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transportation

OKC Bike Rack Map

Since his car was totaled a month ago, Jake Fisher has walked to his job in digital marketing in downtown Oklahoma City. It helps that he lives and works in the same neighborhood.  

“I like to know I’m not overusing resources,” he said. “If I could walk 20 minutes, versus driving two minutes, I would choose walking.”

Fisher has considered buying a bicycle, but didn’t know where he could park it safely downtown.

The Santa Fe Station was built in 1934. It served passenger trains until 1979, and then again from 1999 to the present.
Nomin Ujiyediin / KGOU

Kaye Burlison remembers what the Santa Fe train station looked like in her youth: rusted metal canopies that stained the building’s limestone exterior, and windows fogged up from the uneven temperature control inside.  

“It was rust-colored instead of cream, so it was definitely in disrepair, ” Burlison said.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, promoted investment in infrastructure in a day-long tour that included a stop at the Frederick Regional Airport.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A cornerstone of President Trump’s campaign and presidency is a $1 trillion proposal to rebuild U.S. infrastructure. The promise is a popular one, and could find bipartisan support across the country and in Congress. The infrastructure needs in Oklahoma illustrate why this issue is so appealing — and challenging.

Photograph used for a newspaper owned by the Oklahoma Publishing Company. Caption: "First Parking Meter"
Oklahoma Historical Society

The Oklahoma City City Council is considering replacing most of the city’s coin-operated parking meters, but losing them means losing part of the city’s history.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma State Highway Patrol Troopers can now drive as many miles as they want.

Oklahoma State Highway 9
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Driving on poorly maintained roads is costing Oklahoma drivers $5 billion dollars each year, according to a report released Wednesday.

katsrcool / Flickr.com

Uncertainties about the state budget have led Oklahoma transportation officials to change highway construction plans.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission announced at its monthly meeting on Monday that the Oklahoma Department of Transportation may suspend work on more than 80 bridges and roads across the state.

Heartland Flyer, Amtrak train
meermacatawa / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

At 8:25 every morning, the Heartland Flyer rolls away from the Santa Fe Depot in Oklahoma City for a day trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

With Oklahoma’s souring budget outlook, just about everything is on the chopping block, including Oklahoma's Amtrak rail service.

KWGS News

D, D+, D+ — those are grades from the American Society of Civil Engineers for Oklahoma’s roads, bridges and transit systems.

The ASCE is watching Washington this week in hopes a House and Senate committee passes a long-term transportation funding bill to start improving those grades. Former ASCE President Andy Herrmann said bad roads are making drivers nationwide pay for extra repairs and maintenance.

"It’s about $516 per year, per motorist, but in Oklahoma, that goes up to $626 per year from driving on roads in need of repair," Herrmann said.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) speak to reporters during a press conference July 30, 2015 after the passage of the long-term transportation bill.
Senator Jim Inhofe / YouTube

The U.S. Senate easily passed a six-year highway bill yesterday that promises a huge boost in road and bridge funding for Oklahoma.

The state's senior Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe co-authored the bill with California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. It passed on a 65-34 vote.

Miran Rijavec Stan Dalone / Flickr.com

Financial institutions are uniting against the U.S. Senate’s six-year transportation bill, including bankers in Oklahoma.

 

Banks are required to buy stocks from the Federal Reserve in order to become members. They receive a six percent interest rate on their investment. The transportation bill would reduce that rate to one-and-a-half percent. The change offsets about $16 billion of highway spending.

 

Oklahoma Bankers Association president and CEO Roger Beverage said that would hurt consumers.

 

Jonathan Youngblood / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

A new report out Thursday morning says 45 percent of Oklahoma City's roads are in poor condition.

“That’s taking a toll on [drivers’] wallets each year, to the tune of about $917 annual in what we call ‘extra-vehicle operating costs’,” said Carolyn Kelly with the transportation research group TRIP. “And those are essentially the ways rough roads beat up your vehicle.”

Aerial footage of floodwaters covering Alameda Street as it crosses Lake Thunderbird in far east Norman on May 24, 2015.
Lawrence McEwen / YouTube

Gov. Mary Fallin has directed the Oklahoma Department of Transportation to speed up bidding on county infrastructure projects and find more ways to support recovery efforts in light of widespread damage after flooding throughout the month of May.

Fallin says some state lawmakers have asked her to redirect money from Oklahoma's Rainy Day Fund to county infrastructure projects, which she doesn't have the legal authority to do.

ODOT Game Plan Is To Play Defense Next Session

Jan 6, 2015
At its Monday, Dec. 8 meeting, the Oklahoma Transportation Commission approved a contract for reconstruction the I-35 interchanges at SH-9 East and Lindsey St. in Norman, pictured here looking south.
Oklahoma Department of Transportation

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be playing primarily defense and little offense next legislative session, said Executive Director Mike Patterson Monday. The department’s legislative game plan, he said, came after discussions last session that threatened to reduce funding to the state agency.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt and investigator-in-charge Jennifer Morrison view wreckage at the scene in Davis.
National Transportation Safety Board / Flickr Public Domain

Oklahoma investigators have not concluded whether a truck driver's inattention caused a highway collision that killed four members of a Texas college softball team.

Monday the Oklahoma Highway Patrol again declined to say what may have distracted 53-year-old Russell Staley from Saginaw, Tex. at the time of the crash Friday night.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt said the agency has obtained and delivered subpoenas for Staley's medical records.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal reimbursements to the Oklahoma Department of Transportation and their counterparts in other states will be reduced beginning August 1 unless the Federal Highway Trust Fund receives an infusion of cash, ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson told the Transportation Commission during its meeting Monday.

The department was informed July 1 that the U.S. Department of Transportation would begin taking a number of steps to address what U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Fox called the insolvency of the fund.

railroad tracks
Luke Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

By early July, the 97.5 mile rail line between Midwest City and Sapulpa known as the Sooner Sub will be privately owned. Passenger rail advocates have fought the sale for years, but they’re feeling optimistic right now.

The Oklahoma Transportation Commission knocked out all but the last item of its agenda in about 20 minutes Monday. After a 10-minute recess, Chairman Greg Love moved on to the topic most people came for: Discussion on the sale of the Sooner Sub line.

Scott Clapham peers down into a cavernous dry dock at the Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. He points to massive pieces of steel, some covered with a light dusting of snow. When assembled, they will form a 115,000-ton oil tanker.

I started my journey at the famed Gdansk Shipyard, home of Poland's solidarity movement in the 1980s. It was nearly midnight when I arrived and saw for the first time the Maersk McKinney Moller, the world's largest container ship.

I simply wasn't prepared for just how massive it is. The whole ship really can't be taken in, even standing at a distance, so I gave my neck a good stretch by scanning this behemoth end to end, and up and down.

Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.) testifies before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee - January 14, 2013.
Provided / U.S. House

Gov. Mary Fallin testified Tuesday before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urging lawmakers to negotiate a path forward on reauthorizing surface transportation.

"Well-managed dollars committed to infrastructure improvements directly impact our economy and enhance the ability of our industries to transport goods and provide services,” Fallin said. “Investing today in transportation is investing long term in our economic viability and the safety of our citizens."