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Tag Archives | Drunk Driving

News & Notes

seattle-times-bridge→ The Seattle Times: ‘Miracles': 3 survive I-5 collapse

A chunk of Interstate 5 collapsed into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon on Thursday evening, dumping two vehicles into the icy waters and creating a gaping hole in Washington state’s major north-south artery.

Rescuers pulled three people with minor injuries from the water after the collapse, which authorities say began when a semitruck with an oversized load struck a steel beam at around 7 p.m.

That caused a massive piece of the northern side of the bridge to wobble, and then fall into the water, taking with it a gold pickup, its travel trailer and an orange SUV.


But actually, our infrastructure crisis is a myth…

→ Bloomberg: The Myth of the Falling Bridge

Maybe it’s going too far to say, “The U.S. is doing just fine, thank you very much.” The nation would benefit from reordering its infrastructure priorities — away from new highways, for example, where we are already overbuilt and usage is falling for the first extended period on record. And we’d do well to take advantage of low interest rates and idle construction resources to knock out all of our future infrastructure needs.

But the idea that the U.S. has an infrastructure crisis? No. A broad, permanent increase in spending is unwarranted.

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What Cheer / What Jeer 2012

It is that time of year for us to take a look back and What Cheer the good and What Jeer the bad.

whatcheer

Work commences on the Washington Bridge Linear Park

It has been in the works for years, but finally RIDOT has started work on the Washington Bridge Linear Park.

Through a $22 million contract, RIDOT will rebuild the remaining section of the original Washington Bridge that carries the existing bikeway and a section of the original highway bridge. In the same footprint will be a much wider bikeway and linear park. It will feature a separate bikeway and walking path, scenic overlooks, park benches, flag poles, decorative lighting and landscaped planters. The project also calls for restoration of the historic, multi-arch granite façade of the Washington Bridge and two operator’s houses from which an original drawbridge was controlled.

When opened, the new linear park will be named the George Redman Linear Park, after the East Providence resident who was instrumental in making the East Bay Bike Path a reality 25 years ago. Redman continues to advocate for bike path development across the state.


whatcheer

Wind Turbines at Fields Point

While they were installed in January, the whole City was speculating when the would finally start spinning. Turns out they wouldn’t start up until October. But now they are finally spinning and adding some environmental goodness to the Providence skyline. Hope we’ll some more.


whatcheer

Overnight parking expansion

While it has been studied endlessly for years (even as the rest of the world seemed to be able to embrace it and not devolve into chaos), in April, overnight parking has finally started spreading throughout the City.


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This is our Senate leadership

Watch Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed’s statement:

Ciccone steps down from leadership role: wpri.com

Pathetic.

No word from the Senate President on Senator Ruggerio who was the one who actually plead to refusing a breathalizer.

There’s also this from the Journal:

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio on Wednesday called Sen. Frank Ciccone’s decision to resign from two of his committee posts “courageous.”

“Obviously he is thinking about the Senate as an institution,” Ruggerio said after the regular Senate session ended. “I wish him the best and he is my friend and I am sure things will work out.”

Yes, courageous that Ciccone, who along with Ruggerio, works for Laborers International Union of North America, will remain the Vice-Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. What does organized labor in Rhode Island think of all this, threatening police officers pensions?

You know what would have been courageous? Putting your drunk friend in a cab.

Ruggerio also stated that he would stay in his post as Senate Majority Leader (the number 2 spot in that chamber) and remain on all his committees. People, Ruggerio was the drunk driver, Ruggerio was the one who could have killed someone.

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Oopsie! Apparently the RI Senate thinks Drunk Driving is no big deal.

RuggeiroSurely you’ve heard that Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio who represents the North End of Providence and North Providence was arrested for driving drunk and refusing a breathalizer early Wednesday morning.

As WPRI reports:

Ruggerio stopped his car, a black Buick sedan, in the middle of the road instead of pulling over to the side and later failed a field sobriety test, according to the arrest report. Patrolman Walter Larson, the arresting officer, said Ruggerio had bloodshot, watery eyes, “heavily slurred speech,” “a strong odor of consumed alcohol” on his breath and swayed from side to side.

Ruggerio has been described as “taking full responsiblity for his actions.” However, WPRI quotes him as saying:

“Last evening the vehicle I was driving in Barrington was pulled over by the Barrington Police. I declined a breathalyzer test.” He did not say whether he was inebriated at the time.

The vehicle you were driving in? No Senator, you were pulled over because you were driving drunk. Though you refused a breathalizer hoping to you could beat the rap. That does not full responsibility make.

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News & Notes

→ Fast 14 project an exciting demonstration of American innovation [USDOT Fast Lane Blog]

The challenge was tremendous; last summer gaping holes opened up in bridges along the crucial I-93 corridor near Boston. It was clear that the superstructure–the concrete decking and steel beams–of the aging bridges was failing and had to be replaced. Unfortunately, with conventional techniques, closing lanes to replace the 14 structurally deficient bridges on this primary commuter artery would likely tie Boston-area traffic in painful knots for four long years.

The Massachusetts DOT design-build team proposed to cut that four years down to 14 weeks by prefabricating the superstructure pieces off-site then quickly fitting them into position. Rather than close lanes for the weeks it would take to fabricate a bridge’s superstructure on-site, lane closures could be limited to weekends when the pre-fab superstructure could be lowered into place. Preparatory work, they suggested, could be done in advance without disrupting the flow of traffic.

Why isn’t everyone doing this?


→ Transit systems face across-the-board cuts, diminished funding stream under House bill [Transportation for America]

The House proposal contains scant information about public transportation, but by most indications, non-highway projects would have more difficulty receiving funding and prioritization compared to current law.
The outline did not explicitly call for maintaining the historic 20 percent share of Highway Trust Fund dollars for public transportation, though both Chairman Mica and Committee staff indicated verbally at a press conference that the 80/20 ratio would be preserved, albeit as part of a much smaller share of total dollars. Though even with the 20 percent share intact, the overall 35 percent cut would result in steep fare hikes, service cuts, job losses or some combination thereof.

See also: Federal transportation program slated for 35 percent spending cut in House bill [Transportation for America]


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