Transportation headlines, Tuesday, March 16

The Daily Mail has a particularly sad story about Nancy Underwood, a 89-year-old woman who lives in a small village in southwest England who must take a 14-mile bus ride to cross the street. Why? Because the nearest pedestrian crosswalk for the busy street is three miles away. For Nancy, a trip right across the street and back takes 90 minutes.

Mayor Villaraigosa’s 30/10 plan to fund transit projects may become a model for the rest of the country, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The model involves the federal government backing loans supported by commitments from local taxpayers (like Measure R) to reduce the risk to Washington. The idea has actually received some bipartisan support and if it works could wind up being the solution to many of the infrastructure problems the U.S. faces.

In psychology there is a theory called the fundamental attribution error that can be useful in understanding why we make the transportation choices we make. In essence, the fundamental transportation error says that we mistakenly attribute behaviors to personal choices rather than environmental reasons. In transportation, the thinking is usually that there are “car people” and “transit people” and people choose to be one of those things based on who they are – be it an environmentalist, poor student, or elderly person. The Psystenance blog calls this thinking a fundamental attribution error and concludes that while individuals may have a personal preference to a particular mode, the built infrastructure plays a much larger role in determining how we choose to get around. In other words, most people in L.A. drive because there’s a lot of auto infrastructure, not necessarily because they prefer driving to anything else.

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

After A Year, How Are [Department Of Homeland Security] And [Transportation Security Administration] Doing?

National Journal Transportation Blog

Angels Flight, The “Shortest Railroad In The World,” Reopens In Downtown L.A.

Los Angeles Times

Bay Area Officials Want Transit Funds Restored

San Francisco Chronicle

Bicycling And Walking In The United States: 2010 Benchmarking Report Quick Fact Sheet (2p. PDF)

Alliance For Biking & Walking

Blocking Bike Lanes With Cars Or Trash Cans Is Illegal


China To Bid On US High-Speed Rail Projects

Associated Press

The City As Platform


Cyclists Take On One Of L.A.’s Steepest Hills: At A Whopping 33% Incline, Fargo Street Is One Of The Sharpest Grades In L.A.

Los Angeles Times

From New York To Guangzhou: Lessons Learned From Congestion Pricing

The City Fix

The Good Haul: Freight Innovations For The 21st Century

Environmental Defense Fund Way2Go Blog

Full-Text Report (68p. PDF)

Housing + Transportation Affordability Index Methodology

Center For Neighborhood Technology & Center For Transit-Oriented Development

Ho-Hum Statistics Come Alive With Google Public Data Explorer (Google has launched a new experimental effort to visualize much of the public data it now searches and displays)

Los Angeles Times

L.A. Has Scored $591 Million In Stimulus Funds So Far


LaHood Reaches Out To Transit Industry, Lamenting “Lousy Economy”

StreetsBlog DC

Parsons Brinkerhoff Awarded US High-Speed Rail Contracts

International Construction

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles (Of The Future) (wearable motorcycles, NASA personal air vehicles, tubular rail, and space elevators)


Samples Will Mark Start Of Work On Metro Crenshaw Rail Line

Daily Breeze

State Transit Projects May Be U.S. Models (Measure R and 30/10 getting more attention outside of Los Angeles)

San Francisco Chronicle

A Time To Consider Local Fuel Fees (Could San Francisco become a model for transit financing?)

New York Times

[Today] Is “L.A. Transportation Freedom” Day


CalPirg: How Long Must You Work To Cover Your Transportation Costs?

What’s A “Train Cycle” And How Does It Affect Me?


Categories: Transportation News