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.
Infrastructure

Rough ride? Data bikes chart the condition of bike paths in more cities

The tools that transportation agencies use to record the condition of pavement on roadways don’t work for biking and walking paths, so several communities are rolling out bikes that can get the job done.

Infrastructure

High-speed rail needs national direction to get rolling, report says

A New York University professor emphasizes the need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts—or, in this case, the rail profiles and cross ties—of high-speed rail projects to keep costs down and construction on time.

Infrastructure

Pedestrian deaths finally dipped in 2023

A new report shows some progress in improving safety for people traveling by foot, but the number of pedestrian fatalities is still far higher than it was before the pandemic.

Finance

$1 trillion a year in tax breaks goes out the door. Are states keeping track?

A new report from the Volcker Alliance highlights the lack of transparency around tax expenditures, and calls on states to better monitor whether the tax breaks are achieving their intended effects.

Management

Supreme Court issues rulings on opioid settlement, overturns Chevron doctrine

As the term nears its end, the high court has issued a flurry of decisions that will affect state and local governments.

Management

It’s OK to ban homeless people from camping in public, high court rules

The U.S. Supreme Court sided with states and cities, saying anti-camping laws are not “cruel and unusual punishment” and that the laws of Grants Pass, Oregon, did not punish people for being homeless.

Management

Supreme Court narrows law for fighting state and local corruption

The high court’s conservatives ruled that a key anti-corruption law only applies to bribes and not to “gratuities” meant to reward officials for their service.

Infrastructure

Biden administration awards $1.8B for urban, rural transportation projects

The more than 145 projects include funding for urban street upgrades, bike and pedestrian improvements, and highway expansions, among other things.

Management

Why the fight over abortion pills isn’t over yet

The Supreme Court dismissed a challenge from anti-abortion groups attempting to restrict access to mifepristone, but conservative states are acting on their own to block access to the increasingly popular medicine.

Infrastructure

After Amtrak’s ‘best revenue month ever,’ House GOP focuses on railroad’s bonuses

Congressional Republicans called for more information about executive compensation and more board transparency for the passenger rail company, citing ridership drops after the pandemic.

Infrastructure

Midwest states launch new rail service, 12 years in the making

The new Borealis Amtrak service between Chicago and St. Paul has given rail advocates something to cheer about. But they hope other new projects can come online quicker.

Infrastructure

Congestion pricing: If it can’t make it in New York, can it make it anywhere?

Other cities are considering it, but all eyes were on the city that never sleeps. By trying to quell controversy over the downtown toll plan, the New York governor sparked new questions about transit funding, environmental goals and political consequences.

Infrastructure

New York governor blocks downtown tolling plan at the last minute

Citing economic hardships, Gov. Kathy Hochul put an indefinite hold on the congestion pricing plan for Lower Manhattan, upending a decade of planning to reduce traffic and air pollution.

Infrastructure

Boston-area commuter rail bounces back, while other agencies lag

The MBTA is luring riders back with more frequent service and more trains on the nights and weekends.

Infrastructure

Post-pandemic, downtown recoveries continue to be uneven

From office conversions to bonding programs to unconventional approaches, cities are testing different ways to revive their downtowns.

Infrastructure

Spike in pedestrian deaths hits nearly all metros

The Memphis area leads the nation in pedestrian deaths, but almost all metropolitan areas have become more dangerous for walkers, according to a new report.

Infrastructure

How bullish are Americans on EVs? It depends on where the nearest charger is.

People who live closer to public electric vehicle chargers view the cars more positively, even when accounting for people’s party identification and the type of community they live in, a new analysis shows.

Infrastructure

New York’s slow progress moving to EVs highlights obstacles cities face

While the city has struggled to build public chargers for electric vehicles, it has made strides in electrifying its own fleet.

Infrastructure

Drivers score win against Uber and Lyft in Minnesota

The ride-hailing companies dropped their threats to leave the state in exchange for lower guaranteed rates than were originally proposed and preemption of city laws. Similar fights are happening around the country.

Infrastructure

Passenger rail keeps chugging forward during Infrastructure Week

Efforts to expand rail have reached significant milestones in recent weeks, from construction on the Northeast Corridor to new funding on Colorado’s Front Range.