Editorial: California’s high-speed train wreck (L.A. Times)
The editorial piece argues that the bullet train is still well worth building for the sake of California’s future. But, says the Times, recommendations issued last week by the state Legislative Analyst’s Office need to be followed to get the project back on track. In particular, the paper wants to see another agency take over the planning and building of the line. Why? The Times says that the Board of the California High Speed Rail Authority operates on political patronage and makes bad decisions. Example: the newspaper says the train would be faster if it followed the 5 freeway into the L.A. metro area instead of a timely and expensive detour through the Antelope Valley.
Brookings study highlights need for Metro express routes (KCET So Cal Focus blog)
As we posted last week, the Brookings Institution released a study that found that 26 percent of the jobs in the L.A. area were reachable by a transit trip of 90 minutes or less. Writer Matthew Fleischer says that statistic backs up his argument that Metro needs more express routes to speed up commutes by transit and make transit more attractive to more people. In particular, Matthew would like to see the Orange Line busway make its way across the Valley a lot faster than it presently does.
U.N. to launch road safety campaign (The Guardian)
The United Nations has taken note that 1.3 million road deaths each year worldwide along with another estimated 50 million people who are injured, according to the World Health Organization. Obviously that’s a number they would like to see significantly reduced. The Guardian also has some interesting numbers, showing that the top three nations in the world for road fatalities are India, China and the United States. In terms of the the most fatalities proportional to population, the Cook Islands are the leader.