Transportation headlines, Monday, Feb. 6

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 Headlines blog, which you can also access via email subscription or RSS feed.

Auto-industry ads score at the Super Bowl (Wall Street Journal)

Clint Eastwood makes Chrysler’s day with a powerful Super Bowl ad suggesting that America isn’t dead yet. “This country can’t be knocked out with one punch; we get right back up again and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.” Eastwood at the wheel of his Gran Torino (that’s a Ford actually) was a standout among the too many car ads that aired this Super Bowl Sunday.

Bev. Hills experts cast doubt on Metro report (Los Angeles Streetsblog)

The firm hired by Beverly Hills to conduct geological studies of the Westside Subway Extension options has come to different conclusions from the team of experts hired by Metro.  Exponent-Failure Analysis Associates concludes that, “… additional effort is needed to accurately identify, quantify, rank and mitigate the potential hazards posed by the proposed Westside Subway Extension Project before one of the two presented alternatives, or a third alternative, are selected for implementation.”

Commentary: Assemblyman Mike Feuer responds to BHUSD (Beverly Hills Patch)

In more Beverly Hills news, with the Beverly Hills Unified School District actively challenging one of routes the Metro Board will be considering for the Westside Subway Extension, Assemblyman Mike Feuer took to the Beverly Hills Patch to explain AB 1444. Feuer’s recently introduced bill which is designed to streamline the approval process for public transit projects, would only apply to projects for which, unlike the subway, a draft environmental impact report has yet to be circulated. In his piece Feuer adds that legislation enacted this session wouldn’t take effect until at least next January—well after any legal challenge to the subway route would be filed.

New Golden Gate Bridge approach hits funding snag (San Francisco Chronicle)

A hitch in the funding plan to replace the dangerous approach to the Golden Gate Bridge may delay the $1.1 billion project which has just reached the fifty yard line. The San Francisco County Transportation Authority needs to come up with $60 million so that the public-private partnership building phase 2 of the project can get going. If the $60 million isn’t found, it could delay the project and increase the cost of the project — again. The roadway has been under construction since the end of 2009.

Lance Armstrong doping investigation closed with no charges (Los Angeles Times)

Some people have all the luck. Perhaps it helps when you are an American hero sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service? On Friday, federal prosecutors announced they were closing an investigation into “allegations of federal criminal conduct” by members and associates of a racing team owned by cyclist Lance Armstrong. No charges will be filed. Investigators apparently didn’t believe Olympic cycling gold-medal winner Tyler Hamilton when he said on CBS’ “60 Minutes” last May how he, Armstrong and other members of the U.S. Postal Service team had used banned substances.

The MRT 7 Express (Asian Journal)

A massive project transit project in the Philippines, the MRT 7, will someday connect the area north of Manila and the metro area. The 14 station rail line will run from San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan to various areas of Quezon City. The 23 kilometer line will provide welcome relief to traffic-addled Manilla commuters.

Off the grid in the city (New York Times)

A new community being built in Austin, Texas aims to set a new standard for sustainable living.  Solutions Oriented Living (SOL) is in East Austin, an historically, and once designated by law, African American community three miles from downtown. As housing prices have risen, the neighborhood has become quite desirable, prompting builders to create a community that is not just sustainable in its design and materials, but “net zero” (producing all of the energy it consumes), with energy-efficient homes featuring solar panels and geothermal wells. The small, by American standards, houses (ranging from 1,030 to 1,816 square feet) also boast rain barrels and other sustainable design features.