Chicago commuters to see new rail cars on the El (Chicago Tribune)
Delivery of the new cars just began — the Chicago Transit Authority purchased 706 of them from Bombardier for $1.137 billion. All of the seats in the new cars face the aisle. Officials say the number of seats is the same but the new arrangement allows for more people to stand in the car, meaning the trains can carry more overall people. But some people who rode test trains complained that those who get a seat must face the rear ends of the standees. Hmm.
How long does it take to paint a sharrow? (L.A. Eco-Village blog)
A critical look at the city of Los Angeles’ implementation of the city’s new bike plan. Writer Joe Linton says the city dragged its heels painting “sharrows” on the road for years until the city passed a bike plan earlier this year. Then suddenly the city began quickly painting sharrows instead of installing regular bike lanes in a push to reach the promised 40 years of new bike infrastructure a year.
Is using Siri to text while driving legal? (Stateline)
The blog for the Pew Charitable Trusts says that some states wrote their “no texting while driving” laws to allow for voice activated technology, such as that used by the new iPhone. Still seems like a distraction to me – especially since I hear that some button pushing is still involved and the motorist is presumably thinking about her/his clever text instead of, say, staying in their lane.
Excessive emissions from planes will be penalized beginning Jan. 1. But airlines based in the U.S. are fighting the regulations, with support from the Obama Administration. This bill by Rep. John Mica (R-Florida), which passed by voice vote on Monday, would make it illegal to get involved in cap-and-trade, which is interesting since many experts would like such a system in the U.S. to provide a financial incentive to lower carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. On an unrelated note, the article also mentions a bill by Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) that would give Americans the freedom to not have to buy energy efficient light bulbs.