WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Transportation

drone photo taken by Chad Sperry / City of Macomb shared the image with TSPR

A major summer construction project has just wrapped up in downtown Macomb and the city is already looking ahead to possibly making more improvements in a couple of years.

Missouri voters face the confusing prospect of two separate proposals on the same ballot that would increase the state's lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax by different amounts.

Missouri lawmakers are back in Jefferson City as they prepare to kick off the 2016 legislative session at noon today.

In addition to passing the state budget, they're expected to tackle several other issues, including ethics reform and Gov. Jay Nixon's push to build a new NFL stadium for the Rams.

Ray LaHood spent more than two decades in Congress and served another 4 1/2 years as President Barack Obama's first Secretary of Transportation.

Cameras that collect information on license plates are thought by some to be an overreach of government. A proposal in the Illinois legislature would regulate the automatic license plate readers.

Some police officers use automated cameras that track vehicles' license plates. In Illinois, there are no regulations on them and the data collected. House Bill 3289 would impose limits, such as how long the data can be kept.

Democratic Rep. Scott Drury says the proposed regulation doesn't go far enough.

TSPR'S Rich Egger

The Illinois Department of Transportation focused on the current and future infrastructure needs of communities, regions, and the state during a stop in Macomb. IDOT Acting Secretary Randy Blankenhorn spoke to a crowd at the Spoon River College Community Outreach Center as part of a 32 city listening session tour across the state.

Galesburg Underpass Project Delayed

Mar 13, 2015
City of Galesburg

City leaders announced that the East Main Street Underpass Project will now have a projected start date of January 2016.

It was originally scheduled to begin in August of this year.

City of Hamilton

A non-binding referendum on the April ballot will ask voters whether to increase the city’s utility tax. The extra revenue would go toward road repairs and help replace diminishing state funding.

New Illinois Law Bans Police Ticket Quotas

Jan 6, 2015

Some police departments in Illinois could be issuing fewer tickets in the new year. 

A new state law went into effect that aims to get rid of ticket quotas.

Few police departments would ever admit to having a target number of tickets officers have to write each month. Even if there's no official policy in place, some police departments still follow a loose system.

Illinois Key State in Food Distribution

Jan 4, 2015

More food passes through Illinois annually than any other state.

The Macomb Police Department is getting more than $8,300 from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Illinois Gets "C" For Maintaining Infrastructure

Aug 13, 2014

A group of civil engineers says Illinois needs to pay more attention to maintaining its infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the state a "C-minus" on its report card earlier this year. Darren Olsen, who's with the group, says recent breakdowns in infrastructure have gotten national attention, but he wants to turn that attention into action.

  Amtrak ridership in Illinois has risen in recent years; it's up almost 85 percent from 2006 through last year. That trend developed after the rail service added routes. The train service could grow more in the future.

In 2006, lines branching out from Chicago that went to Carbondale, Quincy and St. Louis added trips.

Missourians decisively rejected a sales tax increase earmarked for transportation projects, making for a striking defeat for a well-financed campaign from proponents and a victory for an ideologically diverse opposition coalition. 

The tax – commonly known as “Amendment 7” or the “transportation tax” – would have raised Missouri’s sales tax by 0.75 percent for 10 years. It would have also barred Missouri's policymakers from instituting tolls or raising the state’s gas tax during that same time period.

Fremont Street Gets Controversial Upgrade

Jul 23, 2014
The City of Galesburg

The City of Galesburg is reworking one of its major streets. 

Highway Trust Fund At Risk, Threatens Illinois Jobs

Jul 8, 2014

At the height of the summer construction season, the national Highway Trust Fund is at risk of going belly-up by next month.

The fund helps pay for road work and bridge repairs all across the nation. Among projects in at jeopardy is work currently being done on an Interstate-72 overpass just outside of Springfield.

Mike Zahn, a leader with the International Union of Operating Engineers' State Council, spoke near that site on Monday.  He says these projects mean jobs.

Shankar S. / Flickr Creative Commons

Illinois lawmakers are considering ending the state’s ban on Sunday automobile sales.

Police start enforcing texting while driving ban

Mar 10, 2014
texasdrivesafe.org / Tri States Public Radio

In Illinois, it's illegal to talk on the phone while driving unless you're using bluetooth or another hands free device. You're never allowed to text while driving, yet some people can't seem to put down their phones.

Rich Egger

During winter weather, it’s common for flights to be canceled and roads to be closed.  Usually the trains still run without incident. 

Jonathan Ahl

More than 100,000 people ride the Illinois Zephyr train line from Quincy to Chicago each year.  

1 in 12 Illinois Bridges Deficient

Jun 21, 2013
SSS

A national transportation advocacy groups says 1 in 12 Illinois bridges are structurally deficient.

2012 has been a pretty good year for transportation improvements in northeast Missouri.  A special panel is working to make sure that can continue.

Emphasis - July 13

Jul 13, 2012

Jason Parrott's guest is Mike Norris, who is the Executive Director for the Southeast Iowa Regional Planning Commission.  They talk about the work of the commission and several ongoing projects.

The SEIRPC serves governmental bodies in Lee, Des Moines, Henry and Louisa Counties.  The voluntary membership organization does contract work, performs property management and oversees state and federal funding for cities, counties and school districts.