Transportation

Michael Sauers / Flickr

Iowa's driver's licensing laws set it apart from most of the country. Teenagers can get learner's permits at fourteen, permits to drive to school after six months of instruction, and fairly unrestricted licenses at sixteen. But that may be putting young Iowans at risk.

Anne McCarte is Senior Vice President for Research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. She says teens' inexperience, coupled with their propensity to take risks, causes a disproportionately high rate of crashes.

Bruce Guenter/Flickr

Soybean, corn and wheat farmers in the upper Midwest lost about $570 million last winter, thanks mostly to transportation tie-ups.

Flickr / Dr. Warner

The Iowa Supreme Court says it’s legal for cities to issue tickets to vehicle owners using traffic cameras. Attorney Michael Jacobsma, who represented himself, says the city of Sioux City denied him due process when he was mailed a citation, after his vehicle was spotted by a traffic camera going 67 miles per hour in a 55-mile-per-hour speed zone. 

Bengt 1955 / flickr

With at least one million gallons of crude oil and ethanol passing through Iowa on a single freight train, derailments like the one last week a few miles from Dubuque are a major concern.

Gerry Gaffney / Flickr

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has proposed legislation that would make hand-held cell phone calls while driving illegal and would make texting while driving a primary offense. 

The Iowa Department of Transportation is reporting 321 traffic related deaths in 2014, or four more than last year.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Central Iowa officials are putting the brakes on a drive to designate a new interstate that wraps around Des Moines. The story from IPR’s Rick Fredericksen. 


Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Wallace Winkie taught generations of Belle Plaine teenagers how to drive. Now, his wife, Bev Winkie, has collected their stories in the book "Park It!" How much has changed in driving education since Winkie's heyday in the 50s?

Larry Johnson, coordinator for the Des Moines Public Schools' driving education, says one answer is the amount of time they're trained. Where driving education used to be taught over several months, now, some students can finish their instruction in as little as 4 weeks. 

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Driverless cars could hit the roads in Johnson County within the next few years. 

Iowa National Guard cameramen

Iowa's worst air disaster is being commemorated this coming weekend. It was 25 years ago when United Flight 232 wobbled into Sioux City for a crash landing that killed 112 passengers. Our historic sound project remembers that tragic day with audio recordings going back to July 19, 1989. Reporter Durrie Bouscaren contributed to this story.

Officials with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency  released to the general public the routes rail lines take to haul crude oil through the state from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.    The rail lines are complying with a new federal mandate to report shipments of more than a million gallons.     

epSos .de / flickr

Decades ago, researchers dreamed about cars that could park themselves and avoid accidents. And now, it’s no longer science fiction.

Today on River to River, a look at the latest transportation-related news. We look at modern advances to our transportation systems, including self-driving cars, an update on the controversy surrounding traffic cameras in Iowa, the effects of cannabis on a driver, the hazards of all-terrain vehicles, and efforts by the Iowa DNR to crack down on drinking while driving on the water.

U.S. Department of Labor

The Chairs of the Iowa Senate and House Transportation Committees say they're still hopeful two key proposals can win approval in the final days of the legislative session.  A bill approved by the Iowa Senate would've made texting while driving a primary offense.  In other words, an officer could stop and ticket a driver for texting while driving, without the driver committing another moving violation.  That bill failed to win approval before a funnel deadline in the House, but Senator Tod Bowman, a Maquoketa Democrat, says the bill will likely come up again in future sessions and Represent

Daniel Hoherd

So far this year, Des Moines has reported eight home invasions; the number coming very close to the eleven home invasions reported over the course of the entire previous year (2013).

Thiago Pompeu

For this News Buzz show, Ben Kieffer talks with a variety of guests about new jobs numbers, the 51% four-year graduation rate at the University of Iowa, Matt Schultz running for congress, the Director of Iowa's Public Health Department resigning, new rules for teen drivers, concerns about ice on the Missouri River, an ice fishing update, and the remarkable beginning for ISU Cyclone men's and women's basketball.

Herbert Maruska

Guest host Dennis Reese talks with Richard C. Carpenter, author of A Railroad Atlas of the United States in 1946, Vol. 5 (Iowa and Minnesota).  A pivotal point in the discussion is the year 1946 when trains and railroads had quite a different presence than today.

Alan Light

In this 'News Buzz' edition of River to River, hear about new rules for traffic cameras in Iowa, a stopgap farm bill passed in the U.S. House, a new hydrocodone-related drug which is meeting opposition from Iowa's Attorney General, the Hawkeyes will meet LSU, and what's with the early bout of cold weather?

Holiday Travel

Dec 11, 2013
Jonathan Frazier

Holiday travel can be daunting. Travel writer Jennifer Wilson suggests great Iowa holiday destinations, gives tips for snowy road trips and has a game plan for airport hiccups.

Legislative Priorities and Roundabouts

Dec 10, 2013
Washington State Deptartment of Transportation

This program includes  hearing from one Iowa community that has incorporated new roundabouts aimed at easing traffic flow, and state lawmakers talk about what projects might be in store for the state, and how they might want to fund those projects. A House Republican and a Senate Democrat find agreement on one aspect of the issue: the gas tax.

Dean Borg / IPR

A popular Central Iowa restaurant is closing this weekend.  (Saturday night; November 16th)  Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg reports the Suburban Restaurant, along U-S Highway Sixty-Nine north of Ames, is what its loyal customers say is an icon of “home-style dining.

Jimmy Emerson / jimmywayne / Flickr

Host Ben Kieffer gets the latest on news from around Iowa.  MidAmerican Energy gives an update on the power outage which left almost 40,000 Des Moines-area residents in the dark. IPR's Joyce Russell discusses changes to the problematic Toledo Juvenile Home.  The DNR has a new report which looks at drought conditions in Iowa.  Also, Dubuque native Brooks Wheelan joins the cast of "Saturday Night Live."

Nathan Jongewaard / flickr

There has been a lot of talk in the past few weeks about an Iowa State Trooper who was driving the Governor back in April. He was caught doing 84 mph, given a speeding ticket and disciplined. So, what are the risks of speeding?

Rob Parrish

When the Lincoln Highway was founded, it was little more than a collection of trails, many of them rutted by wagon wheels that could be strung together to cross the nation.  With good markings, road upgrades and a lot of promotion the Lincoln Highway transformed the United States.  Today on Talk of Iowa; the Father Road at 100. 

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

As Iowans take to the road for family vacations, there is new appreciation for two of Iowa’s oldest highways. The Lincoln is 100 years old, and proud of it, but Iowa Public Radio has discovered a grassroots effort to revive the Jefferson Highway too. Rick Fredericksen produces Iowa Archives, our historic audio series.

Lincoln Highway Centennial Tour Facebook page

A caravan celebrating America’s first cross-country highway will be passing through Iowa soon, with an overnight stop in Ames.

The Lincoln Highway is 100 years old, and several hundred motorists will be converging on the Midwest in two groups: one from New York City and one from San Francisco. For 460 miles, the Lincoln cuts through the center of Iowa. Today, it is a Heritage Byway; much of it is now Highway-30, but some of the earliest sections remain charming, two-lane roads.

John Mazzello is Byway Coordinator with Prairie Rivers of Iowa.

John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

Under an agreement with the EPA, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will have to inspect 1,600 livestock facilities each year, for the next five years.  Debate at the Iowa Statehouse is centering around how many inspectors are needed to do the job.  Then, Iowa was one of the first states to approve a graduated driver's license system for teens. Since then, the state has dropped to 49th in rankings of teen driving safety.  A new Iowa law puts more restrictions on the youngest and most inexperienced drivers.

Durrie Bouscaren / Iowa Public Radio

Iowa City is testing new parking meters for their downtown shopping district, known as smart meters. They take credit cards and allow parkers to pay with their phones, and are slowly popping up in communities throughout Iowa.

But the hard part is often teaching people how to use them.

Clay Masters / IPR

More than 93 million people are expected to be jumping in their cars and traveling this holiday season according to Triple-A. But there’s a new trend emerging that is rivaling the car and even some airlines. Curbside buses are extending routes. Even through the unlikely sparsely populated Midwest and Great Plains.

cjc4454 / Flickr account

Several cities in Iowa are pushing for the controversial installment of traffic enforcement cameras, but the cities’ efforts are complicated by some state guidelines. Ben Kieffer talks with supporters and opponents to the installation of traffic cameras, and we’ll find out whether these cameras are a short, or long term goal for the state.

W.W. Norton & Company Publishing

The coming of the railroad transformed Iowa and the rest of the nation in more ways than you can imagine. Host Charity Nebbe  talks with historian and author Richard White, from Standford University, about how the railroads shaped our land, our economy, our political system and touched every part of life in America. His latest book is Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America.

Pages