Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Nov. 25

I’m sure the folks at the Metro Library have Thanksgiving plans that need attention. But you wouldn’t know it — not the way they’re scouring the world wide web to bring you and me the latest, greatest transportation headlines.

The first story that caught my eye was at the top of the list. The Journal of Commerce says that Sen. Barbara Boxer is trying to get a massive federal transportation bill moving along in Congress. These bills must be made law every few years and Rep. James Oberstar, who chairs the House committee on transportation, has proposed a significant expansion of spending on mass transit over the 2005 transportation bill. Metro and many other transit agencies are watching this one with keen interest.

There’s a good post at Curbed LA on a project that Metro is involved in — how to improve the intersection of the 2 freeway and Glendale Boulevard. The idea is to increase open space and help traffic flow better. Once upon a time, the 2 was supposed to continue west across the Westside. It never did and so far, it’s fair to say there’s been a difference of opinion over how to make the end of the 2 freeway a happier place that better integrates with surrounding Echo Park. Here’s a link to the project page on the Metro website.

A headline not on the list that I caught on NPR this morning: the number of teens in the U.S. who are getting their driver’s license has dropped in recent years. Why? It’s expensive to drive, teens are finding plenty of things to do at home (video games and the internet) and they’re comfortable taking mass transit. I was driving when I heard this report and, to be honest, I seriously didn’t believe what I was hearing. I’m still not sure I believe it. I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where once you turned 16 driving was treated kind of like breathing: you didn’t question it, you just did it. Funny thing is, we had video games, too (Asteroids! Missile Command! Warlocks!). But cars — my mom’s Buick Regal, to be exact — were wrapped up in the whole “I’m just going over to her house to study” thing and even now I can’t help but smile when thinking of that clunker. I was a very good student!

I know: TMI. The rest of today’s headlines are after the jump.

Boxer Seeks White House Help On Highway Bill
Journal Of Commerce

Checklists To Rethink The Streetspace

“Cities For Cycling” Could Have Huge Impact On Bikeway Innovation
(new coalition of America’s largest cities look to break the shackles of rigid federal roadway design guidelines)
Bike Portland

Congress For The New Urbanism Transportation Summit 2009 (slideshow presentations now online)
Congress For The New Urbanism

DeFazio, Perlmutter Drafting New Version Of Wall Street Transport Tax
DC StreetsBlog

DHS Launches Critical Infrastructure Web Site
Link to website
Link to plan (188p. PDF)

Downtown’s Angels Flight Clears Latest Hurdle
Curbed LA

Environmental Defense Fund Starts Transportation Blog
The City Fix
Link to EDF Way2Go website

Great Los Angeles Walk 2009: Eight Hours And 17.4 Miles Later, We Did It!
Franklin Avenue

Hip-Hip-Hooray! San Gabriel Valley Comes Together To Celebrate Future
I Will Ride

Interview: Joseph Boardman, AMTRAK, President & CEO
(video: speaking on federal appropriation funding, light-rail, modernization capacities, security)

LA Animated: Sic Regional Transit
LA Observed

Little Change To Southland Gasoline Prices
Los Angeles Daily News

OCTA Board Finalizes Bus Cuts: Decreased Frequency, More Transfers, And No 24-Hour Service
TransitRider OC

Proponents Say Transit Should Be A Free Ride

Proposed Locally Preferred Alternative For 2 Freeway Terminus Not Preferred By Locals
LA Curbed

Travel Demand In The Context Of Growing Diversity: Considerations For Policy, Planning, And Forecasting (6p. PDF)
Transportation Research Board

Underground Psychology: Researchers Have Been Spying On Us On The Subway – Here’s What They’ve Learned

U.S. Highway Travel Rises As Economy Recovers

The War On Trucking Continues
Logistics Management

What Will It Take For Caltrans To Decide To “Fix-It-First?”
LA StreetsBlog
Sierra Club Fix It First Webpage