Transportation headlines, Tuesday, Sept. 4

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.

Measure J examined (The Transport Politic)

Yonah Freemark takes a look at some of the pros and cons of the proposal by Metro to extend the Measure R half-cent sales tax by 30 years, from 2039 to 2069.

Bus rapid transit in Chicago won't be so rapid (Chicago Tribune)

The Trib's transpo columnist takes a look at the Windy City's first BRT which mostly will not have its own lane or some other features usually associated with bus rapid transit projects.

Why do bike tires stink? (Grist)

The 'Ask Umbra' column tackles the question of why bike tires must be inflated much more often than car tires. Answer: it's the way the tires are manufactured and the phenomenon of high pressure — the air in bike tires really just wants to escape.

Obama Administration to states: get ready for more transit oversight (The Hill)

In a letter recently sent to 26 states with major transit agencies, federal officials said the recent federal transpo bill gives them the authority to set national safety standards for local transit operation. “Public transit remains one of the safest ways to travel in the U.S., and we intend to keep it that way,” wrote U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

What will it take for climate change to become an issue? (New York Times)

In days of yore — like 2005 — activists predicted that weather calamaties would finally focus the public's attention on the issue of climate change. Well, the world has seen plenty of wacky and (sadly) deadly weather in the past couple of years, but the presidential candidates are still treating climate change as if it's highly radioactive. It's gotten so bad that the League of Conservation Voters has started an online petition to ask debate moderator Jim Lehrer to force Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to talk about it during their first encounter next month.