Author Archive

Daniel C. Vock

Daniel C. Vock
Dan Vock is a senior reporter at Route Fifty, where he focuses on transportation and infrastructure. He has covered state and local government for two decades, first as an Illinois statehouse reporter and later as a national reporter based in Washington, D.C. Dan has written stories about every state in the country, and has reported on the ground from half of them (so far). He won a Jesse H. Neal award for best profile and earned a fellowship from the Columbia Journalism School’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights.
Management

Justices appear willing to limit bribery law used in corruption cases

The U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be sympathetic to a former Indiana mayor’s argument that the federal bribery statute is vague. A ruling would resolve a disparity in which “gratuities” from outsiders are considered OK in some courts, but not in others.

Finance

Can compromise be reached in two state budget debates?

Taxes and affordable housing are holding up budgets in Virginia and New York. Instead of threats, the governors in each state appear to be trying to find common ground—for now.

Infrastructure

Senate rebukes Biden administration on effort to reduce vehicle pollution

Three Democrats and one independent joined the chamber’s Republicans, arguing the Federal Highway Administration overstepped its authority in requiring states to track greenhouse gas emissions. But the president threatened to veto the measure.

Infrastructure

New Houston mayor reverses course on bike, pedestrian improvements

Mayor John Whitmire ordered pedestrian islands removed, froze projects with bike lanes and suggested cyclists stick to “recreational” trails. It’s a big change in direction from his predecessor’s approach.

Management

Oregon rolls back decriminalization of drugs. But is it too soon?

At a time when drug overdoses plague the nation, Oregon will recriminalize hard drugs, walking back a first-in-the nation experiment that critics say the state botched.

Infrastructure

2022 was the ‘worst year ever for bicyclist deaths,’ new data shows

Safety advocates blame the upswing in cyclist deaths on larger, more powerful vehicles that have become more common on American roads in the last decade.

Infrastructure

Biden administration mandates two-person crews on freight trains

The new rules from the Federal Railroad Administration come after nearly a dozen states passed similar requirements in the last decade.

Finance

Pro teams aim to score nicer stadiums—and maybe more—from the public

Sports teams are asking for millions of dollars in public subsidies to build or refurbish their stadiums, and many want to create nearby fan districts to boost their bottom lines too.

Infrastructure

Congestion pricing plan OK’d in New York

The plan would bring in billions of dollars for the city’s aging subway system. But some details of how it will be enforced are unclear.

Infrastructure

Massive ships make protecting bridges a much tougher task

As officials evaluate replacing Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, they must consider the weight and size of increasingly large vessels.

Infrastructure

Rebuilding the collapsed Baltimore bridge will be a ‘FAR bigger challenge’

While recent bridge replacements have been completed in a matter of weeks, this incident will be tougher to recover from and have wider impacts.

Finance

States love March Madness. That’s a problem for many.

As more states have legalized sports betting, they’ve also seen a dramatic uptick in gambling addiction.

Management

How New Jersey’s new affordable housing law aims to ease the housing crisis

The new law lets municipalities know exactly how much affordable housing they have to build. It’s an approach that states are increasingly trying in an effort to pressure local governments to increase affordable options.

Infrastructure

Automakers get some breathing room in EPA air pollution rules

The Biden administration is still pushing for a major shift to electric vehicles by 2032, but many Republicans remain skeptical.

Management

How to prevent ideas from getting lost in translation

Policy researchers and government administrators often seem like they’re speaking different languages. A new book aims to help experts communicate more clearly, so their ideas can have real-world impacts.

Management

Sunshine Week brings attention to state efforts to overhaul open records laws

As technology renders decades-old open records policies obsolete, states look to overhaul them. It is pitting government officials against good-government groups and reporters.

Infrastructure

$3.3B in federal grants announced for communities split apart by highways

The one-time infusion of cash for highway caps, bike trails and other improvements shows the Biden administration’s priorities for one of its most high-profile infrastructure initiatives.

Infrastructure

Why is it so hard to build housing near transit stops?

Two recent studies look at the obstacles to building more apartments and other dense housing options near transit to address environmental, urban development and housing goals.

Management

School vouchers continue momentum in state legislatures

2023 was considered a landmark year for school choice. It’s a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down, as lawmakers push proposals with fewer restrictions and costly price tags.

Infrastructure

Biden administration explores using Tesla-style tech in federally funded EV chargers

Most automakers have announced plans to use the industry leader’s standards, which would give them access to Tesla’s Supercharger network.