Transportation headlines, Thursday, March 15

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.

Senate OKs transportation bill with help for L.A. County (Los Angeles Times)

As The Source reported yesterday, the U.S. Senate — lead by California Sen. Barbara Boxer — has passed a massive transportation bill that would make needed investments in roads, bridges and mass transit. The Senate bill isn’t just a good thing for the nation. It could be a great thing for Los Angeles. The $109 billion bill would expand a federal loan program that could help Metro’s and Mayor Villaraigosa’s America Fast Forward (aka 30/10) plan to speed expansion of L.A’s bus and rail system. But one tiny hurdle remains: to get the House to agree. In the meantime the current transportation bill is set to expire March 31, which could bring highway projects to a screaming halt … which, in turn, increases pressure on the House to pass a bill quickly.

Hope for a good transportation bill (New York Times)

A New York Times editorial applauds the Senate bill saying: “Against heavy odds, Congress may yet produce a decent national transportation bill ….” But, it added, [House] Speaker John Boehner said last week that he was ready to take up the Senate measure, or something close to it. That could be a tactic to spur his colleagues to devise their own alternative. But accepting the Senate bill would be exactly the right thing to do.”

Major changes for Wilshire Grand project (Downtown News)

Korean Air is considering major changes to its $1-billion plan to replace the aged Wilshire Grand Hotel. Instead of building a 45-story tower with 560 hotel rooms and a second-phase 60-story office complex, the company instead is looking at erecting a single tower with 900 hotel rooms and a diminished office component. At 900 rooms the hotel — which does not yet have an operator — would be among downtown’s largest. It’s also within walking distance of the Metro 7th Street/Metro Station.

Trade in your car for a bicycle at bike shop in Woodland Hills (PRWeb)

In response to high gas prices, a Woodland Hills bike shop is generously offering to take cars as trade-ins against the purchase of a new bike. “I’ve heard it said that cars run on money and make you fat — and bicycles run on fat and save you money. That’s never been more true,” said David Kooi, owner of the Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery shop in Woodland Hills. But hurry! This offer expires March 25. Wonder if they’ll get any takers.