Transportation headlines, Friday, Feb. 19

Apparently, in an attempt to fix the state budget, Governor Schwarzenegger is hoping to turn the Amber Alert boards on California’s freeways into full color digital displays that funnel advertising messages to drivers as they commute. There are currently 708 message boards, but the plan is to add another 597. Officials say that selling the rights to just 500 of the screens could lead to $2 billion in revenue over the next 20 years. Distracted driving? We’ve only just scratched the surface it seems.

The Infrastructurist has a really cool infographic visualizing the commute modes of various major U.S. cities. Houston has the greatest share of people driving cars to work, but L.A. is in a close second. Considering it’s sprawling nature and awful traffic, I was surprised to see that Atlanta has a fairly significant segment of the population that commutes via public transit.

Lower speeds make safer streets, we all knew that, but Next American City has some really eye opening stats that prove it. Take this for example: 5% of people die when struck by a motorist going 20 miles per hour versus 85% when a vehicle is going 40 miles per hour. Twice as fast, seventeen times more deadly. Of course, no one wants to putz around in a car at 20 mile per hour – at least not in America. European cities have been instituting 20 mile per hour zones in cities for quite some time now – and to great success.

The rest of today’s headlines, compiled by the Metro Library, after the jump.

America’s High-Speed Rail Options Remain Strong (88% of Americans are open to high-speed rail travel for long-distance travel)
PR Newswire

Bay Area’s Oakland Airport Connector Project Loses More Federal Funding
(After losing $70 million in stimulus funds last week because it failed to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration’s minority and equity standards for federal funding, BART lost another $25 million it was expecting from TIGER to secure further federal loans to build the nearly $500 million OAC)
DC StreetsBlog

Blog’s Ambitious Goal Of Yelping LA’s 17,000 Transit Stops
Curbed LA

Cell Phones In Public Transportation
Mass Transit

A Day After Their TIGER Win, Freight Railroads Carve Out More Turf
DC StreetsBlog

Editorial: Unsafe At Any Speed: Governor’s Freeway Advertising Plan Rightly Deserves To Crash And Burn
Los Angeles Daily News

Eyeing High-Speed Rail, Siemens Buys 20 Acres Next To Its California Rail Plant
San Francisco Examiner

How do Americans Get To Work? Transit Patterns In Major Cities
(infographic for eight major U.S. cities)

Lag In Intelligent Transportation Could Hurt Economy

Large Landslide Shuts Down Transitions Between 3 Freeways

Lower Speeds Means Safer Streets
Next American City

North America’s Newest And Largest Year-Round Service Opens In Mexico City
Bike-Sharing Blog

O.C. Seeking Solutions To 55 Freeway Gridlock
Los Angeles Times

Parking Bombs
(the urban destruction caused by parking)
The Overhead Wire

Positive Train Control: Strategies For A Smooth Deployment
(upcoming webinar)
Progressive Railroading

Railroads Have Until April 16 To Submit [Positive Train Control] Roll-Out Plans
Progressive Railroading

Ruins Of Electric Train Turned Into Terribly Cool Amusement Park
(Lima, Peru)

U.S. Needs Stronger Transit-Rail Cars After Crashes, Board Says
Business Week

Washington’s Investment In Faster Bus Service Should Be A National Model
Transport Politic

Categories: Transportation News