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News & Notes

Wind farm challenged in R.I. Supreme Court

Three entities have asked the Rhode Island Supreme Court to overturn the approval of the Block Island wind farm contract.

Attorney General Patrick Lynch, the Conservation Law Foundation and large industrial concerns Toray Plastics and Polytop Corp. argue that the state Public Utilities Commission approval of the Power Purchase Agreement reached between Deepwater Wind and National Grid was legally flawed on several levels.

[The Block Island Times]

America’s Ten Dead Cities: From Detroit To New Orleans

What this list does not take into account is the suburbanization of America and the fact that many of the sunbelt cities that have taken top spots in population are largely suburban in nature. Never-the-less it is interesting to look at where cities were, what contributed to their downfall, and consider how they should re-invent themselves for the 21st century.

[24/7 Wall Street]

Relocating Route 195: Cost more than double

“The people here hadn’t done these big projects before,” said Robert A Shawver, the DOT’s assistant director for financial planning. “We learned a lot and we’re improving. I think you can see from our managing our other projects that we’re doing well.”

Emphasis added. I mean… really.

[The Providence Journal]

How the Stimulus Is Changing America
[Time]

The State of the Interstate

Now, officials are contemplating taking I-10 down, as part of a national trend in which dismantling freeways is favored as a cheaper option than rehabilitation. But resistance to change runs deep in New Orleans. A proud sense of tradition, racial polarity, corruption and a history of inequitable large-scale redevelopment projects such as the construction of I-10 make many residents distrustful of any big changes | including, paradoxically, the dismantling of I-10.

According to the city’s master plan, dismantling the interstate would add only eight minutes to commute times. The existing I-610 acts as a bypass and Claiborne Avenue, still operational beneath I-10, is four lanes wide. Dense street grids, experts say, handle heavy traffic better than highways by providing routes off of main roadways at more frequent intervals | at blocks rather than at half-mile exits.

Think of the traffic queuing to get on Route 10 at Cranston Street, then think if there were a more permeable grid for that traffic to flow through.

[Next American City]

Portland streetcar success has fueled interest elsewhere
[USA Today]

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2 Responses to News & Notes

  1. Andrew August 31, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    Quite an achievement, Governor: A wind energy project that even a crazy tree-hugger like me can not enthuse about.

    On the one hand, it is so far out in the ocean that the usual “We love windmills, but just not right there” NIMBY stuff did not happen.

    On the other hand it is so far out in the ocean the construction and maintenance costs are very high.

    Even so, it is misleading to say the projected price of this wind-generated electricity is too high. The real problem here is that the price of fossil-fuel generated electricity is too low because it includes neither external environmental costs, outright subsidies nor the costs of obtaining of energy supplies by military means. That is why we need a carbon tax, an end to subsidies for n0n-renewable energy and an end to the limitation on the liability of nuclear installations.

  2. Tony P August 31, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    As to I-195 costs, when the project was first announced back in the day I said it would come in at close to $1 Billion to move that sucker. I was right.

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