Transportation headlines, Wednesday, July 7

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.

1922 Los Angeles: Unprecedented Growth, Congestion And A Plan For Relief (Primary Resources)

The Metro Library unearthed a fascinating 1922 thesis on Los Angeles transportation issues at the time. Chock full of maps, charts and telling facts – the paper reveals that traffic issues were at the forefront of L.A.’s problems even 90 years ago. At the time streetcars shared the streets with automobiles — often with conflicts — and elevating the streetcar lines was one suggestion to improve traffic.

In Westside Los Angeles, a Rail Line Stirs a Revival (NY Times)

The NY Times takes a look at the Expo Line and the redevelopment opportunities it brings to the Westside. One issue is density – it’s needed to make transit oriented projects viable, and drive ridership to the rail line, but locals fear that dense development will destroy the character of the neighborhoods Expo passes through.

Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia (TED Talks)

This TED talk looks at an interesting idea: taking the existing (and dying) infrastructure of suburbia and reusing it for denser and more urban development. In other words, taking a defunct mall and its mile-long parking lot and turning it into an urban mixed use town center complete. Sounds crazy, but speaker Ellen Dunham-Jones presents many examples where it’s been successfully done before.

Subway on the Street (New York Magazine)

Are buses the future of New York City’s transit system? Well, New York City has plenty of buses and their average speed is 7.5 mph, the bus system this article looks at is a burgeoning bus rapid transit (BRT) network in NYC. Inspired by other cities that have successfully implemented BRT, officials in NYC hope that dedicated bus lanes and improved buses and “bus stations” will increase the average speed and get New Yorkers moving in a way that is more affordable than the city’s financially struggling subway system.