A short rant before I begin. Took a drive west down Del Mar in Pasadena the other evening — same street used by Metro’s 267 bus, btw. Missed every light. As is just about always the case on this major east-west thoroughfare. I’ve heard various explanations from various officials over the years about Pasadena’s ability to synchronize its lights. Well, it’s not showing. And I’m not convinced it’s good for motorists, bus riders, cyclists and pedestrians who are put at risk by frustrated motorists trying to beat yellow lights. Sigh.
$9 billion looking for a job in California (Los Angeles Times)
Columnist George Skelton got a nice little tip — that the state has sold about $9 billion worth of bonds for a variety of improvements. But the money is still sitting around in California and going unused. Why? No one could give Skelton a definitive answer. Of that money, about $2 billion is earmarked for Caltrans.
Blackberries die, traffic accidents fall (The National)
That’s right. When Blackberry service around the globe withered last week, police in Abu Dhabi in turn saw a 40 percent decline in traffic accidents. In particular, accidents involving young men declined. Police in Abu Dhabi, by the way, say they are going to soon use electronic evidence against motorists they think were playing with their phones instead of driving. In other words, if you just just sent a “what are you wearing” text and then pilot your car into a telephone pole, police will check your phone bill. As they should.
One day, maybe artisinal train cars (New York Times)
The New York MTA’s need for buses and train cars is massive — “the current $23 billion capital program involves the acquisition of more than $7 billion worth of train cars, buses and signaling and communications equipment,” according to the article. Now there’s talk, prompted by a recent conference, about how to get some of those train cars built in New York City. One potential place: the Brooklyn Navy Yards, which is undergoing a massive refurbishment.
Infrastructure — don’t forget what we have is decaying! (Washington Post)
Big-time panel discussion — oh, how I love those — in the nation’s capital featured many prominent speakers, many of which seem to agree that a lot of the infrastructure that we do have either needs or will need some serious maintenance upgrades.