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Alameda Land-use Ruling could Reshape State

When an Alameda County judge this month ruled that Pleasanton must loosen its development rules to allow large amounts of new housing for all income levels, he sent a message that could ricochet around the state....If the Alameda decision stands, and if other cities face legal challenges, the result could reshape the landscape of California suburbs and small cities - conceivably forcing them to reconsider height limits or increasing the density in their downtowns.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (of the Future)

We have a good idea of what the near-term future of transportation will look like: hybrid vehicles, like the Chevy Volt; electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster; the rickshaw-cum-Segway known as the General Motors P.U.M.A.; and high-speed train systems that operate using magnetic levitation...."Society and mobility is going to transform quite a bit over the next 50 to 100 years," predicts Mark Moore, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia.

Parsons Brinckerhoff Awarded US high-speed Rail Contracts

Balfour Beatty's US subsidiary, Parsons Brinckerhoff, has been awarded three new contracts to manage high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects in Illinois, Ohio and Florida, US....Parsons Brinckerhoff is already leading the programme management team overseeing the implementation of the California High-Speed Rail project, an 800-mile (1290 km) long system serving Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, Los A

BART Train Splits in Two in Transbay Tube

A BART train split in two this morning as it was traveling west through the Transbay Tube, causing long delays through the morning commute. The nine-car train, bound for San Francisco International Airport from Pittsburg-Bay Point, was just east of San Francisco's Embarcadero Station when two cars came uncoupled at 6:23 a.m., said BART spokesman Linton Johnson. An initial inspection revealed that a part of the coupler, known as the yoke assembly, had fractured, Johnson said. An examination of the track in the tube found nothing wrong.

Disney High-Speed Support May Boost Japan, China Trainmakers

Walt Disney World in Florida may be the next stop for bullet-train makers in Japan and China. Central Japan Railway Co. and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corp. are competing for the $8 billion President Barack Obama granted for 13 high-speed corridors across the country, including a Tampa-Orlando line that may include a station at the Walt Disney Co. resort in Orlando. The Japanese company, also known as JR Central, is eyeing North America as a shrinking population at home limits its growth.

Palo Alto Wants More Time to Review Rail Document

City officials plan to resubmit a brief, arguing that the rail authority failed to identify the trains' noise impacts in the Peninsula, analyze the aesthetic impacts of the train system and consider the system's compatibility with existing land-use plans. The city's brief calls the rail authority's 2008 review "deeply flawed" and argues that it "fails to inform the public and the decision makers of all of the significant environmental impacts of the project."

High-Speed Rail Gains Traction in Spain

Since a high-speed rail connection — called AVE for Alta Velocidad Española — opened in 2008, the 520-kilometer journey, or 325 miles, between Barcelona and Madrid that takes six hours by car can now be completed in just 2 hours and 38 minutes. Two years ago, nearly 90 percent of the six million people traveling between Madrid and Barcelona went by air. But early this year the number of train travelers on the route surpassed fliers.


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