Transportation headlines, Wednesday, August 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.

Seattle voters approve big tunnel plan (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

About 60 percent of voters in the Emerald City approved a plan to tear down the Alaska Way Viaduct along the downtown waterfront and bury the road in a $1.9-billion deep bore tunnel. Seattle’s mayor had been advocating for replacing the viaduct with a surface-level road but voters don’t appear to agree. The referendum, interestingly, carries no legal weight — it was basically a political move to get voters on record on where they stand on the city-state tunnel project. The plan is to charge motorists a $4 to $5 toll to use the tunnel in order to help pay for it.

Seoul to bring back women-only subway cars (L.A. Times)

The problem, in short, is that women passengers too often are being groped. So Seoul is going to try women only cars on its late night service to combat the problem. Some other countries in the neighborhood also sometimes run women-only cars, including Japan, India and Taiwan.

Architecture plans for Farmer’s Field and Union Station? (L.A. Times)

Critic Christopher Hawthorne foresees two new gateways to downtown L.A.: the new football stadium (assuming it gets built) and Los Angeles Union Station, recently purchased by Metro and perhaps the site of a significant expansion (once the master plan is complete). Hawthorne hopes the city of Los Angeles insists on good architecture on both fronts because both structures have the chance to elevate everything around them.

In the land of white nights and Erik the Red (NPR)

Greenland has a tiny population — just 60,000 or so — and is experiencing first-hand many changes that locals and scientists attribute to global warming. Currents are changing, sea ice is melting and temperatures are up. And more changes in store: oil companies are lining up to drill in Greenland, hoping to produce more of the product that many blame for causing climate change.

On a related note, here’s an excellent post from Andrew Revkin on his Dot Earth blog for the New York Times. Revkin notes there are big changes underway in the Arctic due to global warming — and that may not be good. But he also points to recent research that there have been significant changes in Arctic ice coverage over the centuries. Below is a neat video taken with an automated camera that NOAA placed near the North Pole.