June 29: Interstates at 60 | Where’s OTIS at? | Construction diversity

On this day in 1956 President Eisenhower signed the Interstate highway system into law. A new report by TRIP – representing construction, engineering, and highway interests – finds the system at 60 facing a $189 billion backlog in maintenance and significant congestion for urban interstates. Some 36 million travelers are expected to hit the road this holiday weekend.

Four activists were arrested Tuesday for blocking the Broad Street exit of the Vine Street Expressway. They were protesting the recent Supreme Court ruling blocking the Obama administration’s temporary stay on deportations for millions of undocumented people living in the United States, Katie Colaneri reports.

Where’s the Kenney administration on its promises to make safe streets a priority? Ryan Briggs attempted to check in on the evolution of the Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (OTIS) for this issue of SPOKE magazine, but doesn’t unearth much – no word on how OTIS will realize Vision Zero or improving bike lanes or making more complete streets will be realized. According to an anonymous source: “The big concern is that none of the top people at OTIS have any significant transportation background… It would be one thing if you were bringing in smart, new people, but that’s not what’s happening.”

Philadelphia is not meeting its commitment to make sure city-funded construction projects meet public goals for minority workforce participation. In fiscal year 2015, about 30 percent of projects with budgets over $250,000 met those goals, while 44% had no minority participation at all. Solomon Jones takes on the topic in his column, arguing our taxes should not fund “the systematic exclusion of qualified minorities from city-funded construction in Philadelphia.”

Proto-public transit in Philly: Take a ride on the omnibus with Hidden City Daily.

Be forewarned: Tomorrow Wawa will celebrate Hoagie Day with a 6 ton hoagie

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