Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Jan. 6

I love stories about the United State’s waning car culture, like this one featured in Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail. It’s not that I like watching the once powerful auto industry die, it’s just nice to see that many Americans are starting to realize that car ownership is not like food and shelter – you don’t necessarily need one (or three) to survive and be happy. The article notes that despite the federal government’s cash-for-clunkers program, in 2009 the number of automobiles in the U.S. fell – by a whopping four million. Many blame the recession for this drop, but experts acknowledge that larger cultural changes may be at play here.

The L.A. Times has a story about the yearly drop in the number of cars on Los Angeles roads around the holidays. The columnist’s 35-mile commute from the farthest reaches of the San Fernando Valley to Downtown L.A. was reduced by 20 minutes during the holiday season – when many Angelenos are taking time off. Now that people are getting back to work, so is the traffic, and her commute has once again become long and unpredictable. My opinion? The solution, of course, is mass transit – but since mass transit is not (and can never be) everywhere, people must choose to live and work near transit. Granted, not everyone has the luxury, but the alternative is to extract happiness from those few weeks at the end of the year when traffic is light and predictable. Not ideal.

The Daily News has a story that was curiously absent from The Source (oops): L.A. city officials have requested a loan from the federal government to speed up Measure R programs. Tapping into the proposed National Infrastructure Development Bank, city officials hope a loan will jump start transportation projects so voters won’t have to wait 30 years to see their sales tax dollars come to life.

Check out the rest of today’s headlines after the jump.

Are [Transit-Oriented Developments] Over-Parked?
Reconnecting America
University of California Transportation Center Policy Brief (2p. PDF)
Full-text report (54p. PDF)

California Watchdog: Historic Reviews Slow Stimulus
Huffington Post

Cars, Community Gain Equal Footing From Living Streets
Washington Park: The Profile

The Case Against Bike Paths
LA StreetsBlog

Computers Guide Traffic Lights To Reduce Congestion For Commuters, Other Drivers
Washington Post

Crossing The Bay Again – But Not Necessarily With BART
Transport Politic

Environmental Reviews: Helpful (And Hurtful) to Many Ideologies
LA StreetsBlog

Facebook Site Takes A Look At Red-Light Camera Tickets
Public CEO

Federal Agencies May Have To Consider Climate Before They Act
Los Angeles Times

Group Urges Comment On City Bike Plan (Friday is last day to offer recommendations)
Los Angeles Downtown News

L.A. Seeks Federal Loan To Speed Measure R Projects
Los Angeles Daily News

LADOT: We’re Too Poor To Staff Bike Advisory Committee Meetings
LA StreetsBlog

Leadership From Columbus: A Great Transit Advocacy Website
Human Transit

New Contract Keeps Foothill Transit Buses Rolling
Southern California Public Radio

A Real L.A. Gift: Light Holiday Traffic (Sandy Banks speaks with LACMTA’s Doug Failing and Transit Coalition’s Bart Reed about this seasonal phenomenon)
Los Angeles Times

Stretch Of Grand Avenue May Be Transformed Into A Park: The Street Would Be Narrowed Between 9th And Olympic In Downtown L.A.’s South Park Neighborhood To Create Green Space For Residents
Los Angeles Times

Transit Fare Inflation Hitting Health Insurance-Like Levels?
DC StreetsBlog

Understanding The Rise And Fall Of Urban Economies
Seeking Alpha

U.S. Car Ownership Shifts Into Reverse
Globe and Mail

Ventura Plans To Begin Several Road Projects This Year
Ventura County Star

The Web 2.0 Paper Trail Problem
(As more public agencies use social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, their IT officials are trying to determine whether those communications should be archived — and how to do it)

West Hollywood Shows Us How To Use Stimulus Funds To Make A Difference
LA StreetsBlog

Westwood One Acquires Sigalert
Los Angeles Business Journal

When The Streetcars Return
LA Metblogs

Whittier Plans To Install New Bus Stops
Whittier Daily News

Categories: Transportation News