Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 18

Texting as an alternative to driving? Wired think so.

Texting as an alternative to driving? Wired thinks so.

Here’s a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog. Don’t forget you can also follow the Metro Library on Facebook and Twitter.

First up, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wrote a blog entry for the Huffington Post describing his progress selling the 30/10 Transportation Initiative to Washington. The good news is that legislators in Washington are responding very positively to the idea, Villaraigosa says. Senator Barbara Boxer has become a champion to the cause and many others across the political spectrum appreciate the fact that Los Angeles isn’t just asking for a hand out. It looks like the fact that Angelenos voted for Measure R really resonates with federal officials. What’s next? It’s not really clear, but Villaraigosa plans to continue building a base of supporters to rally Washington for the dough.

Wired has a fresh solution to the texting-while-driving epidemic: don’t drive. The author notes that to young people, texting seems to be more important than driving – in other words, what’s happening is not so much “distracted driving” but “distracted texting.” By taking public transit, someone else handles the ever so distracting task of piloting a motor vehicle while young people can fully focus on the important stuff. What’s interesting about this concept is that it’s already been proven in Japan, where the youth embrace kuruma banare (demotorization) by choosing to spend their disposable income on mobile gadgets and communication devices. Newsweek had a story about the phenomenon in 2008 that’s worth a read.

Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood made a bold statement yesterday that alternative transportation advocates are giddy over. He said “This is the end of favoring motorized transportation and the expense of non-motorized.” Along with that statement came a list of (non-binding) recommendations to state departments of transportation endorsing equality amongst all transportation modes.