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  • ...The California Highway Patrol joined Oakland, San Francisco and Berkeley police and state traffic officials at a news conference and demonstration at the Coliseum parking lot Tuesday to hammer home the dangers of using a cell phone while driving behind the wheel... “Just three seconds of texting while driving at highway speeds is equal to driving the length of a football field blindfolded,” said Chris Cochran, assistnt director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.

    SF Chronicle
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    Back in 2002, in an attempt to quantify the extent and effects of sprawl development, Smart Growth released a report called Measuring Sprawl and Its Impact. This week, the group has come out with a follow-up study that uses more and better datasets to rank U.S. metro areas in terms of sprawl. It also outlines the human and economic costs of sprawl development....Among large metro areas, “The biggest success story is surprisingly Los Angeles,” says Reid Ewing, a University of Utah professor who was the lead researcher on the study. “Los Angeles has actually densified substantially.” The famously car-dependent California city ranked seventh among metro areas with populations over one million.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...(T)he fight over Sunday meters, which seemed to have been settled more than a year ago, has been rekindled as one of the big issues as the MTA board goes through the arduous process of adopting a budget for the two-year cycle that starts July 1.

    SF Chronicle
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    Tech employee shuttle buses will be allowed to use a limited number of Muni stops for a fee after city officials voted Tuesday to deny an environmental appeal meant to stall the pilot program...Proponents of the buses say they keep thousands of cars off the road and that the program will help the city regulate them. One oft-cited UC Berkeley study that surveyed 130 regional shuttle riders showed almost half would drive to work alone from San Francisco if they couldn't ride a bus.

    SF Chronicle
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    San Francisco transportation planners are eyeing a possible 19th Avenue subway to speed travel on the sluggish M-Ocean View Muni Metro line. A recently completed feasibility study recommends building a subway from St.Francis Circle south to San Francisco State University, with stations at Stonestown Galleria and the university. 

    SF Chronicle
  • ...In 2010, Sumitomo bid $82.7 million to deliver nine, three-car trains to the system. SMART had planned on spending between $80 million and $90 million on the cars. But SMART scaled back, and is now calling for seven, two-car trains at a cost of about $50 million.

    Marin Independent Journal
  • Carrying more than 19,000 passengers a day, Line 51 is one of the busiest public bus routes in the East Bay. The route travels along major streets through Alameda, Oakland and Berkeley. But the service has been unreliable, with bus-bunching, late and overcrowded buses and severely clogged streets. AC Transit has a plan to end all of that -- and it's a good one.

    Contra Costa Times
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    ...Starting in May, a dozen buses on a variety of inner and outer-London routes will be fitted with the latest kit, which alerts the driver to anyone coming too close to the vehicle. The potentially life-saving devices will employ a version of the parking sensors used on cars, along with a new generation of CCTV monitors that pick out vulnerable road-users and filter out street furniture, to aid the bus driver. Transport for London says it is blazing a trail in bus sensor technology and has asked leading manufacturers to come forward with designs.

    Evening Standard
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    ...Last week, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the safety of rail transportation of crude oil in California, focusing on emergency response. It was clear from that hearing and recent media attention that significant questions remain regarding the best way to regulate oil by rail in California, foster interagency cooperation and ensure adequate emergency response.

    Berkeley Blog
  • Lawmakers looking to relieve traffic congestion in Nashville have hit upon an improbable solution: a monorail. The stretch of I-24 between Nashville and Murfreesboro is one of the most congested in the state, and it’s projected to get even worse as the population grows.

    Wired