Transportation headlines, Friday, August 24

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.

Metro staff chooses final 710 routes for environmental study (Pasadena Star News)

Seven of 12 alternatives under consideration have been dropped from a study about improving traffic in the area around the gap in the 710 freeway between Alhambra and Pasadena. Among the options shelved are a road widening through the San Rafael neighborhood in Pasadena and a freeway tunnel under it as well as any kind of surface freeway. Metro still plans to study a freeway tunnel directly between the 710 in Alhambra and the 210 in Pasadena, although some residents in the city say they plan to fight it. Here’s the news release from Metro.

Giving reins to states over drilling (New York Times)

This news analysis piece looks at Mitt Romney’s plan to give states more control over oil and gas drilling on federal lands in order to reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil. The Times sees it as a potentially tough sell in Congress because it’s a radical shift from the way that federal property has been managed since the days of Theodore Roosevelt, who put a strong slant on conservation. About 45 percent of California is federal property, including national forests, national parks, military bases and Bureau of Land Management properties.

For those curious:

•The U.S. consumed 18,835,000 barrels of petroleum per day in 2011, of which 8,736,000 was motor gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

•Forty-five percent of the petroleum products consumed by the U.S. were imported in 2011 — the lowest level since 1995 — and 60 percent of the nation’s crude oil processed in the nation’s refineries was imported.

•About 71 percent of U.S. oil consumption goes toward transportation.

•In 2010 and 2011, the U.S. consumed about 22 percent of total world petroleum; the U.S. leads the world in oil consumption. U.S. consumption of gasoline peaked in 2007 when 3,389,269,000 barrels were consumed.

•The burning of gasoline and other products made from fossil fuels is widely viewed as a primary reason for the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere that many scientists believe is the reason for global warming. Taking transit, by the way, is seen as a good way to reduce your carbon footprint, as the chart below from the Federal Transit Administration shows.

With Regional Connector stations, a less is more design (Downtown News)

Metro is trying to standardize the look of stations with the Regional Connector project, aiming to reduce the vast number of materials and design elements that may show up in one rail station but no others. Here’s yesterday’s post with drawings of the three stations for the Connector.