Transportation headlines, Thursday, Nov. 17

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.

Boehner to unveil House transportation spending bill today (Transportation Nation)

The Senate is working on its version of the bill, which includes parts of the America Fast Forward initiative sought by Metro to accelerate transit and road projects. We’ll see what the House has cooked up – I’ll try to post something later today after Metro’s government relations staff has looked at what’s being proposed.

Critic’s notebook: Farmer’s Field falls short (L.A. Times)

Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne has some issues with the new designs for the football stadium that AEG wants to build next to Staples Center. But he also raises this very good point on the positive side:

In terms of its urbanism, AEG’s downtown stadium proposal has always had an oddly innovative streak. Who would have thought that the first truly urban NFL stadium, the first to outwardly reject the primacy of car culture and acres of space for pregame tailgating, would be proposed in Southern California?

Tracking the sharrow on city streets (Grist)

Very good post by Portland bike activist Elly Blue on the effectiveness of sharrows — the markings that cities around the U.S. are putting on streets to encourage cyclists and motorists to safely interact in places where there are no bike lanes. Proponents see them as a good first step toward more bike infrastructure. Criticisms fall along the lines that they don’t seem to slow car traffic much and are a better wayfinding tool than safety tool. I liked this paragraph:

Sharrows are popular because they are politically easy — you can almost hear city officials sigh with relief when sharrows are mentioned. On the surface, they seem like a way to please the increasingly vocal bike lobby without ruffling feathers by putting in a bike lane at the expense of car parking or traffic lanes, which are often perceived as being for cars only. And they’re cheap: Sharrows cost only $229 each to install, including labor and materials, while a full-blown bike lane can cost between $5,000 and $60,000 per mile.

Council adds $650,000 to subway fight (Beverly Hills Patch)

The City Council decided to put the money aside to hire consultants and pay for other expenses to prevent Metro from tunneling under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus as part of the Westside Subway Extension project. The money is in addition to the $350,000 the Council had earlier decided to spend on the issue.

4 replies

  1. Sharrows have always struck me as territorial markings, the product of wishful thinking riders proclaiming their equal rights with automobiles. Bike lanes, or better yet cycle tracks come across as contiguous legitimate, safety-driven divisions of road space, separating things that go 40 mph and weigh thousands of pounds from things that go 15 mph and weigh 10 pounds.

    Beverly Hills should be ashamed of itself for wasting its money, the MTA’s money and courtroom time. But just maybe, perhaps, there might be an excess of self serving lawyers in Beverly Hills? Has anyone looked into the idea of temporarily moving this school of the privileged during construction of a vital piece of infrastructure for the rest of us?

  2. Beverly Hills needs to talk to NYC schools and see what they think. The idea of a ‘tunnel colapse’ is ludicris, the way that they are built, they are stronger than many of the surrounding soils.

  3. Why is it Beverly Hills is so worried about the subway going under the school?? It already goes under 2 Hospitals and the do operations all day long with no problem, no shaking or any other problems and this has been going on since the subway opened up. All I see is that it is a way for them to spend money when they say they don’t have it!!! What a waste of time and money for both sides, not only that but i bet the kids for the schoo will use the subway any how of course if they are not so snobbish like the politicans!!

  4. My 3 most recent conflicts with drivers have been on roads with sharrows. Despite me hitting all the sharrows all 3 drivers did not understand that is where I was supposed to be. Their needs to be a huge education push, or not use them.