Loosely related to transpo news: First, I hope everyone who used the Gold Line to reach Pasadena for the parade and two football games in the past week had a good experience.
Second, how the heck do the officials miss the horse collar tackle on the Florida State player toward the end of last night’s national title game? If Auburn is penalized 15 yards, perhaps the Seminoles would have scored sooner, perhaps giving the Tigers a little more time to get in the range of a potential game-tying field goal as the clock wound down. Bad, bad non-call in an otherwise excellent football game. I hope players and fans from both teams are proud of their efforts and that student-athletes return heartily to their books, as most of them — as skilled as they are — will never play in the National Football League.
Jerry Brown eyes cap-and-trade money for high-speed rail (Sacramento Bee)
California’s governor has been a proponent of the state bullet train project and knows it will need billions of dollars to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. As a result, his budget — due for release Friday — may propose using millions of dollars from the state’s new carbon tax to help pay for the train, which is seen by some as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions because the trains may be less polluting than cars (it depends largely on type of fuels both use and, if electricity, how that power is created).
In a follow-up column to the news story, Dan Walters challenges the emissions question, pointing out that pollution from construction of the project may make it less than green for many decades. For what it’s worth, one recent UCLA study found that Metro’s Gold and Orange lines would result in lower greenhouse gas emissions even with construction factored in. Important caveat: the Gold and Orange lines were much, much smaller projects than the bullet train, which involves extensive tunneling and the building of elevated structures to completely separate the train from roads.
How to be a better Californian (Zocalo Public Square)
Great column by Joe Mathews with some suggestions on ways to improve your civic profile in 2014. Among them: using public transit and biking from time to time! As an aside, Joe also suggests everyone visits where their water comes from — a superb idea! If you live in L.A. County that’s perfect reason to visit the Sierra Nevada, which sends water into either the California Aqueduct or Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Ice and snow from the ongoing cold snap stopped three trains, including one that originated in Los Angeles and another from San Francisco. After a night aboard the trains, passengers were rescued by buses this morning. The accompanying photo inexplicably shows a train going through the snowy Sierra near Donner Pass — 2,000 miles from the actual news. Plus, the Sierra is basically wanting for snow this year; the Southern Sierra has 27 percent of the normal amount of snow for this date, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
Ah, the Ivory Tower hard at work. A study by George Mason University has found that getting rid of 43 percent of the bus stops near a college campus would result in 23 percent improvement in travel times. Shocker! The study also found that losing the stops wouldn’t result in lower ridership because students are healthy and vigorous enough to walk the extra distance to the bus stops that remain.
I’m not sure the world is a smarter place as a result of the study, but it raises the age-old question for transit agencies: what is the optimal number of bus stops? Hey, maybe that’s not even the big question anymore. Perhaps we should be asking what’s the best way to speed up boarding and get buses moving on streets with frequent (and uncooperative) traffic signals.
Categories: Transportation Headlines