Transportation headlines, Thursday, May 6

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.

No federal transportation bill until next year? (Journal of Commerce)

Rep. John Mica, the ranking Republican on the House’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said that it’s beginning to appear unlikely that a bill will emerge this year. The bill is expected to carry a price-tag in the neighborhood of $500 billion — the last federal transpo bill, signed by President Bush in 2005, was for $286.4 billion — and Congress has to figure out how to pay for it. The bill is extremely important to Metro and other transit agencies because it may rewrite funding formulas for mass transit and also provide money for projects such as high-speed rail.

Capping freeways (USA Today)

Several metro areas, including here, want to build parks atop freeways as a way to reconnect neighborhoods divided by concrete trenches. In Cincinnati, for example, Interstate 71 long ago cut off the Queen City’s downtown from the Ohio River, relegating pedestrians to a few bridges or underpasses to get to the river or stadiums for the Reds and Bengals. There are four proposals in the Los Angeles area to build parks atop freeways, including my personal favorite — which would cap parts of the Hollywood Freeway between the Civic Center and Olvera Street. The park that La Canada-Flintridge built over the 210 freeway is a nice example of such efforts.


Bus service came to the freeways 50 years ago today (Primary Resources, Metro Library’s blog)

In response to the growth of the suburbs and growing traffic congestion, the Metropolitan Transit Authority decided to move some bus service to area freeways. Ads promised “fast new service melts miles and minutes off the map” and “Here’s how to live closer to your job without moving.” Primary Resources posted a couple of the ads, as well as a map of the monorail system that transit planners envisioned at the time to get commuters moving again.