Transportation headlines, Wednesday, June 8

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.

Creating Pacific Coast Highway and other landmark projects from 1924 (Metro Primary Resources Blog)

Over at our sister blog, Primary Resources, there’s an exciting new project afoot. Metro’s Transportation Librarians will be digitizing Occidental College’s complete collection of the publication California Highways, which was put out by the California Highway Commission every year from 1927 to 1964. Each edition provides a glimpse of our state’s history through the lens of the transportation projects of the day. It was a time when the automobile was beginning to take hold and our transportation infrastructure was being reworked in a massive way to accommodate and encourage private autos.

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa names Borja Leon as transportation deputy (Los Angeles Times)

As the title suggests, the vacancy left by Jaime de la Vega — he’s been nominated as new the general manager of the city’s transportation agency — has been filled by promoting Borja Leon. Leon formerly served as associate director of transportation, where he consulted with Metro staff on projects and countywide transportation policy on behalf of the city of Los Angeles. Leon’s number one priority at his new post: Picking up where de la Vega left off in promoting America Fast Forward.

Map of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Mountains, 1915 (Big Map Blog)

I love a good historical map of Los Angeles. There are always interesting nuggets to find buried in the details, like the names of cities that no longer exist or a swath of long-gone inland wetlands between Compton and Gardena. This map was commissioned by the Automobile of Southern California, and according to the blog, was “was among the first of its kind in the nation.”

Will congestion pricing ever catch on in the U.S.? (The New Republic)

As noted in yesterday’s headlines, a report from researchers in Toronto found that building more roads doesn’t reduce congestion, but congestion pricing can alleviate traffic delays by charging road users for their consumption of scarce road space. But there’s a rub, namely, will Americans accept congestion pricing? Perhaps if we were to see the benefits it’s having in London. Next America City notes that London’s program has improved average traffic speeds by 37%, “with delays to private journeys decreasing by 30% and bus journeys by 50%.” On top of that, the city accrues nearly $200 million in annual revenues from congestion fees, which it has plowed back into its public transit system.