Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Jan. 25

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.

Long Beach takes its bike plan progress to the riders (Long Beach Press Telegram)

Over the last few years, Long Beach has rightfully earned the reputation as So Cal’s most bike friendly city. Since 2001’s long range plan was adopted, the city has installed a slew of bicycling infrastructure, such as painted bike lanes, sharrows and bike boulevards.  Overall, biking is up in the city and the number of accidents is holding steady. But transportation officials are not resting on their laurels: Mobility Coordinator Charlie Gandy is leading a series of workshops seeking input from residents in advance of the next long range plan.

Deadline pressure threatens high-speed rail (Fresno Bee)

Now that the San Joaquin Valley has been tabbed as home to the first 115-mile segment of high-speed rail construction, the California High-Speed Rail Authority will have to keep a brisk pace to meet upcoming federal deadlines. The Fresno Bee takes a look at some of those deadlines — a finalized environmental review by this September, construction started by 2012 and completion by 2017 — and what it will take to meet them.

Signal synchronization project OK’d (Daily News)

Through a grant from the California Transportation Commission, the city of L.A. will be able to synchronize a number of intersections in the western San Fernando Valley.  Trips times along certain roads will be cut by as much five minutes on a 30-minute drive.  In addition, the same round of grants will give local transit a safety and mobility boost, namely the following:

$46.55 million to install rail collision avoidance technology along the Metrolink system and Pacific Surfliner Intercity Rail Corridor.

$2.94 million to install rail collision avoidance technology along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks from Los Angeles to Fullerton.

$20 million to convert high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes along the I-10 and I-110 corridors.

$33.99 million for the acquisition of 100 compressed natural gas (CNG) buses by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.

With Los Angeles as inspiration, San Diego enviros call for 50/10 plan (Streetsblog L.A.)

San Diego is not only inspired by L.A.’s 30/10 plan, they’re hoping to one up it with with the 50/10 plan. That’s right: 50 years of planned projects in 10 years. The idea is a bit different in concept than 30/10, which is focused solely on transportation. San Diego’s proposal aims at speeding up investment in other areas including mixed-use development, density and renewing the urban core.

Understanding the Republican Party’s reluctance to invest in transit infrastructure (The Transport Politic)

It’s no secret to regular readers that the Republicans in Washington have some pretty radical ideas for balancing the national debt by axing a whole bunch of federal transit programs. The Transport Politic takes a closer look at this Republican aversion to transit and discovers that more than anything it comes down to geography. The majority of Republican Congress members represent low density districts (where transit projects are not feasible) whereas Democrats for the most part represent dense urban districts where transit projects make sense.

Basics: conceptual triangles (Human Transit)

I’m not much of a mathlete but I do enjoy Human Transit’s lessons in transit geometry – and this lesson about the conceptual triangles of transit is no exception. According to Mr. Walker, there are three points that make up the transit triangle: development (density and walkability), service (frequency and span) and ridership. Start at one point (development for example) connect to another (service) and the result is the third (ridership). Here’s the equation for that particular problem: high densities + good service = high ridership. How can we use this concept to understand what works and doesn’t work in L.A. transit?