Transportation headlines, Thursday, Sept. 1

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.

Mica says he’s open to a short-term transpo bill (The Hill)

The current federal transportation bill expires Sept. 30. If it goes, so does the gas tax that funds federal spending on transportation. Now Rep. John Mica (R-Florida) is saying he would support yet another short-term expansion to keep money coming into the feds and going out — i.e. to jobs. President Obama on Wednesday said not extending the bill is “inexcusable.” Of course, a long-term spending bill was supposed to have been approved by Congress in 2009. And now it’s — hang on, lemme check my calendar — now it’s 2011!! How’d that happen?

Big score for Denver rail project to airport (Welcome to the Fast Lane)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood yesterday inked a funding deal that will provide $1 billion in federal funds for a commuter rail line between Denver and its sprawling airport on the prairie east (way east!) of the city. Some of the money is also going toward a light rail expansion. Both projects are part of the Denver FasTracks program — their version of Measure R.

Sharrows count as bike lanes in L.A. (L.A. Streetsblog) 

In response to some pointed questions from Streetsblog editor Damien Newton, the city’s transportation agency has said that — at least for now, perhaps until more studies can be done — a mile of street with sharrows counts the same as a mile of street with a new bike lane toward implementing the city’s new bike plan. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had earlier this year said the city will try to build 40 new miles of bike infrastructure a year.