The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued Texas transportation company All Gas LLC two summonses in Leesburg on July 6 after the company received its second truck safety complaint in as many weeks.
Authorities said a tractor trailer traveling in the area of Harry Byrd Highway and White Gate Place around 6:41 a.m. had violated its hauling permit and was 52,800 pounds overweight.
Patrol deputies responded to the area after a caller stated that the vehicle in question “was creating sparks and now the back is on fire,” according to the July 9 LCSO incident report.
After deputies initiated a traffic stop, the patrol supervisor observed the truck and subsequently requested assistance from units with LCSO’s Motor Carrier Safety division.
The ensuing inspection found the tractor trailer’s front escort vehicle did not have a height pole, and that the tractor trailer did not have a proper rear escort vehicle.
Both of those deficiencies violated the truck’s hauling permit, which was itself not issued to All Gas LLC but rather to a different company, Florida-based KCE Transport Solutions, per the LCSO.
The hauling permit violation meant the transport vehicle was not permitted to carry such a heavy load, resulting in a weight violation.
The vehicle had two additional “out of service” safety violations in addition to the two LCSO-issued summons, according to officials.
Authorities said All Gas LLC was also responsible for a June 25 incident in Hillsboro, in which a truck became stuck in a roundabout and damaged a guardrail while hauling a large piece of equipment on eastbound Route 9.
The LCSO issued citations for that vehicle not having a Virginia Department of Transportation Highway Hauling Permit, being 59,300 pounds overweight and having improper brakes.
Justice Clarence Thomas shut down an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mandate requiring masks on public transportation.
In an order handed down Tuesday evening, Thomas rejected the request for an injunction without referring the case to the rest of the court. Thomas’s decision came a week after Lucas Wall, a frequent flyer from Washington, D.C., asked the court to halt the mandate in a complaint leveled against the CDC, President Joe Biden, and a slew of other federal agencies.
After Thomas rejected his case, Wall acknowledged that the appeal was a “long shot,” especially since he is still awaiting a trial before a district court in Orlando, Florida.
“Of course it’s still disappointing Justice Thomas did not take a more in-depth look at the illegal and unconstitutional mask requirement,” Wall said.
Wall brought the case forward after he was ejected from the Orlando International Airport in early June for not wearing a mask. In his complaint, he claimed that a generalized anxiety disorder made it impossible for him to follow the “improper, illegal, and unconstitutional” mandate. Most states at that point had already removed mask mandates, if they had them in the first place.
When Wall appealed to the Supreme Court, he said that a narrow decision in favor of the CDC’s eviction moratorium, which is set to expire at the end of July, signaled that the justices were open to striking down pandemic-era orders.
And even though Thomas shut down his appeal, Wall said he still believes he will win his case against the agency eventually.
“For now, the federal government has prevailed in muzzling all travelers and banning tens of millions of Americans including myself who can’t tolerate having their face covered from using any form of public transportation,” he said.
Jimmy Chen, a professor and program chair of the Virginia Commonwealth University Urban and Regional Studies and Planning program who attended ConnectRVA 2045 public meetings this summer, said the Richmond region is car dependent due to many people traveling for work, as well as the lack of other reliable travel options.
“You cannot rely on the [Greater Richmond Transit Company] bus to get 100% access to destinations,” Chen said. “Right now the population is so dispersed .. and job and housing is unbalanced.”
Chen said while driving provides “unprecedented mobility” for travel, it emits more pollutants than other modes of transportation, so it is important to eliminate unnecessary car trips and support sustainable travel.
“[The plan] mainly focused on supply side, how do we improve the intersection, how do we widen freeways,” Chen said. “but we also need to make sure that travel demand should be reduced … we need to encourage more transit-oriented development.”
However, Chen said it’s an overall great plan, adding the plan is not permanent and will be adjusted in the coming years — the plan is updated every four years.
“This blueprint is great,” Chen said. “This year they’ve had a lot of meetings and made a lot of progress.”
The projects list is in a public review and comment period for air quality testing from July 9-24, which examines projects to see their potential for ozone emissions. If a projects emissions are high, the board could reconsider whether toinclude it, Parsons said.
HELSINKI — China conducted a clandestine first test flight of a reusable suborbital vehicle Friday as a part of development of a reusable space transportation system.
The vehicle launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center Friday and later landed at an airport just over 800 kilometers away at Alxa League in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CASC) announced.
No images nor footage nor further information, such as altitude, flight duration or propulsion systems, were provided. The CASC release stated however that the vehicle uses integrated aviation and space technologies and indicates a vertical takeoff and horizontal landing (VTHL) profile.
The test follows a September 2020 test flight of a “reusable experimental spacecraft”. The spacecraft orbited for days, releasing a small transmitting payload and later deorbited and landed horizontally. The spacecraft is widely believed to be a reusable spaceplane concept, though no images have emerged.
Giant space and defense contractor CASC also developed that vehicle and stated that the new vehicle tested Friday can be used as a first stage of a reusable space transportation system. The implication is that the two vehicles will be combined for a fully reusable space transportation system.
The developments have not come out of the blue. China stated in 2017 that it aimed to test a reusable spaceplane in 2020. The United States Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane is currently carrying out its sixth mission in orbit. Last year Boeing exited the Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) program, also known as the XS-1 program, another VTHL concept.
The new test also follows days after a flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo flew passengers to the edge of space for the first time.
A spaceplane project was included in a 2017 CASC ‘space transportation roadmap’. The plans also included fully reusable launch vehicles and, around 2045, a nuclear-powered shuttle.
Chen Hongbo, from CASC’s China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), told Science and Technology Daily (Chinese) in 2017 that the reusable spacecraft would be capable of carrying both crew and payloads. Chen stated that some vehicles would have the characteristics of both aircraft and spacecraft. CALT was noted as the developer of Friday’s suborbital reusable demonstration vehicle.
Chen stated the aim was full reusability, moving beyond partial reusability of Falcon 9-like launchers. The spaceplane, the development and testing of which is to be completed by 2030, should be capable of being reused more than 20 times.
It will be oriented to orbital altitudes of between 300 to 500 kilometers, meet criteria of being “fast, reliable, and economical,” and meet the needs of military and civilian payloads, and be applicable for space tourism.
The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC), another giant state-owned enterprise, is working on its own spaceplane, named Tengyun. Demonstration and verification of the reusable two-stage-to-orbit Tengyun spacecraft is to be completed by 2025. Tengyun will be a horizontal takeoff, horizontal landing (HTHL) system.
Chinese commercial companies and CASC are also developing reusable rockets
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Nebraska grocers say several products including meats are at alarming prices. Some are higher than they’ve been in several years.
One of the big reasons is transportation costs.
Local grocery stores including Suji’s Indian Grocery are already seeing a 5 to 20 percent price increase on certain products.
The owner, Mahak Singh, said, “Produce is going up and down every week. The beans and rice, they [the wholesalers] are increasing from February until every time you order that.”
Singh said he also pays for the transportation of products, which has gone up an additional 15 to 20%. But, the owner refuses to raise his prices because he said he planned and bought some of his items in bulk this February.
“I got them on a reasonable price before they increased the prices,” Singh said. “I got all the year-round supplies then.”
While Suji’s may not be raising their prices, the Nebraska Grocery Industry Association said other Nebraska stores don’t have a choice.
Executive director Ansley Fellers said, “Grocery stores and the food industry run on really tight margins so it’s only so long that folks can absorb some of those increased prices before consumers start to feel it.”
Fellers said this is why some cuts of meat, including briskets and chicken wings are in very limited supply. The grocery association said the issue behind this is demand for these is very high.
“I think once the supply side catches up to the demand side, everything will even back out,” Fellers said.
Grocery officials said the prices for some products is alarming because it’s the highest it’s been in a long time.
For almost two years, Lester Williams took the bus from Milwaukee’s Northside to suburban New Berlin, where he worked 12-hour days in quality control at Schoeneck Containers Inc. The trip took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, even though the factory was only about 16 miles from his home.
Williams said it was one of the best jobs he ever had. But when the route was eliminated in 2019, the only bus that got him near his job brought him to Brookfield Square mall, more than 3 miles away.
“A lot of times people just walked, and it’s kind of expensive to spend $5, $6, $10 just to get to that last mile with Uber or Lyft,” Williams said. “I know when I did it, I called Uber maybe twice, and I thought, it would be better for me to just walk.”
Williams eventually lost his job because of transportation issues. But his manager, who he had a good relationship with, helped him find a job closer to home. He said not having a car shouldn’t keep people from work.
“A lot of employers have solid employees that need help with transportation,” Williams said. “It would cost companies nothing to say here’s an Uber pass. If employers covered that last mile, it wouldn’t be an issue.”
The “last mile” challenge is common in the suburbs, where manufacturing, warehouses and retail jobs are far from fixed transit routes, making it difficult for people without cars to get to work.
Sam Rikkers, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., said the jobs usually pay between $13 and $18 an hour, which is enough to warrant traveling a long distance, but not enough to buy and maintain a reliable car.
“Talking to employers all over the state — and absolutely all over the greater Milwaukee region, workforce is their greatest concern,” Rikkers said. “There is not a massive pool of folks looking for jobs and employers need to find innovative ways to get people to work.”
WEDC and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee are each contributing about $30,000 to a pilot program run by the Regional Transit Leadership Council that will study how to bring “last mile” service to the Milwaukee suburbs of Brookfield, New Berlin, Franklin and Oak Creek. The study is expected to be completed in Spring 2022.
Roughly half of jobs in southeast Wisconsin lie outside a 90-minute bus commute, and that figure is higher in manufacturing and retail sectors, often located in suburban areas.
Close to 20 percent of Milwaukee residents lack access to cars, a figure far higher in high-poverty parts of the city.
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Watching traffic go by their retirement community, these seniors say life is different for those who drive.
“They need something from the store, they jump in the car and go get it,” Karen Walsh said. “We have to plan out our shopping. It’s a whole different world.”
It’s a world turned upside down for 130 people that the Eastern Nebraska Department on Aging can’t pick up anymore because extra federal funding ended last week, and boundaries had to be enforced.
“They were being transported urban to urban, and we no longer can do that,” said Christine Gillette, of the Office on Aging. “We have to follow the census data. So if they live inside the pink boundary, and their destination is inside the pink boundary, they do not qualify.”
These Omaha seniors living an urban life no longer qualify ENOA rides to urban locations. So now they’re ride seekers.
“We’re used to doing for ourselves, let’s say,” Ella Ferguson said. “It’s difficult to ask people to stop what they’re doing to provide service for us.”
AN ENOA van ride costs $6 for a 10-mile round trip, and $20 for 20 miles there and back.
“I definitely can’t afford taxis or Ubers,” Walsh said.
Although they’re frustrated, some seniors are trying to be resourceful within the rules, calling in to ask whether they can’t be taken to a store or boundary within the Omaha boundary, or a ride to Fremont or Lincoln. But that won’t fly.
“Does that make sense for us to make that kind of trip?” Gillette said. “We have to be conscientious of what we’re doing with our vans and our drivers’ time.”
So urban seniors who need rides in the city hope another organization will step up — and pull up to their doors.
“Someone who feels sorry for us seniors and comes in and helps us out,” Joanne Evert said.
The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging sees the need for more transportation options, but what they can provide is defined by the rural labels on their six vans.
Metro Transit said it doesn’t have the money to expand service without cutting it somewhere else. But a planning initiative called Metro-Next will look at gaps in ride service. The Metro Area Planning Agency is working with seniors who need rides to find other transportation services. MAPA will continue efforts to find long-term solutions.
MAPA’s statement on ENAO Transportation Services ending:
“MAPA shares the frustration and disappointment of clients who were receiving transportation services through the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. We have worked with those who have contacted us to attempt to find alternative transportation services to meet their needs, but we realize that, in some cases, there is not another low-cost option available. We continue our efforts to find a longer-tern solution to this problem.”
The Bridgeport Transportation & Land Use Study was created as a planning initiative with a goal to enhance walkability, transportation, transit choices and neighborhood character within the Bridgeport area of Lancaster County, according to the study.
The project is a collaboration between East Lampeter, West Lampeter and Lancaster townships, and Lancaster city, with support from Lancaster County and the state Department of Transportation.
Following are some of the recommendations from the “Recommended Action Plan” section of the study, which is attached to the end of this post.
— A roundabout connecting Old Philadelphia Pike that would provide access to Lincoln Highway and Pitney Road.
— Widen Pitney Road to allow for dual southbound through lanes.
— All left turns from Route 462 (East King Street and Lincoln Highway East) would be made via a new street north of Lincoln Highway.
— Redevelop the existing four-lane Lincoln Highway East into a three-lane highway.
— Construct central landscaped medians and consolidated access points at key locations along Lincoln Highway to reduce traffic speeds and beautify the roadway.
— Curbing, crosswalks and sidewalks along both sides of Lincoln Highway to create safe pedestrian travel ways.
— A shoulder to create additional separation between pedestrians and vehicular travel.
— Build a trail from Lancaster County Central Park to the Conestoga Pines Pool.
— Enhance pedestrian safety and provide traffic-calming measures along the following streets located in residential neighborhoods south of Lincoln Highway and east of Lampeter Road: Longfellow Drive, Tennyson Drive, Wiker Avenue and Buttercup Road. Suggestions include speed cushions, speed humps, raised intersections, and/or landscaped gateways.
— The adoption of a Village Center District and a Village Mixed Use District within a 10-minute walk radius from the Bridgeport Crossroads.
— The following use types should be permitted and encouraged within Bridgeport’s commercial and mixed use zoning districts: Apartments over retail stores, artisan production businesses and small specialty stores to encourage entrepreneurial businesses, anchor retail stores and food markets, restaurants and outdoor dining and townhomes and other forms of attached dwellings.
— Each municipal ordinance should promote the use of shared parking within the Bridgeport Crossroads area according to the standards established in the most current version of the Urban Land Institute’s Shared Parking Manual.
— With four bus lines converging at the Bridgeport Crossroads, a bus transit hub should be considered to promote greater connectivity and transfers between routes.
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings on July 6 announced it had acquired less-than-truckload specialist AAA Cooper Transportation.
The acquisition was valued by the companies at $1.35 billion. AAA Cooper is expected to generate approximately $780 million in revenue and $80 million in operating income for full-year 2021. Knight-Swift sees the deal as a growth opportunity and way to enter into the LTL market.
PLENTY OF LTL FREIGHT TO MOVE: Sector enters summer with strong tailwinds
“We have long had interest in the LTL space and admired the success of AAA Cooper,” Knight-Swift CEO Dave Jackson said in a statement. “We feel honored to be stewards of the AAA Cooper brand.”
Knight-Swift said it had three main requirements for acquiring its first LTL operation: The company needed to have significant market share, be profitable and have management depth to operate independently and maintain a good company culture.
“We were excited to have identified AAA Cooper as a partner that meets all three requirements,” Jackson said. “I couldn’t be happier to finally find the right time for both of us to create a partnership. This transaction firmly positions us as a meaningful player in the LTL space, where we intend to grow both organically and through future acquisitions.”
AAA Cooper has a network of about 70 facilities throughout the Southeast and Midwest. Its fleet includes nearly 3,000 tractors and 7,000 trailers. The Dothan, Ala.-based carrier will continue to operate independently, with CEO Reid Dove retaining his leadership role. Dove also has been appointed to the Knight-Swift board of directors.
We are excited to announce the KNX acquisition of AAA Cooper Transportation. AAA Cooper is a leading less-than-truckload (“LTL”) carrier that also offers dedicated contract carriage and ancillary services. Welcome to the KNX Team!
“Joining the Knight-Swift team is an exciting combination for the AAA Cooper team members and customers,” Dove said. “It will allow us to pursue new opportunities and accelerate our growth.”
The purchase price consisted of $1.3 billion in cash, $10 million in Knight-Swift shares and about $40 million in assumed debt. Cash for the transaction was funded from a $1.2 billion term loan provided by Bank of America, as well as existing liquidity.
“This is the fusion of two excellent companies in their respective sectors of the transportation industry, which makes this a win for our people, our customers and for the newly expanded Knight-Swift team,” Dove said.
Knight-Swift received generally positive reactions from analysts after announcing the acquisition. Deutsche Bank research analyst Amit Mehrotra called the decision to enter into the LTL market big. He had predicted at the beginning of the year that the carrier would make a transformative acquisition.
“From a synergy perspective, we think it’s significant,” Mehrotra said. “For example, LTL companies typically have many more customers than TL companies, potentially allowing KNX’s TL operations to benefit from a broader customer base.