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Pleasanton Housing Cap Violates Law, Judge Says

Pleasanton's voter-approved cap on the number of residences in the city, a measure intended to limit growth and congestion in the town, violates a state law requiring all cities to take on their share of regional housing needs, an Alameda County judge has ruled. The ruling is the first by a California judge to require a city to change its zoning to accommodate new housing, said attorney Richard Marcantonio of the nonprofit Public Advocates firm, which represented the plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the cap.

Airport Check-in: Flier Traffic Falls at Most U.S. Airports

Of the 50 largest airports in the U.S., only four showed growth in passenger traffic last year amid the global recession, according to the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Its data include domestic and international flights handled by U.S. airlines but not foreign carriers. San Francisco International was the only airport in the top 20 to eke out an increase in 2009.

King's Cross to Beijing in Two Days on New High-Speed Rail Network

China is in negotiations to build a high-speed rail network to India and Europe with trains that capable of running at over 200mph within the next ten years.The network would eventually carry passengers from London to Beijing and then to Singapore. It would also run to India and Pakistan, according to Wang Mengshu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a senior consultant on China's domestic high-speed rail project....Passengers could board a train in London and step off in Beijing, 5,070 miles away as the crow flies, in just two days.

Improving Rail Service in America (Letters to the Editor)

Mr. Wolmar’s comparison of Acela to the high-speed route from Paris to Lyon, which traverses predominantly agricultural land, oversimplifies the obstacles faced here. We’ve literally built rail service into a corner by overbuilding suburbia, including in the megalopolis traversed by Acela between Washington and Boston. Track straightening there would require the acquisition and razing of scores of homes and businesses.

LA's Angels Flight is Back on Track

After nine years in mothballs, the so-called "shortest railroad in the world" was again ferrying passengers  up and down Bunker Hill as the Angels Flight funicular reopened Monday morning....The rail line was designed to connect downtown L.A. with the residential community on Bunker Hill. But when the city demolished that neighborhood as part of a 1960s redevelopment push, Angels Flight was left moribund. The funicular was revived in 1996 after years of effort by preservationists.

Newsom Hopes to Appoint Rider to Muni Board

 While riding Muni daily is not a requirement for the position, the mayor has made it clear that he'd like to appoint a regular rider. I understand the intensity of feelings about the system," he said. "But I'm looking for someone who has ideas about solutions and not just critiques." Muni riders and anyone else interested in applying for appointment to the Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors can send an e-mail to the mayor at gavin.newsom@sfgov.org.

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