Transportation headlines, Monday, March 14

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.

A bike shop in Tokyo on Friday evening after the earthquake struck. Photo by Alex Williams, via Flickr.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.

In pursuit of a way home, commuters turn to bikes in Tokyo (The Urban Country)

Facing an arduous commute with rail lines shut down and roads clogged or damaged, many people in Tokyo visited the local bike shop to buy a bike. Some reports indicate that shops sold out of bikes quickly, perhaps because many of the city’s residents face commutes too long to walk.

Japanese rail lines running on limited basis (Bloomberg)

Many rail lines around the country on Monday were running, at best, limited service. Crowds were very heavy in the Tokyo subway, which is normally the world’s busiest with eight million daily boardings.

Interactive map of the damage from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami (New York Times)

The map shows the great extent of the damage to the country and its infrastructure and also allows viewers to see well organized photos from across Japan. The photos are informative, surreal and in many cases very sad.

Toll lane project faces renewed opposition in Congress (L.A. Times)

Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Diamond Bar) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) both told The Times they oppose Metro’s ExpressLanes project to charge single motorists a variable toll to use carpool lanes on parts of the 10 and 110 freeways. Rep. Miller said it’s a form of double taxation; Waters said it creates a system of haves and have-nots. The story also noted that similar congestion pricing projects have been implemented in many other locales, including San Diego, Texas and Florida, where the toll lanes caused rush hour speeds to rise in both the toll lane and general purpose lanes. It remains unclear if the project could be stopped at this point even if Congress and the White House were to oppose it, which hasn’t happened anyway. Metro received a $210-million grant — initially approved by the Bush administration — to try the tolling experiment for one year. The money is also being used to purchase new Metrolink rail cars, rebuild the El Monte Transit Center and add an extra carpool lane on the 10 freeway between downtown L.A. and the 605 freeway. For more information on the toll lanes, which could open by 2012, visit the ExpressLanes FAQ on Metro’s website.

Census maps for L.A. County (blogdowntown)

Check out the informative maps created with recently released data from the 2010 Census. One of the maps tracks population growth (or loss) by census tract in L.A. County. Among the tracts that were big gainers: Playa Vista on the Westside and tracts in downtown L.A. and downtown Pasadena.

1 reply

  1. One of my cousins bicycled home from work after the earthquake.

    I haven’t asked where he got the bicycle from — if he keeps one at work or if he borrowed one or if it is a company bike.

    The Japanese are pretty good about bicycling… they have bike days in Tokyo where some streets are closed, but that’s mostly just recreational riding.

    I’m guessing that until they get the electricity up to full power, it may be jitensha instead of densha for a lot of commuters…