Transportation headlines, Thursday, July 29

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the librarys blog.

Picture This, and Risk Arrest (N.Y. Times)

This story is interesting considering this blog’s recent foray into discovery great examples transit photography. It seems there’s a great rift between government agencies and the camera equipped public. One man was arrested for taking pictures at an Amtrak station – for an Amtrak sponsored contest. He was later awarded a five-figure settlement for his wrongful arrest – photography is protected by the first amendment – but all comment about this incident on his website has since been removed. Since we’ve been posting transit photographs, we’ve received a number of tweets from photographers worried about getting arrested. I don’t write ’em, but Metro has a few photography guidelines, most seem to be in place in the name of passenger safety and smooth operation, that might be worth checking out.

Putting the American Commitment to High-Speed Rail in Context (Transport Politic)

The Transport Politic takes a look at the stark differences between European transportation planning and funding and the way things work here in the U.S. France is planning on spending €170 billion over the next decades to improve transport – and 95% of that money is going to projects that are NOT road based. Intercity passenger and freight rail project will receive or 50% of the funding. The U.S. on the other hand has a very vocal president and transport secretary in support of transportation alternatives – but their words can’t make up for the fact that there is a distinct lack of funding and planning to assume that the U.S. will be seriously moving from its auto-based transport model any time soon.

Reid Energy Bill: No $ for Transit, Billions for Electric and Natural Gas Cars (Streetsblog DC)

A perfect example of what was talked about in the previous headline: Streetsblog reports that a new energy bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sets aside NO money for transit and instead provides billions for so-called green vehicles. Real change, it seems, is hard to come by.