Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Dec. 22

How the worm turns. When gas prices soared in 2008, the American Public Transportation Assn. trumpeted the highest mass transit ridership in decades. Now ridership is down 3.9 percent this year, which APTA attributes to the sour economy and a much higher unemployment rate than in ’08.

USA Today takes a look at HOT lanes — carpool lanes that charge solo motorists varying rates — and says they seem to be working in several places around the country. The focus of the short story are the new HOT lanes on I-95 in South Florida. As you likely know, parts of the 10 and 110 freeways are getting our own version of HOT lanes, too — they’re being called ExpressLanes here. Here’s a link to the project page on the Metro website.

LA Streetsblog is pleased to see zebra crosswalks coming to L.A., saying they’re more visible to motorists and thus safer for pedestrians. I concur. I’d also like to see more scramble crosswalks that allow pedestrians to walk in every direction. The problem, as I see it, is that in pedestrian-heavy parts of the city it’s hard for motorists to make right turns because crosswalks are filled with people. This leads to impatient motorists nosing through crosswalks with people in them, which is both illegal and unsafe. It also means that traffic backs up. Solution: more scramble crosswalks, people! P.S. Chinatown should get the first set.

The rest of today’s headlines, compiled by the elves in the Metro Library, are after the jump.

10 Biggest Problem Projects Of The Decade: Along With The Boom, Downtown Has Had Some 21st Century Busts
Los Angeles Downtown News

2009 Wrap-Up: With FEIR In-Hand, Expo Phase II Seems Ready To Roll, But Is It?
LA StreetsBlog

3-Hour Limit Placed On Airline Passengers’ Tarmac Waits: The Department Of Transportation Orders Airlines To Allow Passengers On Domestic Flights To Leave Airplanes
Los Angeles Times

Auditor: CalTrans Inflated Job Data To Feds
Sacramento Bee

Can Dial-A-Ride Get High Ridership From Low Density?
Human Transit

Downturn In Public Transit Ridership Reflects Economic Times

Education Key To Reversing Trend In Bicycle Accidents
Long Beach Press-Telegram

Expo Line Phase II’s Latest: Colorado Route, Ground-Breaking Chatter
LA Curbed

Final Plan For Expo Line From Culver City To Santa Monica Released

The Human Side Of Transit
EDF Way2Go

Implementing Transportation Knowledge Networks
U.S. Transportation Research Board
Full-text document (85p. PDF)

The Infrastructure Show (archived podcasts now available)
Infrastructure Show

Is LADOT Finally Embracing Zebra Crosswalks?
LA StreetsBlog

L.A. City Retirements Threaten A Deep And Lasting Legacy: The Exodus Of Employees Approved To Ease Budget Problems Will Drain The Workforce Of Many Experienced People And Leave Los Angeles Officials Hampered In Hiring Replacements Until 2024
Los Angeles Times

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension 2009 State Of The Project
Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority

More Accessible Cabs Hit Cities
(retrofitted minivans become wheelchair-accessible taxis)
USA Today

New Report: Climate Instruments In The Transport Sector (CITS)
The City Fix

New Toll Lanes Untangle Commutes
(HOT lanes)
USA Today

Pod Cars: Climate Solution Or Pipe Dream?
Solve Climate

Risky Roads: Traffic Experts Have An Arsenal Of Solutions
Long Beach Press-Telegram

Roundabouts (images and descriptions of various types of roundabouts with different designs and purposes)
Fiets Beraad (Netherlands)

Route 66: Immortalized But Mortal
Los Angeles Times

San Francisco Announces Car Free Party Schedule, Will L.A. Get Ever The Same?

The Safety Bogeyman (Narrow, auto-centric focus of EIRs fail to account for other modes of transportation)

Tell Your Transit Troubles Here
Los Angeles Downtown News