Transportation headlines, Wednesday, Nov. 12

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ART OF TRANSIT: A Metro bus crosses the historic Colorado Boulevard bridge in Pasadena on Tuesday. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

ART OF TRANSIT: A Metro bus crosses the historic Colorado Boulevard bridge in Pasadena on Tuesday. Photo by Steve Hymon/Metro.

Questions over China’s climate change plan (New York Times) 

A follow-up to the big news that the United States and China have reached a deal for both countries to lower their greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030. The headline could just have well been “questions over the U.S. plan” which, like China’s, is ambitious for a country that still relies heavily on burning coal to generate electricity — the U.S. says it will reduce emissions by 26 to 28 percent over 2005 levels by 2025 and China says it will begin reducing emissions after they peak in 2030 and will increase renewable sources to 20 percent by then.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, taking transit is generally speaking a good way to lessen your carbon footprint as transit is often more efficient than driving alone. As for our nation’s sources of greenhouse gases, the transportation sector and the burning of fossil fuels is a big player:


You can get greenhouse gas emission estimates for your vehicle at

Worst L.A. commutes: not moving right along (L.A. Times) 

Interesting graphics built with data from Inrix, the firm that tracks traffic data. The usual suspects get the honors for worst, a list including the Santa Monica Freeway (both directions), the 101 freeway (both directions), the eastbound 210 in the afternoon, the northbound 405 between LAX and Sepulveda Pass and the 60 freeway in the Inland Empire.

It’s worth noting that there are transit projects either in the works or planning/study phases along these corridors. The Expo Line Phase 2 and the Purple Line Extension should provide an alternative to the demonic 10 freeway on the Westside and the Gold Line Foothill Extension to Azusa parallels the nastiest and most soul-sucking stretch of the 210. The northbound 405 just picked up a northbound carpool lane and greatly improved on- and off-ramps and the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor contemplates a transit project over/under the pass between the San Fernando Valley and the Westside.

Finally, the Eastside Gold Line Transit Corridor Phase 2 includes a light rail alternative that would travel along the 60 between East L.A. and South El Monte (there is also an alternative between East L.A. and Whittier that would run south of the 60). Of course, the existing Red Line helps serve the 101 corridor between NoHo and downtown L.A.

Committees back transit plans for downtown Dallas (Austin Statesman)

While voters in Austin last week rejected a ballot measure to build light rail, the Dallas City Council is keen on adding more light rail and a streetcar to the city. The pols in Dallas believe they can secure federal grants — perhaps the same federal grants that Austin no longer needs with its light rail aspirations kaput (again) for now. Interesting tale of two cities, given Austin’s emergence as a city with a progressive reputation and Dallas’ long-held reputation for being an establishment town.

It’s always fun to read about any Texas town hoping to get federal funds given the occasional murmurs in the Lone Star State about seceding from the U.S. and becoming an independent nation, a la the good ol’ days of the 1830s and ’40s. Of course, rhetoric and fact don’t always agree — according to this analysis the federal government spends more on Texas than it receives in tax revenue while the situation is reversed in California. In plain English, Texans are takers and Californians are givers when it comes to federal spending! This matters because Californian transit agencies — including Metro — are also seeking more federal grants to build transit projects, including the second phase of the Purple Line Extension to Century City.

In Texas’ defense, the state serves as one of the settings for the greatest novel ever written (IMHO), by which I mean “Lonesome Dove.”