Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Aug. 31

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.

More cars eligible for carpool lanes (L.A. Times)

A new law by Sen. Leland Yee and backed by General Motors would allow more environmentally-friendly cars into carpool lanes, regardless of how many people are in the vehicles. GM is expected to soon release the Chevy Volt, which will be able to run short distances on only an electric motor.

Actively managing the 5 freeway — in Seattle (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

A new series of signs along the 5 freeway in the Seattle area is trying to provide motorists with real-time conditions of what’s going on ahead of them on the roadway. Here’s a video from the state of Washington that explains the signs with some pretty nifty animation.

Measuring traffic is one thing… (Wall Street Journal)

It’s not so hard to figure out traffic is a mess. But using math and technology to do something about it — and better spread out traffic so that it doesn’t overwhelm roadway capacity — has proven to be a real bear.

Today’s musical interlude comes from the Kinks, with one of their most under-rated songs, “Do It Again.” It’s not about transit, but it’s set in a tube station in London, so that’s good enough for me.

iPod pedestrian zombies causing havoc on British roadways (British Automobile Assn.)

This press release burped out earlier this month and it’s worth a read. The BAA says 17 collisions each day involving vehicles might be caused by pedestrians falling into a trance-like state courtesy of their electronic gadgets. The release dryly notes the example of a car swerving to avoid a pedestrian in the road, with the vehicle ending up “in a chemist’s shop.” Also noted is this poster from Australian authorities trying to illustrate the dangers of the iPod.