Report: Congestion on roadways still increasing, but could be good for economy
Traffic congestion in May increased 9.3 percent nationally from May of last year, says the monthly Gridlock Index from Inrix, who says the increase is an indicator of a strengthening economy.
Inrix says its data is in line with other positive economic indicators in the month, including increased retail sales month over month and a spike in auto sales. The average trip in the 100 most populated metropolitan areas in the country took on average 7 percent longer this May than last May, Inrix says.
From its congestion data, however, Inrix does say the recovery may be happening at different paces regionally, as metro areas in the western part o the country saw nearly 15.7 percent increase from May 2012 in traffic congestion, while the Northeast saw an 11.2 increase, the Midwest a 9.1 percent increase, and the South a much smaller 2.4 percent increase.
CARB mandate: ‘Government working against us’
Following the Channel 19 dissection of the independent business of Tom and Karen Moore, based in Bakersfield, Calif., as well as Kevin Rutherford’s analysis of what it would take to justify upgrading a California Air Resources Board Truck and Bus Rule-noncompliant tractor, the Moores weren’t the only ones who felt like “our government is working against us,” as Tom put it. As deadlines approach at year end for 2005-06 engines under the Truck & Bus Rule (find the full upgrade schedule via this post), readers commented in droves on our Facebook page and at OverdriveOnline.com. Find further responses below.
A commenter under the name “Melody” reiterated the point that, regarding any upgrade decision, it’s important to remember that the Truck & Bus Rule’s compliance rules are by engine — not truck body — model year. Her own experience attempting to upgrade well-illustrates potential disasters: “CARB Compliance is based on the engine model year, not the model year of the truck body itself. The Engine Family Number is required to determine the engine model year. The engine family name is on the emission control label (ECL) attached to the engine,” she wrote. “In 2011, I bought a 2007 Pete (like new, with less than 180,000 miles) and in January 2012, I bought a 2007 KW. It wasn’t until I was attempting to report our vehicle that I learned of the engine model year.”Read more
5 Deadly Tire Sins
Negligence and apathy consign more tires to early graves than road hazards ever will.
An inspection of almost any tire scrap pile will show most of the tires in the pile with a good portion of useable tread still on them died because of neglect. Irregular wear, mechanical problems, even mis-matched dual tires or inflation pressures across two tires in a dual assembly have tell-tale signs, and too often those sign are ignored until it’s too late to salvage the tire.
Here are the top five reasons you might be straining your tire budget to the breaking point, and how you can stem the financial hemorrhage.Read more
Freight Rail Rates Increased More Than Trucking Rates
New research shows that freight rail rates have skyrocketed over the past decade following dramatic consolidation in the railroad industry.
The conclusion is based on research conducted by Escalation
Consultants on behalf of the American Chemistry Council. It was released after ACC urged the Surface Transportation Board to take action on reforms it claims would benefit U.S. manufacturing and the economy by increasing access to competitive freight rail service for domestic producers.Read more
Detours for I-5 bridge collapse in Washington
A large part of an Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River near Mount Vernon, Wash., collapsed Thursday evening after an oversize truck hit an overhead span of the bridge, says a report from Time.com.
Several vehicles fell into the river when it collapsed, though no one was injured. The collapse occurred about 60 miles north of Seattle, and detours are in place to mitigate congestion, says Time’s article.
The collapse apparently occurred after a truck made contact with the bridge, but investigators are still unsure whether the truck actually caused the bridge collapse or whether the crash occurred as the bridge was collapsing, reports say.Read more