Schwarzenegger outlined his plan to lawmakers Jan. 5 in his annual State of the State speech. The governor’s office expanded little on the truck lanes, although it appears likely they would be toll lanes.
The state’s population is expected to grow as much as 30 percent over the next two decades. “Half a century ago, our predecessors faced exactly the same challenges, but they still planned for our future,” he said.
The plan calls for reducing congestion by 18 percent by 2016 through building 1,200 miles of new highway and high-occupancy lanes in the most congested regions and adding 600 miles of mass transit.
Schwarzenegger’s plan describes public-private partnerships to “complete projects such as high-occupancy toll lanes, regular toll lanes, truck lanes and freight movement facilities where a predictable revenue stream will be created to re-pay capital investments.”
The Reason Foundation, a widely-quoted libertarian think tank that has advised Schwarzenegger, last year called for a new state tolling and public-private partnership law.
The foundation proposed truck-only toll lanes from the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports through San Bernardino and up Interstate 15 to Nevada. A truck-only toll lanes project that would link the Port of Oakland and the Silicon Valley with Interstate 5 via Interstate 580 was also advocated.
James Goetz, president of Goetz Companies, will serve as the 2006 chairman of NATSO. Goetz Companies owns a Petro Travel Plaza in Portage, Wis., and Goetz has been a NATSO member for 20 years. Goetz’s ascension to chairman will mark the second time NATSO has elected a second-generation chairman. His father, James Goetz, led NATSO in 1997 and 2002. He will replace Roger Cole, who was the 2004 and 2005 NATSO chairman.
Time Zone Changes
The U.S. Department of Transportation is moving eight of 17 Indiana counties to the Central Time zone. The Indiana counties of Daviess, Dubois, Knox, Martin, Perry, Pike, Pulaski and Starke will move from the Eastern to Central Time zone beginning April 2, when the nation switches to daylight saving time, according to the final rule set to be published in the Federal Register Jan. 20. Nine other counties that asked the department to make the change, including Carroll, Cass, Fulton, Lawrence, Marshall, Sullivan, St. Joseph, Vermillion and White, will remain in the Eastern Time zone.
The Professional Truck Driver Institute has certified three new schools in Michigan, Texas and Wisconsin and recertified two Texas schools. The newly certified schools are Baker College in Cadillac, Mich., and Schneider Training Academy in Green Bay, Wis., and Dallas. The recertified Texas schools are ATDS in Elm Mott and Houston Community College Northeast Commercial Truck Driving Center in Houston.
Share the Road Sponsors
Michelin Americas Truck Tires has joined Mack Trucks and Chevron Delo as a sponsor of the American Trucking Associations’ Share the Road highway safety program. Share the Road has been delivering the trucking industry’s safety message to major traffic-choked cities and media markets across the country since 2000. At each event, million-mile, accident-free professional truck drivers simulate real life highway situations to illustrate their car-truck safety lessons.
Love’s has opened a new Travel Stop location in Hutchins, Texas. It is located at I-45 at the Fulghum Road exit. This is Love’s 118th location and the second one scheduled to open in 2006.
The Sterling Truck manufacturing plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, donated $20,000 to support CPR teaching programs at local high schools. Sterling partnered with ACT Foundation of Canada in the endeavor.