Headline News

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  • Marin County could see fewer bike-to-school work projects in the coming years because a new federal transportation bill cuts funding for the Safe Routes To School program. The new transportation plan eliminates dedicated Safe Routes to School funding and folds it into another program, Transportation Alternatives. Overall the bike and trails budget was cut 33 percent to about $800 million annually from $1.2 billion.

    Marin Independent Journal
  • The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is set to expand next year to 21 members from the current 19 after Gov. Brown today signed into law Assembly Bill 57 (Beall). One of the new commissioners is to be appointed by the mayor of San Jose and the other by the mayor of Oakland.

    MTC/Sacramento Bee
  •  A new study casts doubt on whether the benefits of California high-speed rail will include the creation of 400,000 permanent jobs promised by boosters of the bullet trains. Jerry Nickelsburg, the economist behind the UCLA Anderson Forecast, said the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan has done little to spur job in the region between Tokyo and Osaka since it was built in the 1960s. 

  • Forty years ago, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) opened a heavy-rail system linking San Francisco with cities in the East Bay and northern San Mateo County, Calif....But the wear and tear of the past four decades has taken a toll....If the system isn't brought to a state of good repair, BART passengers would experience decreased vehicle speeds, slower travel times, more system failures, reduced peak-period capacity and longer wait times, according to a study conducted last year and released in May by the University of California-Berkeley.

    Progressive Railroading
  •  San Francisco features an expansive grid of scenic rolling streets, winding roads and tree-lined avenues, but there is one thoroughfare that defines The City....Multiple San Francisco agencies are working together to develop transit, pedestrian, traffic and cycling plans to coincide with the streetscaping project. This week, city officials will hold the first of two meetings with the public to discuss progress on the proposal, which is called the Better Market Street plan.

    SF Examiner
  • Tens of thousands of people are cheating on the new smart card system some are using to pay for BART, Muni and Caltrain rides. It's because the Clipper card service lets them get out of the stations without paying the full fare and it's costing transit agencies and taxpayers more than half a million dollars.

    ABC Local
  • A few weeks ago the U.S. Census Bureau released new population data that gave urbanists reason to cheer. The figures showed faster growth rates in city centers than in suburban areas for 27 of the 51 largest metro areas in the United States between July 2010 and July 2011. (Our Nate Berg mapped the changes here.) It looked like the first time cities had outgrown their suburbs in many decades, prompting the Wall Street Journal to declare "shifting attitudes about urban living." Maybe the times are a-changing, maybe they're not, says Columbia University planning professor David King.

    Atlantic Cities
  • zzpennstation.jpg

    From New York's Pennsylvania Station, you can catch a northbound subway train toward the Bronx. Thirty-nine minutes later, it will pull into Pelham Parkway, a dozen miles away. But imagine, instead, that you could hop aboard a Next Generation High-Speed Rail train and in thirty-nine minutes pull up in Waterbury, Connecticut. The aging industrial town would be more swiftly accessible from midtown Manhattan than much of New York City. That's the alluring vision Amtrak unveiled on Monday morning.

    Atlantic Cities
  • On June 29, Congress approved a bill providing road and transit financing for the next two years, and President Obama signed it into law on July 6. The bill, MAP-21, or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, provides incentives for states that develop programs aimed at deterring drunken driving, including the implementation of ignition interlocks that prevent the starting of a vehicle if a driver fails a breathalyzer test.

    New York Times
  • zzethanol.jpg

    As our colleague Matthew L. Wald noted on Wednesday, a filling station west of Kansas City, Kan., recently began pumping E15, the fuel blend consisting of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline....The lower per-gallon price means that drivers will pay less to fill their tanks, but it does necessarily mean they are getting a bargain.

    New York Times