Transportation headlines, Monday, August 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.

Many Americans consider themselves to be awesome drivers (Allstate)

The insurance firm’s annual survey finds that Americans are pretty confident in their own driving abilities, and less confident in that of friends and family (it’s true — my partner…don’t even get me started). Allstate also had little problem getting Americans to admit they drive too often when tired, a scary slice has driven while intoxicated and the text messaging thing is definitely out of control. I can tell you that most Americans driving home from the Central Coast last night were definitely not “excellent” drivers.

Swap street parking for bike lanes in WeHo? (West Hollywood Patch)

A biking task force in the city has recommended losing some street parking on Santa Monica Boulevard and turning the parking lane into bike lanes. Blasphemy! And, of course, I love it. In the task force’s view, there’s enough off-street parking to merit the change. It’s just a recommendation at this point, but I love that someone is willing to stick their neck out there. Out here in Pasadena-land, there are parking lanes along streets lined with single-family homes that have big, long driveways. Exactly why the parking is needed is beyond me. And those parking lanes could be nice bike lanes connecting to transit. Go check out out Allen south of the 210.

Huge fare increase proposed for PATH trains, tolls connecting New Jersey to Manhattan (New York Times)

The PATH fares would rise by a $1 to $2.75 for the short ride between New Jersey and lower Manhattan. The rush hour toll on the George Washington Bridge and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels would soar to $12 from $8. Ouchy! And as we’ve written many times in the past couple of years, this is just further proof that it’s tough times all over for many of the nation’s transit agencies.

BP still fighting drilling regulation (ThinkProgress)

An annual conference — this year being held in New Orleans — that focuses on pushing laws to roll back or prevent regulation is sponsored by BP and many of the other large oil companies. For those with ultra-short memories, BP had a little something to do with the largest oil spill in American history.

Some parking meters will see price decrease in San Francisco (Transbay Blog)

As part of its big congestion pricing experiment, San Francisco is trying to tweak parking meter rates so that they better reflect real market conditions. Higher demand spots will see an increase to encourage turnover. Lower demand spots may get a price cut. All this depends on collecting data and armed with a new batch of it, the San Francisco MTA has announced that rates will decrease about a third of meters in the test area and increase at 31 percent of the meters. The idea is to lower the amount of time motorists drive around looking for parking — which adds to congestion, pollution and is, of course, a complete waste of gas.