Transportation headlines, Friday, Dec. 11

Not to wonk out on your first thing in the a.m., but I couldn’t help but nod in agreement reading a commentary in the New Republic about the need to ensure that federal stimulus funding is spent well at local levels. One example the authors use is the inability of local transit agencies to use stimulus money for operating funds. In other words, the feds may provide you with a bus — you just may not be able to afford driving it anywhere because there aren’t enough local or state funds to pay for operating costs. Hmm.

On a similar note and not on today’s list…remember the Erie Canal, the transcontinental railroad, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Big Dig in Boston? All are giant infrastructure projects, but this New York Times commentary notes that “for the first time in memory, the nation has no outsize public works project under way.” I don’t get the sense the author believes that’s a good thing.

UCLA Today offers up this interesting statistic: the number of cars driving onto the university’s campus has declined from 126,000 to 110,000 over the past five years. The reasons: more van pools, carpools and mass transit use by faculty and the student body and also more housing has been built in Westwood. It sounds like UCLA’s transportation department is trying everything — and a lot of it is working. For example, in the summer of 2008, free transit passes were given to 390 employees if they in return gave up their parking pass. Of those, only 124 have gone back to driving.

The rest of today’s transportation headlines, courtesy of the Metro library — they work rain or shine — are after the jump.

Arcadia Locks In Plans For Gold Line Arrival
Arcadia Weekly

Cell-Phone Ban For CTA Workers Leads To 11 Firings, Union Complaints Of Overreaching
Chicago Tribune

Coalition Fights To Allow Cellphone Use On Planes
USA Today

Federal Policy Is A Local Job
New Republic

Freeway Sign Update: Artist Richard Ankrom Gets Some Bad News on His “Guerrilla Public Service”
Franklin Avenue

Last Night’s Bike Meeting Highlights: Late Start, Unanswered Questions But Anti-Harassment Ordinance Moves On
LA StreetsBlog

Let There Be Light Rail…And It Was Good
NBC Los Angeles

Light Rail For Crenshaw Line, Reprieve For El Segundo
LA Curbed

Los Angeles Integrates Service On Two Busways, With Plans To Implement Congestion Pricing
Transport Politic

Metro Announces 24-Hour Train Service On New Year’s Eve

Metro Moves Forward On Harbor Subdivision, Crenshaw Corridor, Hybrid Alternative For Route 2 Terminus And Gating For The Eastside Extension
LA StreetsBlog

Metro To Study Extending Green Line As Far As Torrance

Metrolink Chief, Under Pressure Since Chatsworth Crash, Could Be Moved Aside
Los Angeles Times

Metrolink Emergency Drill Canceled
Ventura County Star

Metrolink May Cut Some Trains Amid Budget Shortfall
Los Angeles Times

MTA Approves $1.7-Billion Rail Line Along Crenshaw Boulevard
Los Angeles Times

No Transportation Superprojects? No Problem

Obama Plans $50 Billion For Transport
Journal Of Commerce

Port Trucks With Cleaner Big Rigs On Order Can Keep Operating
Daily Breeze

Putting A Car-Driven Culture In Reverse
UCLA Today

Putting The Cart Before The Horse: Could A Transportation-Based Jobs Stimulus Stymie Infrastructure Reform?

So Long, Solari
(retiring the train station’s nostalgic “clackety-clack” schedule board)
New Haven (CT) Independent

Transportation: One Man’s Train, Another Man’s Pain

Transportation Worker Identification Credential: Progress Made In Enrolling Workers And Activating Credentials But Evaluation Plan Needed To Help Inform The Implementation Of Card Readers (81p. PDF)
Government Accountability Office

US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood At Brookings on Infrastructure
The City Fix

Walkscore Innovators Turn To Improving Public Transportation
Transportation For America
All US Transit Agencies Without Open Data (comprehensive list of 663 of 748 total without open data, including online petitions for each requesting access using standard format and license)
Transit App Gallery (currently 66 total apps using open data from 90 transit agencies)

WeHo Changes Crosswalk Policy
WeHo News

The Western High Speed Rail Alliance Announces Formation
PR Newswire

Who’s In Charge At The Transportation Security Administration? Nobody
ABC News

Categories: Transportation News