Transportation headlines, Friday, Feb. 5

The L.A. Times takes a look at the outcome of yesterday’s Expo Line meeting and what it means for the Westside. After approval yesterday by the Expo Line Construction Authority board, construction of the 7-mile extension could start later this year. Anyone who knows transit in L.A. knows that the Westside is the one place that has really been left out of the rail building boom of the last 20 years — currently rail in Los Angeles only goes as far west as Wilshire and Western in Koreatown. That’s a long way from the beach. Despite this fact and the often crippling traffic in the Westside, there a number of residents who are opposed to the light rail line unless a costly underground alternative is built between Overland Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard. The approval by the Expo Line board yesterday means the line is going to be constructed as planned, but opponents are threatening to file a lawsuit that could delay construction. If all goes as planned, officials hope Angelenos will be able to travel from Santa Monica to Downtown L.A. on the new light rail line by 2015.

Portland is going all out for bicyclists and trying to become the Copenhagen of the U.S. with a 20-year, $613-million plan to build 681 miles of bikeways across the city. Portland, which is also a leader in light rail transit, spent $575 million building the new MAX Green Line light rail — so the metro area is going to be spending more on cyclists than its newest rail line, assuming it can come up with the money. Wow. In addition to the hundreds of miles of dedicated bikeways, there are also plans for improved street design and a public outreach program to encourage and educate residents about getting around on bikes. There is some worry about the massive costs, but as one Portland city official notes, the $613 million if spent on freeways would only amount to about 12 miles of new road.

UCLA’s Be A Green Commuter Blog attended a recent meeting for Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus, another transit agency facing a nightmarish budget crisis and planning drastic changes to solve it. The big (bad) news? Due to rising operating costs and declining subsidies, fares are going up — from 75 cents to at least $1.25, maybe $1.50. Ouch. There is some positive news: Big Blue Bus is getting more eco-friendly hybrid buses, some snazzy new bus stops and a new website that promises NextBus arrival technology and social media features.

Check out the rest of today’s headlines, compiled by the Metro Library, after the jump.

330 Citations Handed Out To Drivers & Pedestrians In Blue Line Sting

Active Design Guidelines: A New Definition For Sustainable Cities
Urban Omnibus

An Analysis Of Transportation For America’s Jobs Proposals
Economic Policy Institute

The Backbone Bikeway Network – Valley Edition
Jeremy Grant

Camera Plan To Catch Speeders Stalls In California
Sacramento Bee

Car-Sharing Membership Grew By 117% In North America Between 2007-2009
Full-Text Report

DOT Pushes Stimulus Payouts To $8.8 Billion
Journal of Commerce

Golden State Kicks In $20 Million For Hybrid Trucks And Buses
Fleet Owner

Highway Stimulus Inequities Shocking
(The USDOT has disclosed that of the $48 billion in federal stimulus funds committed for highway construction thus far, only 2% were committed to disadvantaged and minority contractors)
Transportation Equity Network

Journey To The Center Of Manhattan (photo slideshow from construction 100 feet below Grand Central Station in preparation for central hub in 2016)
WNYC Radio

L.A. County Red-Light Violation Fines Have Jumped 65% To $446, Times Review Finds
Los Angeles Times

More On The Ins And Outs Of New Starts Funding
LA Curbed

Next American Vanguard
(annual conference for the next generation of urban leaders)
Next American City
Next American Vanguard’s Next Acts (updates on previous vanguards)

Officials Approve Plans For Expo Line Route On Westside: Some Neighborhoods Disagree With Proposal And Want Parts Of The Route Underground
Los Angeles Times

Pasadena Comes Up With Plan To Keep Walkers, Bikers Safe
Pasadena Star-News

Portland Promotes Urban Cycling, But Costs Will Be High: The Eco-Conscious City Plans To Build More Than 680 Miles Of New Bikeways In The Coming Two Decades At A Cost Of $613 Million
Christian Science Monitor

Senate Dems To Call Up Jobs Bill Monday – With Transport Details TBA
DC StreetsBlog

States, Cities Target Handicap Parking Fraud
USA Today

Tour Of Restaurants Along Extended Gold Line

Transit Advertising And Transit Self-Esteem
Human Transit

Transport-Related Apps For Your Smartphone
The City Fix

Two Bike Stations To Open In California (Claremont and Covina Metrolink stations)
Bicycle Retailer And Industry News

Two Troubling Transportation Numbers For The Obama Administration
DC StreetsBlog

Updated STB Study: Railroads’ Rate Hikes Not A Market Power Play
Progressive Railroading

Wrap Up: Big Blue Bus Explains Proposed Fare Hikes, Presents Bus Stop Redevelopment At Annual Community Meeting; Bus riders Ask Amusing Questions
Be A Green Commuter

Categories: Transportation News