Transportation headlines, Tuesday, October 4

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.

Can’t Congress agree on highway spending? (Washington Post)

The answer thus far is ‘no,’ Congress can’t even agree on something that has been sacrosanct: pumping money into roads so Americans can drive anywhere they want, anytime they want. Republicans in the House of Representatives have been particularly reluctant to spend any more money on transportation. But maybe they’re coming around. After President Obama gave his speech announcing the American Jobs Act, they agreed to increase funding in the next multiyear transpo spending bill. We’ll see what finally burps out.

Interview with Beverly Hills mayor on subway issue (Westwood-Century City Patch)

Mayor Barry Brucker doesn’t say much new about Beverly Hills’ opposition to a potential Westside Subway Extension station at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars, which would require tunneling under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus. He continues to push for a Santa Monica Boulevard station, saying Beverly Hills can offer a park-n-ride lot, but also acknowledges he has to see wants to see what the geotechnical data says about seismic issues in the area. The article makes it sound as if Metro had settled on a Santa Monica Boulevard station before investigating geotechnical issues in the area. That’s not correct — no decisions have yet been made about the Century City station location. The agency plans to soon release geotechnical data and the location of the station will ultimately be up to the Metro Board of Directors.

More sharrows in L.A. (L.A. Streetsblog)

This time the new sharrows show up on Motor Avenue. That’s nice. But not the same as a bike lane.

With the death of forests, a loss of key climate protectors (New York Times)

This long piece explains some of the dramatic changes in recent years in the world’s forests — many more destructive fires, for one. The culprit, in part, is thought to be climate change brought about by increased carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. Key excerpt:

Scientists have figured out — with the precise numbers deduced only recently — that forests have been absorbing more than a quarter of the carbon dioxide that people are putting into the air by burning fossil fuels and other activities. It is an amount so large that trees are effectively absorbing the emissions from all the world’s cars and trucks.

Without that disposal service, the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be rising faster. The gas traps heat from the sun, and human emissions are causing the planet to warm.

Yet the forests have only been able to restrain the increase, not halt it. And some scientists are increasingly worried that as the warming accelerates, trees themselves could become climate-change victims on a massive scale.

As we’ve said before, one way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions is to take transit, bike or walk. Even a few less auto trips helps.

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