Transportation headlines, Friday, April 23

Here’s a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog. Don’t forget you can also follow the Metro Library on Facebook and Twitter.

Denver launches bike-sharing program (B-Cycle)

City officials say it’s the first large bike sharing program in the U.S. and is modeled on popular programs overseas that allow users to rent a bike at one location and drop off at another. Denver has 40 stations initially and an annual membership fee of $65, which advocates hope will lure residents and tourists alike into taking a spin on a bike instead of a ride in a car, at least some of the time.

NYC officials propose radical makeover of 34th Street (New York Times)

Why didn’t any of this stuff happen when I lived there? Sigh. After expanding sidewalks and plazas in Times Square and opening the High Line Park, city officials plan to basically cut 34th Street in half. The street would become a pedestrian plaza between 5th and 6th avenues. Traffic would flow east on the east size of the plaza and west on the west size. Only bus lanes would span the entirety of 34th Street and city officials believe the revised traffic patterns would improve bus speeds by 35 percent. It’s hard not to be impressed with the boldness of the plan.

A centralized valet for Santa Monica? (Santa Monica Daily Press)

The problem is nothing new: extra traffic created by motorists circling round and round while trolling for a parking spot. Santa Monica officials are thinking of trying a centralized valet system in their downtown area to give motorists multiple options where to drop off and pick up their car. Such a system could replace the more than two dozen valets run by private businesses.