashed into the platform at Hoboken Terminal on Sept. 29 show no signs of any defect. That's according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board released Thursday.

One person on the platform was killed and more than 100 passengers and crew members were injured.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The National Transportation Safety Board said Wednesday that the crash of a small aircraft in East Hartford, Connecticut on Tuesday appears to be "the result of an intentional act." 

Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy said Tuesday the construction of the Hartford Commuter Rail Line is on track to be completed by January 2018, thanks in part to a state-of-the-art machine.

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

Data recovered from the wreckage of the New Jersey Transit commuter train crash last week shows that the train sped up to twice the 10 mph speed limit and the engineer hit the emergency brake less than a second before crashing into the Hoboken terminal, said federal investigators.

The crash killed one person on the platform and injured more than 100 others.

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