Transportation headlines, weekend edition

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Check out the past week’s Metro rider profiles by Zocalo Public Square as part of their ongoing #mylacommute series.

New York’s shadow transit (New Yorker) 

Really interesting online package on the hundreds of licensed (and often unlicensed) vans that serve neighborhoods in Gotham that are under-served by transit or far from the subway. Excerpt:

The informal transportation networks fill that void with frequent departures and dependable schedules, but they lack service maps, posted timetables, and official stations or stops. There is no Web site or kiosk to help you navigate them. Instead, riders come to know these networks through conversations with friends and neighbors, or from happening upon the vans in the street.

The online package includes some neat maps and a series of videos. I suspect these type of vans exist in most large cities, L.A. included, and most folks hardly know they exist.

Mitigating construction impacts through placemaking in St. Paul (Human Transit) 

Everyone pretty much agrees that construction of big transpo projects is a royal pain and has real impacts to residents and businesses. In the Twin Cities, a different type of mitigation was settled upon: help fund dozens of artists to do mini-projects along a new light route.

Here’s a video:

Parents investigated for neglect after letting kids walk home alone (Washington Post) 

After a 1o-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother were found walking about one mile from a local park in the D.C. ‘burbs, child services decided to investigate their parents for neglect. The parents said they believe in “free range parenting” and teaching their children how to get around their neighborhood without constant supervision. Weird story.

Not to sound like Grandpa Simpson, but when I was a kid we walked and biked all over our Cincy neighborhood of Pleasant Ridge without parental units in tow.

Meyer: is RTD pulling a fast one on U.S. 36? (Denver Post) 

Post scribe Jeremy Meyer isn’t thrilled about a new bus rapid transit line that will serve the Denver ‘burbs. In particular, he’s most unhappy it’s not a train (a ballot measure didn’t raise enough money) and that bus stops are being called stations (he finds it dishonest). There are still long-term plans to build a train to Boulder, but it’s going to take a lot more dollars.

State polls show lack of support for gas tax hike (The Hill)

Make that three state polls — in Georgia, New Jersey and Utah. Still, those polled said they wouldn’t want to pay more in gas taxes to fund new transpo projects. Problem is, federal transportation coffers are emptying out, which many blame on the federal gas tax not being increased since 1993.





2 replies

  1. Hmm. Depending on the neighborhood and the time of day, a mile or more might be a little far for a 10-year-old and a 6-year-old to walk on their own. My elementary school was only half a mile from my house, and my high school was less than a mile and a half.

  2. Not mentioned is what role the built environment, on the one hand, and media, on the other, play in creating both perceived and actual dangers. Glad I’m not a parent, but if I were a kid, these are the parents I’d want.