Uber CEO Travis Kalanick on stage at the TechCrunch Disrupt event on Sept. 8, 2014 in San Francisco. (Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)
Here’s the third in our series in which we ask transportation advocates, analysts, and interest group representatives to identify the most encouraging or discouraging transportation developments of the past year….
“One of the most encouraging developments of 2014 was President Obama’s proposal to lift the ban on tolling existing Interstate highways for purposes of reconstruction. While we don’t wish to see the Federal-aid highway program fail, it appears that the strangling of the system is causing people to think outside the box.”
Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association
“The most discouraging transportation development for me is Bertha [the world's largest tunneling machine] getting stuck in Seattle. In my opinion that [State Route 99 tunnel] project should have never started. New freeway capacity in cities is disappointing. We know so much about how cities create value, and it’s not with more space for cars.
“The most encouraging is the citizen-led push in Dallas to tear down a freeway and to connect neighborhoods that were split by it.”
Jeff Wood, urban planner in the San Francisco Bay area and head of transportation consulting firm The Overhead Wire
“The most encouraging transportation development in 2014 was NHTSA’s decision to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology in new light vehicles. V2V technology has the potential to dramatically reduce highway fatalities and its safety benefits will be extended beyond auto passengers to include pedestrians and other road users.”
Alice Tornquist, vice president of government affairs, Qualcomm
“The continued booming expansion of transportation network companies (Uber, Lyft, etc…), as well as bike-share and car-share companies, that are transforming metropolitan transportation by providing more viable transportation options and vastly greater mobility. This development is incredibly encouraging because it shows how the disruptive power of technology continues to create competition, innovation, and economic and social benefits in transportation.”
Joshua Schank, president and CEO, Eno Center for Transportation