Headline News

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  • ...Through a legal loophole, a company with global sales of $4 billion opened its West Coast distribution center in Visalia last year without having to follow a rule that curbs air pollution, much of it generated by traffic. Critics, who sued over it, argue traffic and diesel truck exhaust from the 500,000-square-foot distribution center will create tons of air pollution. Air pollution kills several hundred people prematurely each year in the Valley.

    Fresno Bee
  • A U.S. EPA science review has reaffirmed that exposure to ozone -- a precursor to smog -- is associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease and death. The 1,200-page integrated science assessment, released Friday, is the first update to EPA's ozone review since 2006 and is meant to guide the writing of national air quality standards. The document reflects evidence from studies released since the 2006 review.

    E&E Greenwire
  • In the fears of many, criminals ride transit. Therefore, if a new train or bus stop comes to your neighborhood, you can expect soon afterward an upsurge in unsavory types and the danger that comes with them. Transit has long provoked these twin fears: that, on the one hand, criminals use it to gain access to new neighborhoods (and cars and purses and apartments), while on the other hand transit stations create handy new hotspots of waiting victims.

    Atlantic Cities
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    ...Created single-handedly by Adam Davies, a United Kingdom resident with a background in transport planning, geography, and computer science, Walkonomics is a just-launched free iPhone and Android app (also available on the web) that aims to quantify the pedestrian experience in a more nuanced way than Walk Score.

    Atlantic Cities
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    Earlier this week Washington, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray announced a bold sustainability vision that is as comprehensive and ambitious in its aspirations as any in the country and, frankly, worthy of comparison to those for other cities around the world. If successful, the 20-year program contemplated by Sustainable DC will bring the benefits of green living to traditionally under-served neighborhoods, cut obesity, substantially increase the presence of nature in the city, grow jobs, dramatically cut energy use and carbon emissions, and much more.

    Atlantic Cities
  • Long considered the biggest holdout in climate change negotiations, China said this week that the country would implement new taxes designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions. Officials in Beijing provided few details, but areport by the state-owned Xinhua news service suggested that the government is working on a relatively modest plan.

    New York Times
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    ...November study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley found that inconsistent service — whether it’s lateness, inaccurate arrival info or mid-travel delays — is the number-one factor that encourages people to stop using public transit. Chief among the issues that fall under the “reliability” umbrella are long gaps between transfers and wait times exceeding 10 minutes.

    Next City
  • When people talk about the resurgence of urban America — the shift of people, jobs and commerce back to downtowns and center cities — they're usually talking about a narrow group of elite cities like New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, and San Francisco. That's why a report [PDF] released this week on the transformation of downtown Detroit is so interesting. It documents the ongoing regeneration of a decent sized swath of the city's urban core.

    Atlantic Cities
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    The original architects of the Pan Am Worldport might have hoped that the building would fit in perfectly with the landscape of the new millennium. The terminal at New York’s JFK Airport was built in 1960 by Ives, Turano & Gardner Associated Architects in the shape of a futuristic flying saucer....Although the Worldport is iconic, its current tenant, Delta Airlines, is planning to dismantle the structure, now known as Terminal 3, in 2015 to make way for a $1.2 billion expansion of neighboring Terminal 4.

    Atlantic Cities
  • Long-term plans to ready San Diego County’s Coaster, trolley and freight rail lines for California’s future bullet-train network will be on display Tuesday during an open house. The blueprints are part of the draft California State Rail Plan, which sets the Golden State’s vision and priorities for rail during the next 10 years.

    San Diego Union-Tribune