September 17, 2021
11 11 11 AM
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation
Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025
The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road!
Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval
Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night
Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director
Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights
Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior
Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center
German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
Latest Post
California homeless camp fire damages 2 bridges, disrupts public transportation Austin finishes half of its bicycle network, expects to complete entire 400-mile system by 2025 The Top 10 Automotive Concepts that automotive enthusiasts will be itching to see on the road! Oregon Transportation Commission, wary of I-5 Rose Quarter project’s growing price tag, grants conditional approval Woman dies after being hit by car in North Windham Friday night Silk-FAW Continues To Poach Italy’s Automotive Talent, As Lamborghini’s Katia Bassi Joins As Managing Director Transportation Department cracks down on airlines withholding refunds for canceled flights Bear gets trapped in car, destroys interior Cycling apparel company adding full-service bike repair to visitor center German sales plunge in August to lowest level since 1992
Jul
2021
29

Towing company agrees to pay troops for illegally selling their vehicles

A Dallas towing company has agreed to pay $50,000 as part of an settlement reached with the Justice Department regarding allegations the company illegally sold five service members’ vehicles, Justice announced today.

Justice officials filed the initial complaint Sept. 28, 2020 alleging United Tows, LLC, auctioned off the vehicles without obtaining court orders, in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. One vehicle belonged to now-Senior Airman Fassil Mekete, who was was attending Air Force basic training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, in 2017.

According to Justice officials, when Mekete found out his vehicle had been towed, he contacted United Tows and told them he was out of town on active duty. However, the owner told him she didn’t believe he was in the military; and the company sold his 1998 Toyota Corolla at auction. Before leaving for basic training, Mekete had received permission from the owner of a martial arts studio to leave his car and some personal belongings in the studio’s parking lot, since he no longer had a lease in Dallas.

A subsequent investigation revealed that United Tows allegedly illegally sold at least four other vehicles belonging to service members between Oct. 4, 2014 and April 26, 2019.

Under the proposed settlement, which was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, United Tows must pay Mekete $20,000. The settlement must be approved by the court.

The four other service members will share an additional $20,000 from United Tows, and the company will pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the U.S. Treasury.

Officials at United Tows, LLC and their attorneys didn’t immediately answer Military Times’ requests for comment. However, the proposed settlement states, “The parties agree that, to avoid costly and protracted litigation, the claims against Defendant should be resolved without further proceedings or an evidentiary hearing.”

United Tows “not only disregarded the legal rights of service members, it made hurtful and dismissive comments about a member’s military service,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in an announcement Friday.

Jul
2021
29

Sangamon County Board to vote on first phase of transportation center

The Sangamon County Board unanimously voted Thursday to award a bid for building of the Sangamon Mass Transit District transfer center to R.D. Lawrence Construction Co., Ltd. of Springfield.

The transfer center is the first phase of the Springfield-Sangamon County Transportation Center, an $80 million project designed to bring together Amtrak trains, SMTD buses, paratransit vehicles, airport shuttles and taxis just northeast of the Sangamon County building on Ninth Street.

R.D. Lawrence submitted a bid for $13.26 million.

See also: What to expect from Springfield-Sangamon Transportation Center after first virtual look

The company was the project’s only bidder, confirmed county board chairman Andy Van Meter, following the special board meeting.

Five firms in all were” interested” in the project, Van Meter said, but it presented some “unusual” time constraints that may have chased other firms off.

Board members were worried until the bid was open, but R.D. Lawrence offered “an excellent bid that was within 2% (of the cost) Hanson Engineers laid out,” Van Meter said. “We have every degree of confidence that this is a very competitive bid.”

Hanson Engineers is responsible for providing overall engineering design services and management for the $356 million Springfield Rail Improvements Project, which seeks to alleviate rail congestion in downtown Springfield by consolidating train traffic from Third Street to 10th Street.

The transportation center is part of that overall project.

R.D. Lawrence’s high-profile work includes repairs to The Coliseum (now The Coliseum of Champions) at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and a renovation of the Governor’s Mansion.

R.D. Lawrence president John Goetz said the project will be headed up by Aaron Gorbett.

“We have to issue all of our sub-contracts and purchase orders with suppliers,” Gorbett said. “After we receive those back, work could start. There’s a little bit of demolition to do and a little bit of upgrade to some existing parking lots where the (temporary bus transfer station will go) until the overall project is completed.”

Gorbett said about 20 to 25 workers will be part of the project through its completion, scheduled for February 2023. At other junctures of the project, that workforce will increase, Gorbett said.

“It’s a fantastic firm to be working with,” Van Meter said. “(Its) sub-contractors are primarily local as well, employing local people.”

SMTD moved its transfer center to 11th Street between Adams and Washington streets from Fifth Street and Capitol Avenue in early 2019. It was seen as a “stopgap” before construction of the center.

Part of the transfer center is another building that will allow riders to purchase bus tickets and food, said Sangamon County administrator Brian McFadden. There will also be some SMTD dispatch operations and offices for those working on the construction site.

Time is of the essence, McFadden added, because prices of material are “very volatile. It is a pretty aggressive schedule as far as getting the new asphalt surface in place. That has to get done probably before November.”

A parking garage, Amtrak station, SMTD transfer center and county

Jul
2021
29

This Is the Deadliest Car in the U.S., According to Data

Each year, more than 33,000 people in the U.S. die in a car accident, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System. In fact, car crashes are a leading cause of death in the country for people aged 1 to 54, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. It’s clear that no matter what kind of car you drive, it’s important to stay alert behind the wheel, whether you’re just running a quick errand or going on a long road trip. But research does show that there are certain cars that tend to be involved in more deadly crashes than others.

A recent 2021 study by ValuePenguin Insurance looked at car crash data from the NHTSA to determine which car models were most often involved in fatal accidents. The data was recorded from 2013 to 2018, and it showed that one popular vehicle was involved in nearly 11,000 deadly accidents during the five-year period, far more than any other car. Wondering how trustworthy your truck, sedan, or SUV is, and which car is the deadliest of them all? Read on.

RELATED: This State Has the Worst Drivers in America.

   
25Jeep Wrangler

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,513

Cars sold in 2018: 240,032

   
24Honda CR-V

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,526

Cars sold in 2018: 379,013

   
23Ford Fusion

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,550

Cars sold in 2018: 173,600

   
22Nissan Sentra

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,561

Cars sold in 2018: 213,046

   
21Ford Escape

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,700

Cars sold in 2018: 272,228

   
20Toyota Tacoma

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,763

Cars sold in 2018: 245,659

RELATED: This Is the Deadliest Day to Be on the Road Every Year, Data Shows.

   
19Chevrolet GMT400

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,851

Cars sold in 2018: N/A. This car was no longer being manufactured during the study period.

   
18Ford Taurus

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,913

Cars sold in 2018: 40,341

   
17Ford Mustang

Total fatal crashes over five years: 1,963

Cars sold in 2018: 75,842

   
16Chevrolet Tahoe

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,113

Cars sold in 2018: 104,152

   
15Ford Focus

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,256

Cars sold in 2018: 114,045

   
14Jeep Grand Cherokee

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,304

Cars sold in 2018: 224,908

   
13Chevrolet Malibu

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,345

Cars sold in 2018: 144,542

And for more rankings sent to you directly, sign up for our daily newsletter.

   
12Ford Ranger

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,476

Cars sold in 2018: N/A. This car was no longer being manufactured during the study period.

   
11Chevrolet Impala

Total fatal crashes over five years: 2,804

Cars sold in 2018: 56,556

   
10GMC Sierra

Total fatal crashes over five years: 3,245

Cars sold in 2018: 219,554

   
9Nissan Altima

Total fatal

Jul
2021
29

Charleston’s Ashley River bicycle-pedestrian bridge project making strides | News

It was three days after a bicyclist died in a late-night crash with a Honda Accord on Charleston’s Ashley River Bridge.

Mayor John Tecklenburg and other city officials gathered on July 19 for a virtual meeting of the city’s Traffic and Transportation Committee to discuss a yearslong project that would have saved that bicyclist’s life.

“That’s the reason we’re doing this, to have safe passage back and forth between the peninsula and West Ashley,” Tecklenburg said. “Hopefully, when this bridge is completed, an incident like that just wouldn’t happen again.”

Chad Johnson, a 23-year-old from Texas was riding across the bridge around 11:50 p.m. July 16 when the crash claimed his life. He died at the scene and police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death. 



Two drawbridges cross the Ashley River where Johnson died. They provide critical connections from downtown Charleston to the bustling suburbs of West Ashley. Each day, thousands of cars and trucks rumble their way across the U.S. Highway 17 spans.

But critics and transportation advocates have long argued the bridges were never designed with pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. A slim sidewalk, barely raised from the roadway and unguarded by any rail, fence or other barrier is all that separates them from injury and death. 

Advocates had pushed off and on for safe passage across the Ashley for almost a century, but efforts fell short time and time again until November 2019 when the city learned federal transportation officials had awarded an $18.1 million grant for a stand-alone bicycle and pedestrian bridge now known as the Ashley River Crossing. 

Despite the challenges and delays brought by the coronavirus pandemic, officials like Jason Kronsberg, the city’s parks director, said the staff has never stopped pushing the effort forward. 

They have been working with HDR, the city’s design-build support consultant, and with federal and state partners on environmental impact studies, aerial mapping and traffic studies, Kronsberg said during the committee meeting.

“Lots of stuff’s been going on behind the scenes where nobody’s seeing a lot, but (there’s) lots of work happening,” he said. 

The city aims to award a design-build contract by November 2022, have the final design complete in September 2023 and finish construction by late June 2025, Kronsberg said. 

The estimated price tag of the project is about $22 million.

For Katie Zimmerman, executive director of Charleston Moves, a nonprofit that’s long advocated for the bridge, seeing city officials committed to the project is helping to ease the frustrations of what’s proving to be a long, arduous process. 



Why is it so difficult to get a bike lane across the Ashley River?

And Zimmerman said she’s been trying to convey that message to other frustrated Charlestonians. 

“Because the majority of the funding is federal dollars, that adds a whole new layer of requirements,” she said. “There is no slow movement. It’s really all about the list of things that the city staff has to do in order to legally comply and follow all the federal requirements.”

Like Tecklenburg and other officials, Zimmerman points to

Jul
2021
29

HAAH Automotive Goes Bust, Abandons Plans To Import Chinese Cars To America


Countless companies have been trying to bring Chinese models to the United States with little success.  That trend continues as HAAH Automotive Holdings is going bust.

This is a surprising development as the company signed a letter of intent in April, which was set to pave the way for Vantas and T-GO branded vehicles to come to the United States. As part of that announcement, the company said the Vantas VX and TXL would be assembled in China and arrive in America by the end of 2022.

However, that’s not happening as HAAH Automotive Holdings is slated to file for bankruptcy today. CEO Duke Hale spoke to Automotive News and said “We don’t see a way forward right now for Vantas and T-GO.”

Also Read: Vantas Launch Pushed Back To Late 2022, First Models To Be Built In China

Hale went on to explain worsening relations between the United States and China effectively scuttled their plans as imports would have faced steep tariffs and a negative sentiment towards Chinese products as “Americans aren’t very fond of where they believe COVID came from.” Given these and other challenges, investors bailed right as the company needed a “big infusion of cash” to finalize a joint venture with Chery-owned Shanghai Sicar Automotive Technology Development Co.

While it’s not hard to understand why investors got cold feet, would-be dealers are left holding the bag as the publication says they’ll lose their deposits of between $100,000 (£73,126 / €84,750) and $175,000 (£127,970 / €148,312) per store. Adding insult to injury, a few dealers reportedly put deposits down for as many as five dealerships.

As a refresher, Chery-based Vantas and T-GO models were originally slated to cost 15-20% less than their competitors and be available with “one-price, no-hassle, no-haggle pricing.” There were also plans for an extensive T-GO lineup that included everything from crossovers and SUVs to a pickup and a car.