Transportation headlines, Friday, March 18

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.

If L.A. freeways aren’t free (L.A. Times)

After two L.A.-area politicians — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) and Gary Miller (R-Diamond Bar) — came out against Metro’s ExpressLanes project, the L.A. Times editorial board steps up to counter some of the arguments against the experimental program, which would let solo drivers pay a fee to use carpool lanes on parts of I-10 and I-110. The Times draws an interesting comparison: “If you want to park on Wilshire Boulevard in the middle of the day, you’ll probably have to put money into a parking meter.” By paying a small fee, drivers are available to avoid circling the block looking for a free spot. The writers also make the critical point that all the revenues generated are required by law to be reinvested in carpool and transit projects in those corridors.

Where to drill next: Main Street (NRDC Switchboard)

Deron Lovass makes the case that America’s largest untapped petroleum reserves are right in our driveways. It’s all the gasoline we could save by investing in public transportation — as much as four million gallons every day by 2030. And when commuters are spending less on gasoline, they can invest that money in their families and the local economy.

Editorial: law enforcement needs to crack down on people who phone, text while driving (Daily News)

Here are some eye-opening statistics about distracted driving: “The national survey by Consumers Union found that as many as 63 percent of drivers under age 30 admitted to using a handheld phone in the previous month. Nearly one-third also said they texted during the same time period.” Accordingly, the Daily News urges local law enforcement and the California Highway Patrol to prioritize cracking down on this dangerous form of distracted driving.