Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Jan. 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.

A bullet train in Spain. Credit: AVE.

Doubts cast on high-speed rail alternatives (L.A. Times)

The state’s high-speed rail authority says that without a bullet train, California will have to spend $171 billion in new roads and airport upgrades to keep pace with transportation demand. Not so fast. Several experts say that figure is, at best, a distortion. Excerpt:

“There is some dishonesty in the methodology,” said Samer Madanat, director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies, the top research center of its type in the nation. “I don’t trust an estimate like this.”

Until November, California High-Speed Rail Authority officials were asserting that the alternative cost of highway and airport construction would be $100 billion. Earlier predictions were billions lower. When the estimate for the bullet train project recently hit $98.5 billion, the authority ratcheted the highway and airport cost up to $171 billion.

Hmmm. BTW, here’s a basic look at the high-speed rail system in Spain by the Sacramento Bee. The Spainards are watching California’s system closely – they would like to help build it.

Expo Line bike lane review redeux (L.A. Streetsblog)

Some repaving has left the bike lane along the first phase of the Expo Line in better shape than it was in October when he first rode it, reports Damien Newton. But some concrete sections of the road that were not repaved coupled with some gutter lane action leave Damien to conclude the lanes still don’t feel complete yet. Check out the pics.

Why railroads care about coal exports (Sightline Daily)

Interesting I-didn’t-know-that post with charts that shows that about 45 percent of the freight rail cars in the U.S. are hauling car. That far overshadows any other commodity — agricultural products is the second-most hauled at 14 percent. However, for a number of reasons the amount of coal being shipped by trains is on a downward trajectory.

How to stop global warming: stop breathing (Clinton Foundation)

5 replies

  1. So when push comes to shove, the Chinese build our solar panels, South Korea the batteries for our electric cars and now Spain wants to build California’s high speed rail? So much for green job creation (for America).

  2. Corperate firewall blocked the graphic for the last headline. Now they think that I am goofing off. Thanks! (not)

  3. I still wonder if the HSR authority has any plans to at least implement Acela style service if full HSR does not end up being implemented. There really should be a back-up plan like that since that would still be faster than driving and at least be faithful to the concept of a much more improved statewide train system. Californians voted for more rail transport, not an expanded highway or airport system. Doing anything other than rail would be a betrayal to the voters and would be throwing the already-spent taxpayer money out the window.

  4. The Sacramento Bee article you cited actually originated at the Fresno Bee. A slightly different (and longer) version made the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle,

    which also included the following postscript (missing from the SacBee version):

    This project is the result of a partnership among California news organizations covering the state’s high-speed rail program. They include the Fresno Bee, the Bakersfield Californian, California Watch, the Sacramento Bee, the Orange County Register, The Chronicle, the (Riverside) Press-Enterprise, U-T San Diego, KQED, the Merced Sun-Star, the Tribune of San Luis Obispo and the Modesto Bee.