Transportation headlines, Thursday, Feb. 10

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.

John Mica questions California HSR Project (California High Speed Rail Blog)

The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, John Mica, is not a fan of the Obama Administration’s plans to help fund high speed rail to the tune of $53 billion over the next six years and he’s definitely not a believer in California high-speed rail. Ridership is his main concern – he has little faith that Californians will ride and worries that the operation of the line will require indefinite subsidies. The California High Speed Rail blog counters by noting that high-speed rail has a proven track record of profitability and that Mica’s worries about American high speed rail becoming a “Soviet-style train system” wouldn’t be so bad – Russia’s Sapsan high speed train has a profit margin of 30 percent.

CRA unveils draft plans for South Figueroa, public mostly positive (L.A. Streetsblog)

Damien Newton over at Streetsblog takes an in-depth look at presentation from the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) about a new project that aims to revitalize the South Figueroa corridor in downtown L.A. The three-mile corridor is currently a rather charmless strip of car lanes, parking lots, car dealerships and fast food joints. The project, called MyFigueroa, hopes to turn the stretch into something very different: a pedestrianized, bike-friendly, transit oriented street reminiscent of what one would see in Europe. The “best” proposal is the most dramatic as it shaves Figueroa down to two lanes of car traffic and the rest is dedicated to alternate modes.

Video: streetcar system proposed for downtown (CBS Los Angeles)

The news that the proposed $125-million downtown L.A. streetcar would bring $1.1 billion in economic development to the city caught the attention of CBS Los Angeles who produced this video. In the video, Tim Leiweke, CEO of AEG, pledges support for the project and praises its vision of connecting all the disparate elements of downtown L.A.