NAPT MultiView News Brief
Oct. 12, 2010

More cities turn to solar power for traffic signs
USA Today
Growing numbers of cities and towns are turning to solar-powered road warning and school safety signs to inform the public and save money and energy. In the past year, cities including Baton Rouge, Branson and Kansas City, Mo., and Lyndhurst, Wayne and Ringwood, N.J., have adopted the technology, officials in those municipalities say. Rick Bergholz, owner of TAPCO, a Wisconsin-based company that manufactures and sells the environmentally friendly traffic controls, says solar-powered light "sales have been exploding."More

Cyberbullying 101 launches on Youtube
Enough is Enough
Gone are the days when a child's home is a refuge from playground or neighborhood bullies. The Internet is the new playground, and there are no off-hours. Tech-savvy students are turning to cyberspace to harass their peers using a new method of bullying — cyberbullying. Enough is Enough launched their Cyberbullying 101 video on Yotube recently. The video is a part of EIE's Internet Safety 101 program that was designed to educate, equip and empower parents, educators and other caring adults with the knowledge and resources they need to protect their children from threats like cyberbullying. More

Walking bus encourages healthy route to school
Litchfield Independent Review
Olivia Wicklund, a freshman at Litchfield High School in Litchfield, Conn., is coordinating a "walking school bus" aimed at encouraging school children to walk to school. The start date was significant, Wicklund said, because Oct. 6 was National Walk to School Day, an observance focused on helping to get school children more active through an energizing walk to school. "It brings generations of people together, all working toward a common goal," Wicklund said of the walking school bus idea. "It provides physical fitness. It's environmentally friendly, and it's budget friendly. It's an alternate way to get to school."More

Terror alert boosts transportation security
Security measures at mass transit systems worldwide have boosted following the travel alert in Europe from potential terrorist attacks. Security measures at the Los Angeles International Airport have been increased, and authorities are also asking travelers to report any suspicious activity, particularly for the duration of the terror alert. The alert was issued by the U.S. State Department recently, as intelligence officials warned Americans in Europe of possible terror strikes aimed at popular tourist magnets in the continent. Britain and Japan also issued the alert for its citizens. In addition to the airport, other modes of transportation are following suit with heightened security in light of the terror alert. More

Taxing drivers by the mile and not by the gallon
The Christian Science Monitor
As more Americans buy hybrid or electric cars, drivers in traditional gas-only vehicles are bound to start asking: Why should I still be paying more in fuel taxes? Don't we all use the highways? Indeed, the gas tax is quickly becoming an unjust way to finance the costs of roads and bridges. All vehicles, whether they be a Hummer or a Prius, use the same infrastructure, which needs to be built and maintained regardless of a car's fuel type. There is an alternative, one that is fair, already proven, and, based on a new study by some 80 experts, the best way to start financing surface transportation.More

E-rate revisions seen as good first step
Education Week
That seems to be the general feeling among educational technology advocates about the recent reforms to the federal E-rate program, whether they are applauding a new funding index for inflation, the allowance for "dark fiber" connections, or the funding of pilot wireless-learning programs. More

DOT hosts major ITS Vehicle Safety Research Conference on October 20
The U.S. Department of Transportation will host a one-day public meeting on Oct. 20, 2010 to present results from the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems field operational test. The meeting will be held at Eagle Crest Conference Center in Ypsilanti, Mich. The IVBSS program, a key component of ITS safety-related activities, is a five-year cooperative research effort that combines several in-vehicle crash warning subsystems — including forward collision, lane departure, lane change, and curve speed warning — into a single, integrated concept to enhance the safety of both passenger vehicles and heavy trucks. More

US transportation system failing
The Washington Post
The United States is saddled with a rapidly decaying and woefully underfunded transportation system that will undermine its status in the global economy unless Congress and the public embrace innovative reforms, a bipartisan panel of experts concludes in a report released recently. U.S. investment in preservation and development of transportation infrastructure lags so far behind that of China, Russia and European nations that it will lead to "a steady erosion of the social and economic foundations for American prosperity in the long run." More

FTA grants $776 million to improve condition of bus and rail systems
AASHTO Journal
The Federal Transit Administration announced recently that 152 projects across 45 states and the District of Columbia will receive $776 million in "State of Good Repair" funding to rehabilitate transit systems. FTA received requests totaling more than $4 billion from 400 transit agencies — more than five times the available grant money offered. "Whether it's replacing aging buses with fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles, constructing new bus shelters and maintenance facilities, or installing updated fare boxes and fleet-tracking systems, we are helping transit agencies deliver safer and more reliable service, operate more efficiently, and lower fuel costs," U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote on his blog. More

LaHood weighs urging ban on all driver phone use in cars
Bloomberg News
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says he believes motorists are distracted by any use of mobile phones while driving, including hands-free calls, as his department begins research that may lead him to push for a ban. LaHood, whose campaign against texting and making calls while driving has led to restrictions in 30 states, says his concerns extend to vehicle information and entertainment systems such as Ford Motor Co.'s Sync and General Motors Co.'s OnStar. More