Transportation headlines, Monday, May 24

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.

Interstate 710: A chance to close an L.A. freeway gap (L.A. Times)

The Times throws its support behind the proposal to close the gap in the 710 freeway. The Metro board is scheduled to decide whether to launch a new round of studies on improving traffic around the gap between Alhambra and Pasadena at Thursday’s board meeting. The Times believes that fixing the 710 gap will help create a more functional traffic network and reduce congestion and pollution from idling vehicles.

Is location-based social networking practical in spread-out Los Angeles? (L.A. Times)

Location-based social networking is growing in popularity thanks to the increased acceptance of GPS-enabled smart phones, but the L.A. Times wonders if this type of service has much use in L.A. where casually meeting up with friends is no easy task. L.A.’s sprawling nature and unpredictable traffic tends to render location-based apps (like Foursquare) into nothing more than online location diaries while in more walkable cities the apps actually facilitate face-to-face interactions. What’s interesting is that in the comments to the article, readers note that in Los Angeles the demographic group thattend to use these apps are actually more likely to live in the more centralized, urban parts of L.A. where they can get around on foot or bike.

Public Transportation: Social Service or Utility? (The Lookout)

Columnist Frank Gruber has an interesting take on transit fares – namely he wants to rethink the way people look at public transit. Most see transit as a social service and a last resort for those who can’t afford cars, but Gruber thinks it should be viewed as a utility – like the water or power company. He feels this change in perspective will lead to a change in policy that will allow transit agencies to more fairly adjust fares to maximize revenue and ridership.