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.
Expo Line: making South L.A. more accessible (Intersections South LA)
Photos show the current state of the present four westernmost stations on the line, with the post indicating that change around the stations is likely. We’ll see. Some rail stations in L.A. County have seen quite a bit transit-oriented development while others have not. At this point, Crenshaw seems the best candidate, with some developments in the works as well as the future Crenshaw/LAX Line.
Environmental objections in the path of bullet train (L.A. Times)
The state bullet train project certainly demands scrutiny because of its size and expense, not to mention some of the promises made by officials. The article takes a look at some of the possible impacts of construction and ponders whether those impacts would result in a net gain or loss for the environment, particularly in the San Joaquin Valley. Excerpt:
The California bullet train is promoted as an important environmental investment for the future, but over the next decade the heavy construction project would potentially harm air quality, aquatic life and endangered species across the Central Valley.
Eleven endangered species, including the San Joaquin kit fox, would be affected, according to federal biologists. Massive emissions from diesel-powered heavy equipment could foul the already filthy air. Dozens of rivers, canals and wetlands fed from the rugged peaks of the Sierra Nevada would be crossed, creating other knotty issues.
Fair enough, if somewhat over the top when it comes to the fear-mongering. Many impacts, of course, can be mitigated. If you are interested in the issue of greenhouse gases and construction of public transit projects, I highly recommend reading this FTA study. The gist of it: even when greenhouse gases created by construction are factored in, public transit still usually results in less overall greenhouse gases being created than if nothing was done and everyone drove everywhere.
Can our smart phones get us to walk more? (The Atlantic Cities)
There’s data showing Americans tend to walk a lot less than those in other countries, but what to do about it? Some people suggest that smart phone apps that provide directions to places such as transit will help, while others (read: me) think that lazy people will be lazy people with or without a smartypants phone.