Art of Transit 1:
Art of Transit 2:
Deep under New York (Reuters)
Nice photo gallery of the Eastside Access Project in Gotham. The new tunnels will finally allow the Long Island Railroad to stop at Grand Central Terminal on the east side of Manhattan. The LIRR currently only stops at Penn Station on the west side of Manhattan, meaning many commuters have to make their way back east.
This is a project with a nearly $10.2-billion overall budget, people. More here on the New York MTA website. The most startling fact: this is a project that has been talked about since the 1950s.
California high-speed rail’s should look like Germany’s (Zocalo Public Square)
In So Cal, it usually takes a little less than three hours to take the Amtrak between L.A. and San Diego. In Germany, Joe Mathews traveled about the same distance in 56 minutes and he really liked how the Germans have connected their bullet trains to cities and other transit. Excerpt:
High-speed rail doesn’t require saintly public officials; Cologne is famous for its corruption and political intrigue (while I was in town, a woman was elected mayor from her hospital bed after being stabbed in the neck by an anti-refugee lunatic). But high-speed rail does require smart governance, coordination and collaboration between different agencies and cities, and a comprehensive vision for transportation hubs as public spaces.
The bad news: Governance, collaboration, and public vision are hardly strengths of today’s California, and our current debate over high-speed rail focuses too much on making things cheap and unobstrusive. This is a recipe for failure.
The current budget estimate for building bullet train tracks — with many miles of tunnels of bridges — between San Francisco and L.A. is $68 billion. That figure has been the source of a lot of conversation about its size and accuracy and, to a lesser extent, where the money is going to come from.
Smart story, which notes there really isn’t any kind of one-stop shopping database for infrastructure-related injuries. But there is anecdotal evidence, starting with the dams that collapsed and the deadly floods during the huge rains in South Carolina last month. Old roads may not be safe. Concrete falls from old bridges. The lack of positive train control takes a toll as the years go by.
The story is keyed to the passage last week by the House of a transportation spending bill that the NYT notes still falls short of the kind of funding and vision needed to really repair and rebuild America’s infrastructure for the future. The Metro press release about the House passage praised the House for passing it and then noted it keeps funding at current levels while the Senate version of the same bill actually amounts to a small increase in funding.
Mapping 10 years of fatal traffic accidents (Metrocosm)
The screen grab above is just the So Cal section of the map — hit the link above to see the entire U.S. It’s pretty depressing and interesting to see the location of all the crashes/incidents (the map shows the ones that occurred between 2004 and 2013). As for the rate of fatalities, that varies from state to state. Here’s a view from the federal government’s database:
It’s interesting to see that California’s rate of traffic deaths is lower than many states. Hard to draw any conclusions although I’d be curious to know why Utah, Washington, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts have lower fatality rates. I know Utah now has an 80 mph speed limit on rural freeways and some dicey rural weather, which doesn’t strike me as a recipe for traffic safety.
That one thing: that some of the Icelandic landscapes featured may be altered by global warming. My three cents:
•If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, try walking, biking or taking transit instead of driving all the time.
•That Bieber song literally hurts my ears. A palate cleaner so to speak, also about big landscapes:
Recent How We Rolls:
Nov. 6: the future of the Orange Line and lowering your carbon footprint.
Nov. 5: Exxon Mobile and climate change research, 1965’s climate change warning and a pricey Boston parking space.
Nov. 3: why Supergirl should save trains or buses next, train signage issues at 7th/Metro, L.A. weighs slashing parking fines, how officials estimate ridership on future projects
Oct. 30: is The Force with mass transit?, a transit advocate — consumed by guilt — nonetheless buys a car, a commentary on the draft framework for Metro’s potential ballot measure.
Oct. 29: McDonald’s and the driving habits of Americans, to convert or not convert the Orange Line to rail and a great podcast on what keeps bridges from not falling down.
Categories: Transportation Headlines