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    People in Los Angeles and San Francisco often say that the initial links in a proposed north-south system would be "trains to nowhere." People from nowhere weigh in.

    The Atlantic
  • The Senate is set to take up legislation to keep federal highway money flowing to states, with just three days left before the government plans to start slowing down payments. The House passed a $10.8 billion bill last week that would pay for highway and transit aid through the end of May 2015 if transportation spending is maintained at current levels. Under a schedule outlined by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate would take up that bill Tuesday.

    AP/SF Chronicle
  •  In the seesaw battle to build a state-spanning high-speed rail line, Gov. Jerry Brown and other backers of the $68 billion system won a modest victory. A state appeals court has blessed environmental studies needed to run the bullet train through the Pacheco Pass connecting the Bay Area and Central Valley.

    SF Chronicle
  • Back in February, as San Francisco city officials were considering adopting a Vision Zero program to combat the increasing number of fatal collisions involving pedestrians, a car struck and killed an 87-year-old man in a Yorba Street crosswalk on dangerous Sunset Boulevard.

    SF Chronicle
  • zzCopenhagenwheel.jpg

    On a sunny but brisk spring morning near the Charles River in Cambridge, I took a test ride on the bicycle of the future...The bike I tested was equipped with the Copenhagen Wheel, an electric pedal-assist motor fully contained in the oversized red hub of an otherwise normal back bicycle wheel. Inside that red hub is a delicately crammed array of computing equipment, sensors, and a three-phase brushless direct current electric motor that can feel the torque of my pedaling and add appropriately scaled assistance.

    CityLab
  • zztraffic.jpg

    Call it the 21st-century version of hitchhiking: BlaBlaCar is a peer-to-peer marketplace for open spots in cars across Europe. Unlike American ride-sharing apps Uber and Lyft, BlaBlaCar caps the price of the ride based on distance and the cost of fuel in that country. The average ride is 200 miles and the average fare is less than $25...Every month, a million people use the service, now operating in 12 countries, to share a car. “What we’re doing is building a massive transport network out of all of these empty seats in cars,” Nicolas Brusson, the COO of BlaBlaCar told Quartz. “There are more seats available between Berlin and Munich in cars, for example, than there are train seats or bus seats.”

    CityLab
  • zzurbanstreetdesign.jpg

    The heavyweights of American transportation engineering continue to warm up to design guides that prioritize walking, biking, and transit on city streets. On Friday, the Federal Highway Administration made clear that it endorses the National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Urban Street Design Guide, which features street treatments like protected bike lanes that you won’t find in the old engineering “bibles.”

    Streetsblog USA
  • The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply in three separate cases with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners.

    AP/New York Times
  • As you travel down the highway, take a closer look at the shrubbery and grass. The land alongside the 4 million miles of U.S. public roadways, already being maintained by federal, state, and local governments, could be planted with vegetation that helps transfer carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, they say. Road banks and berms, in other words, could be managed as valuable "banks" for carbon sequestration. Shrubs, grasses, and other plants already along roads in U.S. National Parks, wildlife refuges, and other public lands currently are capturing about 7 million metric tons of carbon each year...

    Mother Nature Network
  • Andrew Tangel at the Wall Street Journal had an encouraging update this week on the Citi Bike buyout plan first reported by Dana Rubinstein in Capital New York. It looks like the city is days away from announcing a deal in which REQX Ventures, an affiliate of the Related Companies and its Equinox unit, will buy out Alta Bicycle Share, the company that operates Citi Bike. The implications are big — not just for bike-share in New York, but for several other major American cities as well.

    Streetsblog NYC