Transportation headlines, Tuesday, July 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.

City wants density; developer doesn’t (Wall Street Journal)

As BART expands to Silicon Valley and San Jose, city officials in San Jose want to densely develop the site of the area’s largest flea market with apartments, condos and an urban village. But the family that has long owned the flea market site wants to build single-family homes in a more traditional suburban style. And thus the conflict: big plans by cities trying to embrace new urbanism ideals often clash with those of private developers who need to make money.

How the media gets high-speed rail wrong (California High-Speed Rail blog)

Two reports on high-speed rail were released last week. One examined how high-speed rail has been successful around the world. The other, from academics, questioned ridership assumptions on the planned bullet train in the Golden State. The blog points out that media in California wrote about the ridership report and completely ignored the other one — the point being how quickly the media will embrace controversy and criticism of the project but turn a blind eye to any indication it may actually succeed.

What happened to public transit? (Huffington Post)

Writer John Robbins thinks transit in the U.S. has a long way to go just to get back to what it was in the early 20th century when most cities had ample streetcar systems. In the time since, he sees the lion’s share of transportation funding still going to roads — in which it’s labeled an investment while money for mass transit is oft-criticized for being a subsidy. The problem, of course, is that the interstate highway system made it easy for the nation to suburbanize and retrofitting those suburbs with mass transit, is proving to be a bear.