Transportation headlines, Friday, Jan. 13

Long Beach: bike town. Photo by flickr user Waltarrrrr

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.

Cycles and cents: One city sets out to prove that bikes are good for business (Grist)

Long Beach’s energetic embrace of bicycling infrastructure has earned plaudits from bike and safety advocates, and it has been a boon to everyone who has wanted to dust off the old Schwinn but didn’t feel comfortable riding in mixed traffic. But how has the business community responded? This article suggests that early skepticism has given way to embrace, thanks to the city’s and bike advocates’ success at explaining the bottom line benefits of supporting bikes. For one, you can park 12 bikes in the space taken up by just one car.

Chief executive of high-speed rail project steps down (L.A. Times)

As we mentioned yesterday, California High-Speed Rail Authority CEO Roelof van Ark has resigned as head of the agency, citing the desire to spend more time with his family. One member of the California Transportation Commission suggested that van Ark was a good engineer, but didn’t “have his finger on the political pulse of the state.” While some will surely see the shakeup as a sign of further tumult, a number of legislators were quoted as saying that this was a much-needed fresh start for the project.

Metropolis II at LACMA: Will a sculpture made of 1,100 Hot Wheels predict L.A.’s future? (L.A. Weekly)

Here’s my plan for the weekend: Check out the Metropolis II sculpture at LACMA. Though sculpture isn’t quite the right word, because there’s over a thousand toy cars whizzing through this model city on elevated tracks. The project’s creator, Chris Burden, envisions an L.A. of the future with auto-pilot cars criss-crossing the city at over 200 mph. Maybe the distant future. My thought: We don’t need to wait for glitzy technology to improve mobility in L.A.; some more bus-only lanes would go a long way for starters.