Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Quick hits: USDOT awards money for high-speed rail, and N.C. youth are not engaged

USDOT awards $26.1M to Atlanta-Charlotte high-speed rail

"Atlanta Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04)announced this week that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is awarding the Atlanta-Charlotte high-speed rail (HSR) line a $4.1 million grant. The grant is to be split amongst the three states involved in the project: Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Funds will be allocated towards an intermodal high-speed intercity rail corridor study, where Georgia will act as the lead state, according to the Examiner.

"The Atlanta-Charlotte HSR line is also receiving a $22 million US DOT grant, amounting to a total of $26.1 million. The multi-state funding is geared towards improving the nation's rail infrastructure and creating an efficient high-speed intercity passenger rail system.

"A high-speed rail system is intended to act as an alternative transportation mode to the nation's highway network, thereby easing traffic congestion. Other benefits of HSR include fostering economic development and creating jobs, enhancing livability in both urban and rural communities, reducing dependency on foreign oil, and alleviating air pollution. ..."

Report finds N.C.'s youth not engaged

"The North Carolina Civic Health Index 2010 indicates that the state has the potential to flex its civic might, but there are serious gaps in civic participation that are cause for concern, said Kelley O’Brien, director of the North Carolina Civic Education Consortium. The consortium is based in the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. O’Brien shared the results of the index recently at the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ 2010 Youth Summit in Winston-Salem.

"North Carolina is one of 13 states and four cities that partnered with the National Conference on Citizenship to assess state and local civic health with the purpose of documenting — and ultimately improving — civic engagement. The index includes recommendations for individuals, policymakers, educators and community organizations about ways to improve the state’s civic health. ..."

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