Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Jan. 26

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.

Obama aims to boost infrastructure spending (Wall Street Journal)

The Journal notes that Obama’s infrastructure plans — discussed in his State of the Union speech Tuesday — will be challenged by the fact money for highway projects is already scarce and neither Democrats or Republicans have shown any appetite for boosting funds by raising the federal gas tax. More details on where the money may come from are expected in the President’s next budget, to be released in February.

Should the government regulate “infotainment” systems? (NPR)

It looks like there will be more computer screens in cars in the future and that has raised questions about the impact of motorists glancing away from the road more often. In the old days, it was possible to reach for the air conditioning or radio knob. In some cars it will involve tapping a screen. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently visited Detroit to talk about districted driving — which results in about 5,000 deaths in the U.S. annually — but it’s not yet known whether the feds will crack down on infotainment devices in private vehicles.

High-speed rail officials propose aerial structure along 10 in SGV (California High-Speed Rail blog)

Facing community opposition to bullet train routes along existing rail corridors or surface streets, the state agency planning the high-speed rail line is investigating an aerial structure that would carry the train as much as 75 feet above the 10 freeway. This is for the planned connection between L.A. and San Diego — a segment, it should be noted, that would be built and funded after the Anaheim to San Francisco leg. So it’s a ways away from happening.

New figures confirm that 2010 was a hot year (New York Times Green blog)

In case you missed the news: two American government agencies say that 2010 was tied for the warmest year on record while the British say it was the second warmest. The news comes on the heel of cold snaps in the U.S. and Europe while the Arctic is experiencing much warmer than usual temperatures. Of course, many people believe global warming is the culprit; the weather may be crazy but the climate is trending warmer. By the way, taking transit is usually a good way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.