Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Feb. 14

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.

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The President’s budget: full of ambition, short on Congressional support (The Transport Politic)

In The Transport Politic, Yonah Freemark takes a close look at the President’s budget and what it means for public transit. The proposed budget, which probably faces an uphill battle in Congress, contains good news for California rail projects, including two here in Los Angeles. As Freemark explains, the “major news is that the FTA will recommend pledging its support with Full Funding Grant Agreements (FFGA) soon to four new major rail projects — the Charlotte Northeast Corridor light rail, the Los Angeles Regional Connector light rail subway, the Los Angeles Westside Subway, and the Columbia River Crossing Project light rail line in Portland…” Bus rapid transit (BRT) projects across the country also get a boost in the President’s proposed budget.

What makes a space lovable? (The Atlantic Cities)

On Valentine’s Day it seems appropriate to ask, what makes a space lovable? While it may not be easy to define beauty or lovability in urban public space, this article argues that “there are in fact places that are pretty darn close to being universally loved. And they are the ones most likely to be defended and cared for over time…” Although the article doesn’t specifically mention it, think about some local places that always draw the crowds: The Griffith Park Observatory and the Palisades along Santa Monica’s Ocean Avenue, to name two.

What transit advocates could learn from SOPA (Next American City)

What would happen if the country’s public transit agencies did what Wikipedia, Reddit and 7,000 other websites did one day last month to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act? Could a day-long shutdown of public transit kill H.R. 7, the widely criticized House transportation bill? This article asks why public transit advocates have failed to organize transit riders to show there is strength in numbers by shutting down the systems we all depend on in one way or another. “Could America’s greatest cities survive without their transportation systems? It’s not just people that rely on transit. More than an Internet blackout, transportation stoppages have the power to completely screw up travel, business, food distribution and dozens of other aspects of daily life.”

Hollywood rides a bike (San Francisco Chronicle)

Maybe one way to get more Angelenos out of their cars and onto their bikes is a campaign featuring Hollywood stars biking around town? A new book by Steven Rea, “Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling With the Stars,” captures favorites from an earlier era doing just that. Elizabeth Taylor, Sean Connery, Brigitte Bardot and Rita Hayworth are just some of the stars in the attractive book.

Community policing coming to BART (The Bay Citizen)

In the wake of three fatal officer-involved shootings over the past four years, the BART Police Department is looking to a community policing model to build more trust between officers and BART riders. According to Tom Radulovich, vice president of BART’s board of directors, BART police will be assigned to cover smaller portions of the system, so that they can get to know the local people and problems. Officers will also be much more visible on trains, at stations and in parking lots.”

Rats or not, transit chief opposes ban on eating in the subways (New York Times)

Joseph J. Lhota, the new chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, was known as the Rat Czar when he served as deputy mayor under New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Now though, he has gone on record as saying he won’t support a ban on eating in the subway. In an interview, Mr. Lhota said that he watched too many children eating breakfast items, like bagels and muffins, on the subways every morning to ban food.

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