Transportation headlines, Friday, Jan. 11

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.

High-speed rail official says July 2013 groundbreaking still on track (California High-Speed Rail blog) 

The official says that the first phase in the San Joaquin Valley could begin work this summer and if many hurdles are cleared, a two-hour, 40-minute ride between San Francisco and Los Angeles possible by 2029.

Hurray for pedestrian improvements…if only drivers would respect them (L.A. Streetsblog)

Excellent post. Sahra Sulaiman spends a few hours watching a recently-improved crosswalk in Watts and comes with this conclusion: children are often given a wider berth by cars than adults and compliance is inconsistent. I’d love to see police in the region crack down on motorists who drive through or get too close to crosswalks when there are people in them — I can’t recall the last time I saw police looking for such violations.

Questioning the commuter parking subsidy (NRDC Switchboard Blog) 

Federal tax law allows employees to shelter money used for transit or parking at work from payroll deductions. That’s great — except the NRDC says the parking benefit costs the country about six times the transit benefit. Their conclusion: get rid of the parking subsidy for most people (perhaps exempting carpoolers) as a way to promote transit.