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.
High-speed rail plan would electrify Caltrain tracks (San Francisco Chronicle)
The state’s high-speed rail plans continue to be modified to make the bullet train more affordable and practical to build. The latest plan would have the high-speed rail trains running on the tracks that commuter rail currently uses in the Los Angeles and San Francisco metro areas.
In San Francisco, the plan would electrify the tracks that Caltrain uses between San Jose and San Francisco. That would allow electric-powered high-speed rail trains to use the existing tracks on the San Francisco Peninsula rather than building a whole new set of tracks.
In Southern California, the Chronicle reports that a series of improvements would be made to Metrolink tracks to eliminate or improve crossings and add extra track. The plans at this point don’t include electrifying Metrolink’s lines — a very big undertaking as Metrolink covers vastly more territory than Caltrain.
The new green benches appearing around the city of L.A. are an improvement on the old brown ones, opines writer Alissa Walker. But many of the benches sit out in the sun with no shade — which means people waiting for the bus are often standing nearby in any shade that can be found. The benches, by the way, are provided by firms that sell outdoor advertising on them as a way to make money.
SGV Board backs completion of Highway 39 to Wrightwood (Whittier Daily News)
The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments voted to oppose Caltrans’ effort to permanently abandon the 4.4 miles of Highway 39 between Crystal Lake and the Angeles Crest Highway. That stretch has been closed since 1978 due to mudslides. My two cents: If 39 was open, it would be used by commuters between the high desert and the San Gabriel Valley and that, I fear, would be chaos and unsafe. This is a narrow, twisty road through the Angeles National Forest and the last thing it needs is more traffic.