Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 8

Japanese bullet train. Photo via Flickr by adam79

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.


A collision of visions on bullet train (Los Angeles Times)

A high-speed rail line would transform California lifestyles for the better, backers say, but opponents see a costly social-engineering folly. Among the concerns: That it would push Californians into European and Asian models of dense cities and reliance on state-provided transportation. Critics further complain that the bullet train would undermine California’s identity, which during the last half-century has revolved around single-family homes that have driven economic growth, family-oriented lifestyles and signature West Coast recreation. But what if Californians — particularly 21st century Californians — are asking for the change to denser cities with more apartment options and public transportation?

Money for nothing: Study confirms taking public transit saves, big time (Next American City)

As Southern Californians many of us tend to feel smug about living in a world-class city without snow and at (relative) bargain basement prices, particularly compared with Manhattan. Now we find out that living in the NY City suburbs may actually be pricier than living in town. While this may fly in the face of conventional wisdom, a new analysis by the Center for Neighborhood Technology finds that Manhattan residents spend a lower percentage of their incomes on housing and transportation than their counterparts in car-dependent suburbs like Westchester County, N.Y., Litchfield County, Conn. or Warren County, N.J. Whether or not the disparity is skewed by sky-high incomes of city dwellers it appears that suburbanites may be benefitting from the knowledge in that some counties surrounding Manhattan are beginning to invest in transit-oriented developments … just like L.A. County. And there’s another good reason to feel smug.

West Hollywood adopts new parking credits program (WestHollywood Patch)

With parking places at a premium in West Hollywood, businesses have been scrambling to provide the necessary 3.5 (for retail) parking places per 1,000 square feet of commercial space, as required by law. (Restaurants must provide nine places and nightclubs 15.) The upshot has been that businesses without enough parking must lease off-site spaces and some of those are not available to customers, reports the WestHollywood Patch. Further, some property owners who are leasing spaces have been accused of leasing more spots than actually are available. So this week the City Council approved a new program that puts the city in charge of supervising and selling parking places to businesses needing off-site parking credits. It’s hoped that this will end the selling of ghost parking and encourage economic development of small new businesses that have not been able to fulfill the parking rules. Has anyone suggested changing the zoning law?