Transportation headlines, Wed., Feb. 20; amazing bike grill, candidate 'clarifies' subway position, fare free transit spreading?

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.

ART OF TRANSIT: The scene on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles last night. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: The scene on Broadway in downtown Los Angeles last night. Click above to see larger. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Millenium Hollywood plan clears first hurdle (L.A. Times) 

The city of L.A.’s planning department approved plans for two towers — a block from the Hollywood & Vine Red Line station — that would house apartments, offices and retails. Some residents are upset, saying the towers, which would be at least 485 and 585 feet tall, respectively, would block views and add to traffic in the area. I’ll offer up the opposing view: it’s nice to see Hollywood getting some much needed new development, homes, jobs and commerce — the things that make a city function like a city. The towers still must be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

The mayoral interview candidate series: Kevin James (L.A. Streetsblog)

Part two of the five-part series includes a video interview with Kevin James.

Kevin James clarifies views on subway station (Century City News) 

“Clarifies” is not the word I would have chosen for the headline — James doesn’t say in this short piece whether he supports the location of the Century City station and whether it’s appropriate for the subway tunnels to go under part of the Beverly Hills High School campus. James, however, says that if Beverly Hills prevails in court and the approvals for the Westside Subway Extension are overturned, he would then sit down with both Beverly Hills and Metro and work through the issues.

Fare-free transit spreading in Europe? (Human Transit) 

The city of Tallin (pop. 425,000) in Estonia is, by Jarrett Walker’s reckoning, now the largest city in the world to offer free transit for its residents — although residents still need to purchase a fare card. Tourists and visitors still have to pay fares. Interestingness excerpt:

Indeed, smart farecards make it possible for anyone to subsidize fares without much complexity, opening up a huge range of subsidy possibilities for any entity that sees an advantage in doing so.  Yet another reason that city governments are not as helpless about transit as they often think, even if they don’t control their transit system.

Like to eat sausages while biking? Then this bike grill is for you (The Atlantic Cities) 

Check out this awesome invention — instead of a bike rack behind the seat there’s a grill capable of holding four large sausages. The inventor is from L.A. and says he will target German audiences because of their high per capita consumption of bratwurst.