Art of Transit
The government’s new support includes a request in President Obama’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year for $4 billion, to be spent over 10 years, to finance research projects and infrastructure improvements tied to driverless cars. Mr. Foxx said that autonomous vehicles had the potential to reduce traffic accidents and significantly improve safety on America’s roads. He estimated that as many as 25,000 deaths could have been avoided last year if driverless technology had been in widespread use.
Interesting given a lot of the chatter in transpo world about whether self-driving cars will compete with transit.
In related news, the NYT also has a story headlined “Automakers go electric even if gas is cheap.” The crux of it: more electric cars are about to hit the market in America, where automakers need to increase their average fuel economy in 2017, the first step in getting to a 54.5 average mpg in 2025.
The challenge: cheap gas in recent months has inspired a new wave of SUV and truck sales, the reason that the average fuel economy of new vehicles purchased in December slipped below 25 mpg — the first time that happened in 2025.
In other words, we’re going backwards at a time when both U.S. law and the climate change suggests we should be putting the pedal to the metal (okay, hypermiling) into the future.
Open house showcases Expo bike path closure options (Streetsblog LA)
The city of L.A. is trying to find a way to complete the .7-mile gap in Cheviot Hills for the bike path that will run parallel/near the Expo Line extension to Santa Monica.
No decisions have been made but two options involve protected bike lanes on or along Northvale Road (which runs parallel to the train tracks) and the other option (and the most expensive) would put the bike path in the Northvale trench adjacent to the train tracks.
As Joe Linton writes, there are obstacles to getting this done: the project isn’t cheap, isn’t yet funded and buying easements from homeowners may be needed for part of the bike path. Stay tuned.
The Sikh Coalition is seeking to have an attack on a Metro bus operator who is seek investigated as a hate crime, reports the LAT. The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department is investigating the accident and Metro officials point to ways they are trying to do more to protect bus operators given a rise in attack — including installing protective barriers on buses. Otherwise, the agency declined comment on this particular attack because of pending litigation against the agency.
Damien talks SGV: looking forward to 2016 (Streetsblog LA)
Streetsblog LA editor/founder Damien Newton interviews Glendale Mayor and Metro Board Member Ara Najarian, who talks about the March 5 opening of the Gold Line extension to Azusa, Measure R and Metro’s potential ballot measure to raise funds for new projects.
Related: speaking of the potential ballot measure [PBM], the group MoveLA last month posted their proposal in late December for how funds should be distributed. Metro is scheduled to release their funding list for the PBM in March. Here’s the latest Metro staff report on the PBM and how it’s taking shape.
Study: sharrows don’t make streets any safer for cycling (Streetsblog USA)
Shocker — sharrows are those bike icons that cities stick in the middle of a lane to show the supposed best place for cyclists to ride on roads lacking bike lanes or adequate space for cyclists. As HWR has noted for some time, sharrows are what you do when you want to make it look like you’re doing something but actually doing nothing.
Light rail in Lucky Town (Las Vegas Sun)
Very early talk about a light rail project to connect the Strip, DTLV and the airport. Officials suggest that passenger fares can help pay for it, which attentive Source readers know is an unusual stance in American transit — with most systems heavily subsidized.
Recent How We Rolls:
Jan. 14: A look at Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles’ attempt to do something about traffic and more on the Rams move to the Coliseum and then Inglewood.
Jan. 13: The Rams aren’t here yet but concerns over game day traffic are. Plus concerns over getting to the APU/Citrus College Station in Azusa.
Jan. 12: more on the relationship between rail transit and pro football.
Jan. 11: plugging the gaps in our regional transportation system.
Jan. 6: untransit-friendly stadium proposals and our poll asking if would you Go Metro to see the Chargers, Raiders or Rams in Los Angeles.
Categories: Transportation Headlines