Transportation headlines, Wednesday, March 7

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.

Expo Line right of way, Santa Monica (Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro)

Nearly 200 U.S. mayors press for passage of federal transportation bill (The Sacramento Bee)

One hundred eighty eight mayors have signed a letter urging the House and Senate to pass the next federal transportation spending bill. Noting that cities generate over 90 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and more than 85 percent of the nation’s jobs, the letter expresses the mayors’ strong opposition to a pending House bill that proposes to shift gas tax revenues away from public transportation. Excerpt from letter:

“As mayors we urge adoption of final bipartisan legislation that provides adequate funding, at least at current levels with an adjustment for inflation, to help us invest in needed transportation infrastructure and preserves the fundamental elements of current law.”

The mayors also warned of the projects that would be halted and the jobs that would be lost through Congressional inaction.

The right way to fund transportation (Politico)

In an opinion piece in Politico, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell argues that failure to invest in America’s infrastructure undermines the country’s productivity, undercuts American competitiveness in the global economy and is a huge pass on the best chance the country has to expand employment by the millions. Rendell’s piece quotes New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, who has written that flying from the Hong Kong airport to New York’s Kennedy Airport is “like going from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.”

What’s behind these high gas prices? (NPR)

With Americans consuming 300 million gallons of gas every day, the U.S. is the world’s biggest gasoline consumer. To meet that demand, the country increasingly relies on imports of foreign crude oil. Political unrest around the world, speculation and natural disasters all influence the price of this global commodity. Federal and state taxes, regulations and the cost of distribution also contribute to the price at the pump.

SF Supes: buildings must offer bike parking (The Bay Citizen)

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors gave initial approval Tuesday to an ordinance requiring commercial building owners in the city to accommodate bicyclists in their buildings. The proposal would allow tenants to bring bicycles into a building or require building owners to provide secure bike parking nearby. The supervisor who introduced the proposal calls it “a very cost-effective way of promoting bicycling in San Francisco.”

NJ Transit eyes Philadelphia-South Jersey rapid-bus system (Philadelphia Inquirer)

NJ Transit’s plans to improve public transit in southern New Jersey include allowing buses to travel on shoulder lanes and in the highway median. The proposal is part of a plan that also makes the case for a new light-rail line between Glassboro and Camden.