A walk on the risky side (L.A. Times)
A column by Hector Tobar looking at the factors that may have played into three girls being struck in a crosswalk on W. Temple Street in late September. Among them: the city’s timing of traffic lights to help Temple Street serve as an alternative to the busy 101 freeway. The girls survived, but the eldest has had two surgeries for serious injuries. The driver won’t be charged — police say she was driving the speed limit and driving into the sun that was rising behind a hill. I didn’t realize it was okay to hit pedestrians in a cross walk if you’re driving below the speed limit.
High-speed rail agency to study revised route (Fresno Bee)
After howls of protest, the California High-Speed Rail Authority has said it will spend five to six months on a revised environmental study on the train’s route near Hanford. The planned route east of the city has many unhappy over the impacts on homes — so the Authority will now investigate a route west of Hanford it once considered but dropped due to impacts on sensitive wetlands. Neither route follows the 99 freeway through the area — crazy!? — and the town of Visalia doesn’t appear to get a station anywhere near the actual town (which is quite nice). Still, the Authority says construction is set to begin near Fresno next year on the Fresno-to-Bakersfield segment.
In praise of the electric trolleybus (Portland Transport)
Good insight here — while Portland may boast a productive light rail system run on electricity, the area’s diesel buses are still chugging around town producing a lot of pollution. The blogger suggests that Portland and other cities think about converting some of their bus lines to electric buses powered by overhead wires. San Francisco has these on many of their lines and the buses, as a result, are often far quieter than their diesel or CNG counterparts.