Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Feb. 24

Looks like the ante may soon be upped in the war on distracted driving: a bill in Sacramento would quintuple the fines for driving-and-texting and also extend the no texting ban to cyclists, reports the Sacramento Bee. Don’t laugh. I’ve actually seen cyclists thumb-tapping away while pedaling down some busy streets.

Curious about public transit connections between the Musée des Enfants and the Musée des Brasseurs Belges for the next time you visit Brussels? Don’t fear (hint: take the No. 71 bus!). Google Transit now covers Brussels, reports CIO, and plans to add a lot more cities in Europe to its vast digital storehouse of information. Metro was put on Google Transit last year.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is in Washington D.C. this week trying to get a loan to speed up construction of the Westside Subway Extension as part of his “30/10” plan to build a dozen Measure R projects in the next decade. Kitty Felde of KPCC reports and notes that the federal government has never issued a loan such as the one that the mayor is seeking.

Best story of the day is at the Huffington Post about a General Motors worker who is commuting between his home in Wisconsin and a GM job that moved to Kansas. Why? With his wife needing chemotherapy, the worker didn’t want to lose his health insurance, nor did he want to uproot his family.

The rest of today’s transportation headlines, compiled by the Metro library, are after the jump. 45 Years Ago: Council Committees Back Plan To Put Convention Center In Elysian Park
Blog Downtown

Aviation Data Suggests A Mixed-Bag Of Rail Riders
(To what extent will high-speed rail demand impact corridor air travel?)
New Republic
Related Report: Expect Delays – An Analysis Of Air Travel Trends In The United States (Brookings Institution)

Bill Would Raise Hands-Free, Texting Fines, Extend Bans To Bicyclists
Sacramento Bee

California’s High Speed Rail Dream

Cities Shortening Yellow Traffic Lights For Deadly Profit: Some Cities Have Been Shortening Yellow Lights To Nab Drivers With A Ticket, But Studies Show That they’re Raking In the Bucks At The Expense Of Public Safety

Clock’s Ticking On Expo Phase II Lawsuit: Opponents Vow To Get It Filed By Next Week
LA StreetsBlog

Fate Of 6,000 Orange County Transit And Construction Jobs In Gov’s Hands
Pacific Progressive

GM Autoworker Commutes 1,000 Miles To Keep Job
(An eight-minute commute turns into 8 hours after the job he can’t afford to leave moves away)
Huffington Post

Google Transit Launches In Europe

House Lawmakers Hail Transportation Stimulus – But Add Three Caveats
DC StreetsBlog

It Takes A Bike: An Ex-Peace Corps Volunteer’s Bike Donation Program For Developing Countries Aims To Boost Local Economies
NYU LiveWire

James Corner And Santa Monica Are Made For Each Other
(New project brings together transit, contemporary architecture and design, open space, housing and pedestrian amenities)
Los Angeles Times

LA Mayor Villaraigosa Asks Congress For Bridge Loan To Build “Subway To The Sea”
Southern California Public Radio

New Searchable Tool: Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Performance Measurement Knowledgebase
U.S. DOT Federal Highway Administration Emergency Transportation Operations

One Year Later, The Verdict Is In: Stimulus Is Working
U.S. DOT Fast Lane Blog

Passenger Rail Initiative Could Give Boost To Freight: In Addition To Saving Fuel And Cutting Emissions, Proposed High-speed Rail Network Would Free Up More Track For Freight
DC Velocity

Preparing For 2014-15 “Oil Crunch” Forecast By UK Industry Group

Transit Officials Talk Plans For San Bernardino Hub
San Bernardino Sun

U.S. Chamber Launches First-Ever Project To Measure Transport Performance: Study By Nation’s Biggest Business Trade Group To Quantify Performance Of Nation’s Infrastructure And Analyze Impact On U.S. Economy
DC Velocity

Vroom! It’s Time To Talk Speed Limit Increases At City Council
LA StreetsBlog

Want To Foster Walking, Biking And Transit? You Need Good Parking Policy
LA StreetsBlog
Full-Text Report: U.S. Parking Policies: An Overview Of Management Strategies
(86p. PDF)