Transportation headlines, Monday, August 9

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

It’s No Cars Go in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Makeover (Fast Company)

Officials in San Juan, Puerto Rico, are planning on spending $1.5 billion to redevelop the city center into a pedestrian paradise with no cars allowed. The city center in San Juan is actually a small island called “the Isleta” that’s disconnected from the rest of the city. A new mass transit network is in the works to connect the two areas.

Albert H. Sawano: Think big about transportation (L.A. Daily News)

In this opinion piece for the L.A. Daily News, Albert Sawano writes that to reignite the California spirit (and economy) we need to “thing big,” especially when it comes to how we get around. Airports and freeways are the “old way” and high speed rail is the future. While light on specifics, the piece certainly makes an inspirational case for high-speed rail – but thinking big also requires big money, something detractors are all too quick to point out. Albert Sawano is a committee member of railLA – a group of architects and planners promoting California high speed rail.

Public Transit: Bleeding to Death from a Thousand Cuts? (

It can’t be said that the funding crisis for public transit is a big secret, as it seems daily there’s a new bit of commentary on the issue. This time Tom Downs – board member for Veolia Transportation and former Amtrak president – chimes in with his two cents. Downs notes that the highway industry has proposed that – because of dwindling gas tax revenues – transit should no longer receive funding from the Highway Trust Fund and instead rely solely on the general fund. According to Downs this would be an “unmitigated disaster” for the future of transit in this country.