Transportation headlines, Monday, Aug. 23

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.

Finns propose ‘green highway’ (Wired)

Finland is contemplating an 81-mile highway linking two cities that would include electric car charging stations and places where motorists can fill up their vehicles with biofuels. They’re even thinking of lighting that switches off when no vehicles are in the vicinity. Of course, skeptics may suggest that even a clean fuel highway carries impacts such as destruction of wildlife habitat.

Big apple to embark on pedestrian-improvement project (Wall Street Journal)

Hundreds of intersections are set to get a makeover as part of an effort to reduce accidents and make things more pleasant for walkers. All this is just the latest in Mayor Bloomberg’s efforts to improve transit and alternative ways of getting around. As part of the project, the city did a comprehensive study of pedestrian accidents and found that 80% of serious pedestrian accidents are caused by male drivers and 70% involve private vehicles — i.e. not taxis.

Hey, it’s Monday. It’s summer. Relax and waste a little time — whoops, I meant enhance your time at work — with today’s transit-themed musical interlude, “Love Train” by the O’Jays.

Caldecott Tunnel boring begins (Welcome to the Fast Lane)

With $197 million in federal stimulus funds, construction of a new fourth tunnel to help relieve this infamous East Bay Bottleneck on California 24 has begun. It’s not a long tunnel — only about 3,300 feet long. The project is being pitched as a way to help reduce greenhouse gases by improving traffic flow, i.e. helping get rid of idling cars sitting in traffic. While I’m all for getting rid of bottlenecks that obviously screw up traffic — and Caldecott qualifies — it’s fair to wonder if road expansions beget more traffic that negates those gains.