Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Dec. 16

I’m back from a few days of intense study of the water quantity content of snowflakes in the Eastern Sierra and found all sorts of goodies in this morning’s transportation headlines, compiled by the Metro library.

If you’re looking to ease your brain into the workday, I would start with the New York Times story on an iPhone app that claims to make it easier to walk and text at the same time. The reporter sounds dubious. I am, too. I almost walked in front of a Rapid bus last year while walking and texting and I’m quite sure the text (probably something along the lines of “I luv coffee!!!”) was not worth sacrificing my life over.

So there’s this new “smart” bike wheel that stores energy created by using the brakes and then can help the bike climb a hill or go faster, according to CNET. It premiered this week in Copenhagen, which makes sense given the city’s reputation as being one of the bike friendliest places in Europe and the world. Of course, the smart wheel is attached to a bike that can accomodate an iPhone with an app telling you about speed and direction, just in case you can’t figure that out for yourself.

I’m a big fan of one-way streets. But you should read this very smart piece in Governing about cities that revived downtown streets by taking down the one-way signs, painting a double yellow stripe down the middle and returning them to two-way status. The bottom line: more potential customers — in the form of motorists — for businesses along these streets. The story also has this fascinating kernal: a lot of streets were converted to one-way after World War II by civil defense planners trying to speed up escape routes for citizens fleeing atomic bombs.

The rest of today’s headlines are after the jump.

2010: Turning Point For American Communities?
On The Commons

California Port Truckers Will Protest, Reportedly Strike
Land Line

Clean Truck Program At [Los Angeles And Long Beach] Ports Wins EPA Award
Daily Breeze

The Daily Drudge: Who Is Most Frustrated By The Daily Commute? (U.S. ranks 12th of 13 nations in study of average commute to work)
The Economist

Demographics May Be Destiny, But Mind The Assumptions
New Geography

Driveway Shenanigans In Silver Lake? Another Curb Removed
LA Curbed

The Eastside Gold Line Rail As A Learning Tool For At-Risk Youth
LA StreetsBlog

Ensuring California HSR Doesn’t Become The Next Seattle Monorail
California High Speed Rail Blog

Fare Confusion On Silver Line
MetroRider LA

How The Streets Of New York Got More Dangerous (the dangers of texting while walking…but there’s an app for that)
New York Times

Improving Pedestrian And Motorist Safety Along Light Rail Alignments
Transportation Research Board
Full-text report (159p. PDF)
Selected appendices (341p. PDF)

Media Mayhem – Driving Around In Circles: When All Reason Says We Ought To Be Backing More Transportation Options, The Media Is Still Obsessed With Automobiles
Mother Nature Network

MIT Unveils New “Smart” Bike Wheel

Move L.A. Wants To Get Moving!
LA StreetsBlog

New Report: Minority-Owned Businesses Left Out Of Transportation Stimulus
DC StreetsBlog

On The Pitfalls And Benefits Of National Transit Safety Standards
DC StreetsBlog

Orange Line Riders Left Out Of The Part[y] On New Year’s Eve
Los Angeles Daily News

Reinventing Cities Critical To Climate
American Public Media Marketplace

The Return Of The Two-Way Street: Why The Double-Yellow Stripe Is Making A Comeback In Downtowns

A Streetcar Named Monorail
Long Beach Post

TOD Help For Metropolitan Planning Organizations: Center for Transit-Oriented Development Is Building Expanded Best Practices Guide For MPOs
Reconnecting America

Transportation-HUD Omnibus Favors High-Speed Rail
Mass Transit

Transportation ID Program Lacks A Reliable Disaster Recovery Plan, GAO Says
Government Computer News

Truckers Protest In Downtown L.A. Against New Clean-Air Rules At Ports
Los Angeles Times

Your Turn: What Do You Want To See On Los Angeles’ Streets In 2010?
LA StreetsBlog