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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.
As the City Grew: Historical Maps of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Public Library)
Get yourself over to the Central Library for As the City Grew: Historical Maps of Los Angeles. The exhibit, which traces the growth of Los Angeles, the nation’s second largest city, features 34 historical maps from the Library’s 100-year-old map collection. The maps are on display through November 4 at the Central Library, First Floor Galleries, 630 W. Fifth Street in downtown.
House Republicans to unveil transportation bill (Washington Post)
The House Republican plan to fund the country’s transportation system will be introduced today. The bill which would shift more decision-making authority to state governments and would also reduce the time allotted for environmental scrutiny of projects and encourage the private construction of toll roads. Totaling about $260 billion over a five-year span, the House proposal would continue to fund transportation programs at close to current levels.
One Metro, Three Vastly Different Approaches to Public Transit (The Atlantic Cities)
Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington; three Texas cities with a combined population approaching 6.4 million and three different approaches to public transit. The nation’s ninth largest city, Dallas operates the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART), funded through a one percent sales tax in the 13 member cities across four counties. Thanks to the voter-approved tax referendum, DART has created the country’s largest light rail network. Fort Worth funds its single county transit program through a referendum-based half-cent sales tax while Arlington, the country’s 50th largest city, “has the honor of being the largest city in America to not support transit service.” To read the full story, go to The Atlantic Cities.
CicLAvia 2012: April 15th Route Announced (kcet.org)
This year, the day most of us know as Tax Day, Angelenos will have a more pleasant way to spend their weekend than working on their taxes: CicLAvia, the city’s nod to a popular idea that came to us from Bogota, Colombia, and demonstrates the evolution of attitudes in Los Angeles about the use of our streets. The 10.5-mile route for the April event, the same as last October’s, runs between East Hollywood and Boyle Heights with spurs to El Pueblo and South L.A. Go to the CicLAvia website to learn more about this community event for everyone and a rare chance to get out and walk, bike and skate along a 10.5 mile long park also known as L.A.’s streets.
A new podcast from Brookings notes that while “It’s self-evident that construction projects and infrastructure investments create jobs… there’s a difference between building a “bridge to nowhere” and investing in the long-term growth and strength of the U.S. economy.” The challenge, argues a Brookings researcher, is to invest in projects that provide real and lasting value.
By L.A.’s own estimate, 42 percent of its 10,750 miles of sidewalks are in disrepair. Now, in addition to testifying before the City Council, writing letters and blaming the ficus trees, some of the city’s disabled are suing, alleging that the condition of many city sidewalks violates the federal Americans With Disabilities Act.
To date, the city has settled two of the lawsuits for $85 million. While that money will be used over the next 20 years to build thousands of sidewalk access ramps at curbs, four other pending suits could cost the city hundreds of millions of dollars more in needed repairs. To fix all of the city’s out of compliance sideways officials estimates the cost at over $1.5 billlion.