Transportation headlines, Friday, Dec. 17

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.

Autism: Proximity to freeways increases autism risk, study finds (L.A. Times)

A study in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, found that children born to families living within 1,000 feet of a freeway were twice as likely to have autism. The researchers declined to say that freeway proximity and air pollution cause higher autism rates, in part because they had no way to measure how much pollution pregnant mothers were exposed to. A slew of chemicals in exhaust are known to cause birth defects, but the study’s authors indicated that more research will need to be done to establish a direct link between air pollutants and autism

CA Mayors Ask Sen. Barbara Boxer for a 21st century transpo system (DC Streetsblog)

California’s cities are speaking up and they want more transit. With Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN) leaving Congress at the end this session — he chaired the House’s Transportation committee and lost his reelection bid last month — transportation advocates are turning to Boxer to take the lead. As the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Boxer will likely be a key figure in drafting the next federal surface transportation bill. She previously voiced strong support for including financing for 30/10 in that bill.

Gold Line Foothill Extension website gets a revamp (Arcadia’s Best)

Change is afoot in the foothill commute. As construction of the Gold Line extension to Azusa gets ready to launch, the Construction Authority has deployed a new website that will help keep residents up to date on the line’s progress.  The website features pages dedicated to every community along the Foothill Extension, with information about what the new stations will look like and plans for new transit oriented development.

Convenient, affordable transportation option aims to reduce parking demand, emissions and congestion (PR Newswire)

In case you missed it, Zipcar is coming to five locations on a street near you in Hollywood.  Here’s an update on the new locations:

Zipcar will have five pods of two cars located in Hollywood, including locations on Vine Street between Sunset Boulevard and Selma Avenue, as well as at the intersections of Hollywood Boulevard and North Western Avenue, Wilcox Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, North Highland Avenue and Yucca Street and at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue.

4 replies

  1. if local connections from subway stations to the neighborhood destinations are good/reliable, do we need the zip car to add more cars in the congestion streets.
    People have freedom to drive or take buses.
    However, MTA’s mission is to move people around without adding more traffic congestion and pollution. By adding Zip Car Pods, Is MTA telling us that people need to drive to from their home to the sstations, and from the stations to the destinations because public transportation is so terrible even along the Red Line.

    • K,

      Just to clarify, this isn’t a Metro project. It was arranged by the City of L.A. and LADOT with Zipcar.

      And, if you believe Zipcar, one of their vehicles can replace 10-15 private cars over time, so hopefully it can provide mobility that doesn’t add to congestion in the long run.

      Carter

    • K,

      I’d like to add to Carter’s comment. I’m car-free and rely on transit to get around for the vast majority of my transportation needs. That being said, I’m also a member of a car sharing service. I think you misunderstand the purpose of car sharing – it’s not meant to get people from their home to rail stations, or even from stations to the local destinations. Car sharing companies charge by the hour, so it would be way too expensive to use a car share rental to fill in a “last mile” gap. It’s meant for occasional use when transit or other non-car modes won’t do.

      For example: the main reason I find myself taking out a short term car share rental is when I’m purchasing bulky items that could not be transported by train, bus or bicycle. There’s an Ikea in Burbank that’s within walking distance of six Metro bus lines (94, 154, 164, 165, 292, 794) and a Metrolink station – so there’s no problem getting there by transit. I do have a problem, however, transporting a piece of bulky Ikea furniture on the bus or train. That’s why when I’m going to Ikea, I opt for the car share. Same goes for a visit to Home Depot or the gardening store, etc. Sometimes having a vehicle with a trunk is really helpful. But those occasions when I need a trunk are few and far between, which is why I car share instead of own.

      Would anyone say New York City has poor public transit with bad local connections? Probably not. But New York City happens to be the car sharing capital of the nation, in addition to the massive fleet of taxi cabs roaming the streets. Car sharing and good transit go hand in hand. Good transit enables people to live day-to-day without owning a car, and car-sharing allows access to a car on the occasions when transit (even good transit) won’t work.

      As for adding congestion, this study from Berkeley shows that car sharing “has removed between 90,000 to 130,000 vehicles from the road in North America to date.”

      Fred Camino
      Lifestyle Contributor, The Source

  2. […] The Source » Transportation headlines, Friday, Dec. 17I'm car-free and rely on transit to get around for the vast majority of my transportation needs. That being said, I'm also a member of a car sharing service …thesource.metro.net/…/transportation-headlines-friday-dec-17/ […]