More from John Latta

John Latta is Editor-in-Chief of Better Roads magazine who has spent the last decade writing about roads, construction equipment, trucks and trucking, bridges, and Washington’s influence on all of the above. He is a former daily newspaperman who has pursued news in Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.


America’s supertrains are running late

Jun 03, 2013

America’s supertrains are running late

Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga high speed rail unit? Or maybe we’re riding on the bullet train they call the City of New Orleans? We have our old trains. But will new high speed trains on high speed tracks ...

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Goalposts and Speed Limits

May 31, 2013

Goalposts and Speed Limits

Let’s say you want to set a speed limit of 20 mph on a neighborhood street. You need an engineering study and a traffic study, right? No. Not in Washington State. A new Neighborhood Safe Streets Bill empowers cities and towns to set ...

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MAP-21’s reform timetable: Can it be maintained?

May 30, 2013

MAP-21’s reform timetable: Can it be maintained?

Ah, yes, the reforms of MAP-21. Like a breath of fresh air they were. Changes that would accelerate woefully slow project delivery times were finally coming, changes worth waiting for. With MAP-21, our current two-year surface transportation legislation, came lowered expectations from ...

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2013’s bridges: A Skagit River reminder

May 28, 2013

2013’s bridges: A Skagit River reminder

Did the collapse of the I-5 bridge across the Skagit River in Washington State demonstrate a need for increased investing in our increasingly substandard transportation infrastructure, particularly bridges? One argument says no. Then it sort of says yes as well. “No” in ...

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Remember the Alamo Bridge in Washington

May 24, 2013

Remember the Alamo Bridge in Washington

If a bridge falls in Washington State does anyone in Washington D.C. hear it? Yes, but for how long will its crash echo in their thoughts? There has been, historically, a relationship between a collapsed bridge span and a collapsed attention ...

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The Internet, the public and project input

May 24, 2013

The Internet, the public and project input

What is--or, better yet, what could be--happening to the solicitation of public input into transportation infrastructure projects? “The advent of the internet is making it easier than ever to solicit public input.” It’s a simple statement from an online resource for sustainable ...

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Gas tax quiz

May 23, 2013

Gas tax quiz

Pop quiz: What do you pay in federal fuel tax for every gallon of gas you buy? What percentage of the price of a gallon of gas comes from fuel taxes? No Googling! As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy points out, ...

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San Francisco-Oakland: Troubled bridge over water

May 22, 2013

San Francisco-Oakland: Troubled bridge over water

Closing in on an end-of-summer opening, the $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is getting set for its big day more with a whimper than a bang. Good point from Dan Walters in San Jose Mercury News. Do ...

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From A Connecticut Train Crash

May 20, 2013

From A Connecticut Train Crash

This is a story to be careful with. This, of course, comes from someone who is concerned that our infrastructure is in bad shape, even though it may appear superficially not to be. Take a look at the Connecticut commuter train ...

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Florida’s Red Light Camera Game: G R E E N orange R E D

May 17, 2013

Florida’s Red Light Camera Game: G R E E N orange R E D

A lot of orange traffic lights in Florida don’t last as long as they used to. And that has stirred up a hornet’s nest. Are shorter orange light times just there to make money via red light cameras (RLC)? Do they ...

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Fifty cents on the dollar for Illinois roads

May 16, 2013

Fifty cents on the dollar for Illinois roads

At a time when funding for roads and bridges--what there is of it--is squeezed to the maximum (a situation that isn’t likely to change any time soon) comes an unsettling new report. Check out this lead paragraph from a story the ...

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Where Interstate 20 crosses Interstate Bob

May 15, 2013

Where Interstate 20 crosses Interstate Bob

Are we approaching an intersection, where Public Street and Private Road meet? And if we are, is that intersection a confusing place in need of significant upgrading if it is to benefit the traveling public? Yep. Public-private partnerships created to profitably build ...

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