High above the freeway, a slow road ahead (L.A. Times)
The Mulholland Drive Bridge over the 405 freeway was half-demolished in July — meaning its capacity to carry traffic was cut in half — and now the many private schools in the area along Mulholland are about to launch a new school year. That has area residents dreading that a bad traffic situation due to the I-405 Sepulveda Pass Improvements Project is about to go from bad to worse, especially at the intersection of Skirball and Mulholland. The article includes the obligatory “It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize this will be a disaster” quote from a resident in the third paragraph, just the place where editors like such quotes. A Metro official does, in fact, concede that traffic in the area will be a “major problem.”
Will hurricanes get worse due to climate change? (New York Times)
Irene, of course, wasn’t as bad as feared — and was a tropical storm by the time it reached the Big Apple. But this interesting article show there’s hardly consensus that hurricanes will become more intense in the coming decades. There is, however, some agreement that impacts of hurricanes could sharpen if sea levels rise due to climate change. Smart Source readers don’t need to be told that all those idling cars and other vehicles on the freeways are a big source of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
The editorial says that it’s natural that so many skeptics are piling on the state’s bullet train project, which has nowhere near the estimated $43 billion needed to build the line between San Francisco and Anaheim. But the Bee says the state will continue to grow, freeways aren’t the answer and it’s going to take political courage and mettle to persuade Californians to stay the course on a project the newspaper calls “visionary.” For all the talk about linking the state’s big coastal cities, it’s easy to forget that high-speed rail offers true transportation options to the state’s interior, especially cities without many flight or rail options such as Fresno.