Transportation headlines, Thursday, Oct. 7

An alternative to congestion pricing: roadway traffic restraint (The Transport Politic)

Very smart story comparing attempts to reduce traffic in London and Paris. In London, congestion pricing was introduced — i.e. drivers were charged a fee to enter the central business district and the money went to transit improvements. As a result, traffic decreased and transit ridership improved. Paris is trying something different. Excerpt:

As a result, the administration of Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has since 2001 prioritized the creation of bicycle, bus, and tramway infrastructure along with the reduction of vehicle lanes along both major boulevards and side streets. Huge sections of the city have been designated 30 km/h zones and biking is now allowed in both directions on most streets, even those that are one-way for automobiles. Free parking has been mostly eliminated. This spring, the city reinforced its efforts to commit far more street space to biking and expand that mode’s travel share.

Obviously downtown Los Angeles is not London or Paris. But it’s hard not to wonder what it might be like if the regional connector and streetcar were built and serious attempts at bike lanes were implemented combined with getting rid of the awful glut of parking lots/garages downtown and other cheap parking.

710 tunnel could devastate region (La Canada Valley Sun)

Assembly Anthony Portantino pens an opinion piece that alleges he has been misled on the potential project and that a tunnel connecting the 710 between Alhambra and Pasadena is no longer needed. It’s worth noting that a tunnel is among several potential things being studied to improve traffic in the 710 gap area.

Today’s musical interlude is brought to you by ZZ Top and their “Waiting for the Bus.”

Aspens may be rebounding for now (New West)

In recent years, Colorado has seen a significant die-off of the iconic aspen tree, which turns a beautiful yellow in late summer and early autumn. The die-off seems to have stopped its spread and researchers are still trying to understand it. No one can directly point to climate change, but scientists believe the die-off is consistent with climate change models for the region. Attentive readers will recall the transportation sector is a huge contributor of greenhouse gases.