Taking first-class coddling above-and-beyond (New York Times)
If you need another reason to hate flying — and I don’t — read this. The article covers some of the ways that airlines, while cutting basic services for coach passengers, are competing to lure the wealthiest of business executives. Among those: ferrying them by limo from the airport to the airplane seconds before the doors shut and special access to immigration officials so customers isn’t such a hassle. Thank you, Air France. And when the revolution comes, I hope you’re not surprised.
Metro does mailings! (L.A. Streetsblog)
Metro has mailed its latest fact sheet to addresses in Beverly Hills, Century City and portions of Westwood that summarize the two reports released in October on seismic and tunneling issues in those areas. One local newspaper that has been railing against the possibility of the project tunneling under part of the Beverly Hills High campus declared its learning of the mailers was a scoop and that it had obtained a copy. Streetsblog editor’s Damien Newton’s response: please. Would you like to obtain a copy? Click on the page from the pamphlet at right for the pdf version of the four-pager or click here to read it on a web page.
U.N. agency: carbon dioxide at record levels (NPR/Associated Press)
Here’s the news: “The new figures for 2010 from the World Meteorological Organization show that CO2 levels are now at 389 parts per million, up from about 280 parts per million a quarter-millenium ago [the year 1750]. The levels are significant because the gases trap heat in the atmosphere.” Attentive readers already know that CO2 is a big-time byproduct of burning fossil fuels such as gasoline and that mass transit creates less greenhouse gases than do single-passenger cars, according to this study from the federal government.
Council votes to replace 6th Street Bridge (L.A. Times)
As expected, the Los Angeles City Council voted to replace the crumbling current double-arch structure with a cable-supported bridge. I know this has gotten a lot of attention, but I’ve had a hard time over the years seeing the current bridge as an architectural gem. It’s certainly a familiar structure, but that’s about it — at least in my book. Construction could begin in three years and take four years to complete, during which time the bridge would be closed. Traffic!
The feds have awarded the money to begin the environmental studies of adding a second track in some stretches of San Diego County where there’s only a single track, which slows trains down considerably. And, again, I raise the question I raised the other day: what’s the cost of speeding up Amtrak versus building an entirely new high-speed rail project?