Transportation headlines, Wednesday, March 28

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.

Bike Lane, Lower Broadway, New York (Photo by Joel Epstein/Metro)

10 best American cities for cycling (PHOTOS) (Huffington Post)

The Huffington Post has come out with its list of the best biking cities and local, deserving favorites Long Beach and Santa Monica do not make the list — although the list focuses on far larger cities. Austin, Boston and Chicago got first, second and third place.

California high-speed rail: building a faster train faster (KPCC)

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is expected to release a final business plan this week that officials say will get bullet trains in Southern California and in the Bay area running a lot sooner than originally planned. The proposed “blended approach” that has been talked about in recent months would build the middle of the system first and connect it to commuter rail systems in both the Bay Area and Southern California. It remains to be seen exactly when actual bullet trains would roll into our area. In the meantime, Metro and Metrolink are trying to secure some high-speed rail funds to speed up and allow for more Metrolink trains to the Antelope Valley and a connection with high-speed rail.

France discussing strategic oil release with UK, U.S. (Reuters)

The U.S., France and the U.K. are reportedly in talks on a possible release of France’s strategic oil reserves to help lower fuel prices. With the French presidential election just four weeks away, the French energy minister this week told journalists that the U.S. had asked France to join it in a possible emergency inventory release. In France, fuel prices have hit record levels, prompting an intense debate between presidential candidates ahead of the presidential election. The world’s oil supply could be squeezed further if economic sanctions on Iran are increased.

Illustrating a commute, one rider at a time (The Atlantic Cities)

For the past decade, British illustrator Steve Wilkin has used his hour-long commute on the morning train from Hebden Bridge to Preston in the U.K. to sketch his fellow passengers. Now, with the help of a service called the Newspaper Club, Wilkin has published some of the drawings in a free newspaper called 738. The newspaper honors the departure time of Wilkin’s morning train. No first-hand word on what fellow passengers think of the artist’s work, though Wilkin says response has been overwhelmingly positive. For a look at the work of L.A.’s own transit sketch artist see Carter Rubin’s profile last month of bike, pedestrian and transit advocate Joe Linton.


1 reply

  1. I have mixed feelings about the “blended” approach. Electric CalTrain? An excellent idea. Metrolink Electrification? Even better, if it were feasible, even if just for the Antelope Valley Line.

    However, it seems like the “blended” approach wouldn’t have enough tracks for high-speed rail — sort of like how Blue and Expo will be squeezed into 7th/ Metro. Prop. 1A was designed specifically for true high-speed rail and no “bait and switch” of the funding.

    If we’re going to bring commuter rail up to 110 mph, we need to make sure that the longer-distance trains will be able to get through; that this plan doesn’t appease north and south NIMBYs at the expense of a statewide 200 mph network.