Transportation headlines, Wednesday, August 11

Here is a look at some of the transportation headlines gathered by us and the Metro Library. The full list of headlines is posted on the library’s blog.

Beverly Hills City Council discusses subway tunneling under homes (The Patch)

This brief video gives you a taste of the discussion by the Council earlier this month over the prospect of subway tunneling under some Beverly Hill homes in the case that the Century City station is at Constellation and Avenue of the Stars instead of Santa Monica Boulevard and Avenue of the Stars. Here’s our recent poll that explains the issue and it should be noted that no decisions have yet been made about station locations.

Sidewalk riding in L.A. County (LADOT Bike Blog)

The city of L.A.’s bike blog tackles the tricky question of where riding a bike on a sidewalk is allowed in the county versus where it’s not. Going even further, the blog promises to look up the laws for all 88 cities in the county — a task I should note that will be both mind-numbing, fascinating and confusing. As for the city of L.A., it’s legal to ride on a sidewalk if not doing so in a reckless or dangerous manner. The blog runs through the ordinances in a few cities and sometimes they’re very clear (Santa Monica — no sidewalk riding) and sometimes they’re not (Beverly Hills — some sidewalk riding, but under certain conditions).

Please take a moment to stand up and applaud the Bike Blog for this effort. I suspect a lot of cities that prohibit sidewalk riding for safety reasons also have made little or no effort to help bikes safely navigate streets by providing signage, bike routes and bike lanes.

Be more like Manhattan to save the Earth, and don’t go halfway (Grist)

The website interviews author David Owens, who last year published a book titled “Green Metropolis: Why Living Smaller, Living Closer, and Driving Less Are the Keys to Sustainability.” Owens says that the most environmentally friendly place to live are very dense cities that are more energy efficient, promote walking and make having a car a miserable experience — and to move to a rural area is to basically move into a car. Owens also argues that the light rail being built in some places isn’t going to lure people from cars and, if anything, promotes sprawl if it allows people to live far from where they work. It’s a provocative interview.

Alhambra residents oppose high-speed rail (San Marino Tribune)

Many residents attending a presentation by the California High-Speed Rail Authority said they opposed all the bullet train alignments through their city. This echoes some of the opposition seen in other cities in the state. Of course, this is all hypothetical at this point: before the train is routed anywhere near Alhambra, the leg between Anaheim and San Francisco must first be completed and that’s no small feat.