Today's Headlines - more at Metro


Gold Line Foothill Extension, CA Mayors Push For Smart Transportation, ZipCar Heads To Hollywood, Amtrak's HSR Dreams, Tube Transportation & More

As Acela Turns 10, Amtrak Envisions High-Speed Rail Expansion
Washington Post

Big Brotheresque App Kills Your Automotive Anonymity ("A new app that lets frustrated drivers vent their anger at boneheaded motorists already has branded your bumper with a “How’s My Driving” sticker, and it could raise your insurance premium. It’s like having thousands of unmarked police cars and speed cameras on every roadway, and it could spell the end of anonymity behind the wheel...which may not sound like much until you realize all the information — along with date, time and location of the “offense” — is sent to the DMV and insurance companies.")

CA Mayors Ask Sen. Barbara Boxer For A 21st Century Transpo System
StreetsBlog DC

California Mayors Support Smart Transportation Investments As Key To Economic Recovery And Public Health
Transportation For America
List Of Coalition Partners

Coastal Commission Sides With County Over Widening 101
Ventura County Star

Cutting Soot Counteracts Warming In California

Cycling Super Highways (Are they the "X Factor" to transform our cities, lifestyle and health, in addition to revolutionizing the way in which we travel?)

Development Of Levels Of Service For The Interstate Highway System (50p. PDF)
National Cooperative Highway Research Program

DOT's "Buy America" Website: Helping Keep American Companies Healthy And American Workers On The Job
U.S. DOT Fast Lane Blog

Field Of Dreams: Although No Team Is In Line For L.A., AEG Unveils Possible Stadium Designs
Los Angeles Downtown News

From East To West, A Time-Lapse Take On CicLAvia
Curbed LA

The Future Of Sustainable Urban Mobility: Change People's Behavior
The City Fix

Gold Line President & Web Site ("As the Gold Line gets closer to the construction stage, starting Arcadia, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority has launched a comprehensive new informational Gold Line web site and elected Glendora Mayor Pro Tem
Doug Tessitor as chairman of the Board of Directors.")
Arcadia's Best
Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority New Web Site Now Online

A Hotter Future: Climate Change And The Global City ("In the United States, cities such as San Francisco have a smaller carbon footprint than cities such as Houston. In San Francisco, residents live in smaller housing units at higher population density. They are more likely to use public transit and due to the temperate climate, they consume less electricity. Electricity generated in California creates less greenhouse gas emissions than other cities because the power is generated using natural gas rather than coal.")
World Policy

How Shared Space Challenges Conventional Thinking About Transportation Design ("Shared streets -- the idea that pedestrians, bikes and cars can all navigate together in the same space -- is a fundamental rethinking of the underlying philosophy related to the design and operation of transportation facilities.")

Impacts Of VMT Reduction Strategies On Selected Areas And Groups
(78p. PDF)
Washington State Department Of Transportation (WSDOT) Research Report

L.A. Dry Run Shows Urban Nuke Attack "A Survivable Event"
(The leaders of a dozen local, state and federal agencies decided to simulate their attack "at a metro station a stone's throw from Universal Studios.")
USA Today

LA Port Export Volume Highest Ever For November
Daily Markets

[D.C.] Metro To Start Random Bag Searches
Washington Examiner

Pneumatic Fantastic: The Enduring Allure Of Tube Transportation

Proximity To Freeways Increases Autism Risk, Study Finds: More Research Is Needed, But The Report Suggests Air Pollution Could Be A Factor
Los Angeles Times

Rahall Confirmed As Top Dem, Mica Names New GOP Members Of T&I (Transportation & Infrastructure)
StreetsBlog DC

Reliability Centered Maintenance: A Case Study Of Railway Transit Maintenance To Achieve Optimal Performance (118p. PDF)
Mineta Transportation Institute

Report And Poll Shows There Are Two Stories To The Los Angeles Commute
("It is a bit appalling 22% report encountering a breakdown in the past month and that 35% of bus riders report being passed up during the same period.")
StreetsBlog LA

Roll Out The Red Carpet: ZipCar Goes To Hollywood
PR Newswire

Some Cities Bailing On Red-light Traffic Cameras
San Diego Union-Tribune

Subway Controversy Offers Beverly Hills A Lesson In Planning
("The principles that planners learn everywhere from Harvard and MIT to UCLA and Cal Poly somehow go out the window when they are pit against a public figure like Korbatov -- someone at the heart of this country's
education crisis – and the public at large. So passion, not planning, still rules the day.")
California Planning & Development Report


AQMD Interviews Art Leahy, Freeway Expansion Construction Delays, Jaywalking Ticket Fees Breakdown, HOT Lanes, Walkable Cities & More

America's Most Walkable Cities ("A majority of Americans--six in 10--say they would prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods, in both cities and suburbs, if they could.")
The Atlantic

AQMD On The Air: Art Leahy (video)
South Coast Air Quality Management District via YouTube

Breaking Down The Cost Of Jaywalking: Where Does Money From A $190 Ticket Go?
Blog Downtown

Car That Runs On Thin Air (video : Meet the Air Pod, a three-wheeled vehicle with no steering wheel whose creators think it could be the future of urban transportation -- and it is powered by a compressed air engine)

Developers Announce Deal With City, Labor To Tear Down, Rebuild Wilshire Grand Hotel
(Plans for new office tower and luxury hotel at 7th and Figueroa)
Southern California Public Radio

The Federal Interest In Non-Highway Transportation

Freeway Expansion Coverage Focusing On Construction Delays, Still Missing The Magic Question ("There are so many people that don’t drive because of congestion, that relieving that congestion induces more driving and leads to new lanes being filled more quickly than we can
build them. When construction will create delay for years, as it will for this project, one really has to question whether the project would be worth it if it were free.")
StreetsBlog LA

Help Kickstart CicLAvia Into A Successful 2011!
("With events planned in April, July, and October, CicLAvia is going to generate more smiles, more health, more foot traffic for the local economy, and more civic pride.")

Is High-Speed Rail Travel In America's Future?: The U.S. Lags Europe And Asia, But Critics Say There Are Reasons For Caution
(A look at high speed rail's future in the U.S. by first looking at rail's domineering past, noting the huge change after the Interstate Highway Act along with the land use changes the auto brought, but concludes it all comes down to the American voter)
Consumer Affairs

Nearly $1 Billion Sought For Pet Transport Projects

Renderings Unveiled For NFL Stadium Next To L.A. Live
Blog Downtown

Santa Monica Picks Up Speed Toward Cycling Sustainability
Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard Blog

Third Quarter 2010 Public Transit Ridership Declines Slightly

Transit Benefit (Wrapped In Tax Cuts) Clears The Senate
StreetsBlog DC

The Truth About HOT Lanes (interview with Jack Finn, head of toll services for HNTB Corporation, the infrastructure firm that designed the toll system for Route 91 in Orange County, the country's first HOT Lanes which opened 15 years ago this month)

Why Did The Elk (Or Bear Or Deer Or Lynx) Cross The Road?: Landscape Architects Compete To Create Highway Overpasses For Wildlife That Allow Safer, Free Roaming Across Habitats
Wall Street Journal


California Leads Green Transpo Policies, America's Best And Worst Commutes, Southwest At Risk For Climate Change & More

America's Best And Worst Commutes ("According to U.S. Census data, roughly 76% of U.S. workers drive to work alone. Twelve percent carpool, 4.7% use public transportation, 3.3% work from home, 2.9% walk to work and 1.2% used other means (including a motorcycle or
Best And Worst: 90 Cities Ranked (infographic)

California Leads Nation In Green Transpo Policies, How Does Your State Rank?
StreetsBlog DC

California's Climate Laws Undermined By Weak Transpo Policies, Investment
StreetsBlog SF

Getting Back On Track: States, Transportation Policy, And Climate Change
Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard Blog

Highways And Labor Markets II

Interview: Matt Roth On The Price Of Driving (Congestion pricing and HOT lanes)

Light Appears At The End Of A Long Bike Plan Tunnel
StreetsBlog LA

Mass Transit Tax Break Could Provide Numerous Benefits

Mayors Support Smart Transportation Investments As Key To Economic Recovery And Public Health ("The leaders of California’s population centers issued a call to the incoming Congress to update the nation’s transportation program to address their citizens’ 21st-century needs,
from upkeep of roads and bridges to a cleaner, more efficient transit network.")
School Transportation News

Metro Offering Free Rides On Christmas & New Year's Eves

"Oscar Tribute Reel" To Bus Routes No Longer With Us
MetroRider LA

Scientists See The Southwest As First Major U.S. Climate Change Victim
New York Times

Senate Approves Up To $230 Per Month Deduction For Commuters
NJ Online

Transit People Posts Guide On Hosting "Free Transit" Field Trips
StreetsBlog LA

What Will Be The Fate Of The Livable Communities Act?
Sustainable Cities Collective


Density And Car Ownership In L.A., Parking Spaces Census, Glory Of Rails, New And Notable, Bay Area's Brewing Toll War & More

AAA Gets An Earful From Members About Equality For Bikes
StreetsBlog DC

Airport's Tailspin Imperils Development In Ontario
California Planning & Development Report

Critical Vote For Congestion Pricing
San Francisco Examiner

Density, Car Ownership, And What It Means For The Future Of Los Angeles
StreetsBlog LA

Despicable Them: Fewer Buses, Higher Fares, Subway-To-Sea Do Not Make A Transit System
Ron Kaye L.A.

The First Nationwide Count Of Parking Spaces Demonstrates Their High Environmental Cost
(500 million and counting)
Knoxville News Sentinel

The Glory Of The Rails (Part One of a two-part essay : "More than any other technical design or social institution, the railway stands for modernity. No competing form of transport, no subsequent technological innovation, no other industry has wrought or facilitated change on the
scale that has been brought about by the invention and adoption of the railway.")
New York Review Of Books

Grant Will Help Monrovia Officials Develop Transit Village
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Metro Reduces And Discontinues Routes
Pasadena Star-News

[New York] MTA Workers Falsified Signal Inspections
Wall Street Journal

New And Notable: Oil On The Brain, Transport Geographies & Early Downtown Los Angeles
Metro Transportation Library Primary Resources Blog

New Round Of Tests For Subway Around Wilshire

Peninsula Threatens Toll In Response To San Francisco
("With San Francisco officials poised to consider rolling out a not-so-friendly welcome mat to commuters from the south -- a $6 daily toll -- fuming San Mateo County leaders have threatened to enact their own toll of $12 a day for San Francisco residents to enter the Peninsula from the north...instigating what one Peninsula politician said would be a border war.")
San Jose Mercury News

Solar Serpents In Paradise ("Turn the freeways into urban powerplants! With solar-technology and an efficient narrative design, the freeways will re-emerge as structures for the future." Includes several diagrams)
Mans Tham

Tax Break For Transit Commuters Extended In Bill
Baltimore Sun

This Is How Cities And Technology Should Work ("Shown at CEOs for Cities' Connectivity Challenge conference yesterday, the piece was produced by Veoila Transport, who operates public transit systems throughout North America. It's a great illustration of the ideal way
that our mobile devices should interact with our cities.")

Weight In On Bicycle Plans For L.A., Santa Monica
Southern California Public Radio

Will Republican Revolt On High-Speed Rail Projects Derail Obama's Plan?: $8 Billion Stimulus Project Mired In Political Challenges
ABC News

WMATA Says Google Transit In Mid-January
Greater Greater Washington


OC Interchanges To Be Linked, Union Station Buyer?, Ports' Exports Up, California Planning For 2011, Parking Spaces' Impacts & More

Arcadia's 5-Year Metamorphosis
Arcadia's Best

Back To You, Planning Dept.: City Responds To Zoning Code Lawsuit
Curbed LA

"Castle" Star Seamus Dever Says He's In Love With L.A.'s Subway System
Southern California Public Radio
Sierra Club Alternative Travel Project

CHSRA Board To Consider Modifying Initial Corridor Selection
California High Speed Rail Blog

Downtown NFL Stadium Called "Pipe Dream"
Orange County Register

Downtown's Get A Fresh Lease: Suburbs Lose Office Workers To Business Districts, Reversing A Post-War Trend
Wall Street Journal

Editorial: Bullet Train Looks More Likely Now
Bakersfield Californian

Exports At L.A. And Long Beach Ports Are At A Near-Record Pace
(LAX is on track for an all-time high for outgoing cargo)
Los Angeles Times

Feds Insist That First Leg Of Bullet Train Reach Bakersfield
Bakersfield Californian

Few Surprises In 2010; What Will 2011 Hold?
California Planning & Development Report

Finally, A Draft Bike Plan That Cyclists Actually Like
StreetsBlog LA

Group Backs ONT Control
Riverside Press-Enterprise

High-Speed Rail: Political Football, Anyone? ("Is investment in high-speed rail really an economic stimulus if it's going to take years to complete the system? With fiscal hawks swooping on Capitol Hill, wouldn't it make more sense to put some of that money to fund a long-term transportation bill? How much power should the administration or Congress have over how a state invests in its transportation system? Why is high-speed rail such an attractive idea? Is it just because it's cool?" Experts weigh in.)
National Journal Transportation Blog

List-O-Mania: City Rankings Are Popular, Profitable And Sometimes Influential
Next American City

Major Construction Ahead On 405, 22, And 605 Freeways: The Project At Two Orange County Interchanges, To Create A Seamless Link Between Carpool Lanes And Ease Rush-Hour Bottlenecks, Is To Last Through 2014
Los Angeles Times
Detailed Maps And Timelines Here

Metro In Talks To Buy Union Station? ("An item that went before the agency's board this week suggests so, and the facility is certainly on the market.")
Blog Downtown

No Free Parking: The First Nationwide Count Of Parking Spaces Demonstrates Their High Environmental Cost ("There are at least 500 million empty spaces in the United States at any given time. The 250 million cars and trucks on America's roads get a bad rap for being environmentally unfriendly. Climate scientists say that automobiles add an array of greenhouse gases and harmful particulates into the Earth's atmosphere, yet little research has been done to estimate the impact parking spaces -- where those automobiles spend 95 percent of their time -- have on our planet.")
Physics Central

Opinion: Park Officials Need A Plan B
("The 18-month park construction period is not scheduled to start until 2013, and the high-speed rail route could be selected by the end of 2011. It is possible that the route will be determined before a park shovel ever hits the ground, meaning the ugly scenario of building then disruption would not come to fruition.")
Los Angeles Downtown News

Opinion: Reliable Rail?
("More survivable rail cars should be just a start on safety improvements.")
Riverside Press-Enterprise

Opinion: Subsidy Train To Nowhere: Can We Sell You A Ticket To Borden? It Only Costs $4.15 Billion ("A realistic concern is that the state will have to terminate the project after completing the first segment because the feds and private investors won't pay to finish it. California doesn't need a high-speed train it can't afford, and we hope Republicans on Capitol Hill will pull the plug on this and other trains to insolvency next year.")
Wall Street Journal

Our View: Fund Passenger Train Safety Advances ("We need another ACE-like agency or direct funding to Metrolink to help prevent cars and passenger trains from crashing into each other, utilizing either better gates or grade separations.")
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Roadmap To The Future
("Here are some ways in which the desperately needed transportation system of the future can be made more efficient, safer, and cleaner.")
On Earth

Seven Bid On Cleantech Site
Los Angeles Downtown News

Superstructures: Adding Sensors And Other Devices To Bridges, Tunnels And Buildings Can Turn Them into "Smart Structures" Capable Of Sensing And, In Some Cases, Even Responding To Problems
The Economist

System Trials To Demonstrate Mileage-Based Road Use Charges (193p. PDF : "This report presents an analysis of factors to be considered in designing and implementing large-scale trials of mechanisms for collecting such road-user charges, based on vehicle-miles of travel (VMT).")
National Cooperative Highway Research Program

Transit Village Will Impair Transit, Residents Say
Santa Monica Lookout

Transportation Center Nears Construction: Airport Transit Hub Will Be Ready To Break Ground If Environmental Report Clears
Burbank Leader