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    Over the weekend, in No. 13 from the Ulysses-scale saga* of California's plan to build a north-south High-Speed Rail (HSR) system, a reader from the Silicon Valley tech industry said that his state should just forget about railroads—normal, high-speed, maglev, or whatever. Instead it should embrace the future represented by self-driving cars...Almost no one who's written in since then agrees. Here is a sampling of the case made, in dozens of messages, against self-driving cars as a realistic transport hope.

    The Atlantic
  • ...The well-traveled, mid-block crosswalk on Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place — which connects City Hall to Civic Center Plaza — has prompted safety concerns in the past. Plans have been under way to install a traffic signal, city officials revealed after the accident.

    SF Chronicle
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    ...On Sunday, a group of Audi engineers closely watched as the largely stock RS7, nicknamed “Bobby,” lapped the Formula One track. The 560-horsepower car took the six straightaways at full throttle. It precisely hit each of the 17 turns, topping out at 149 mph. It completed the lap in roughly 2 minutes, 10 seconds, about 30 seconds slower than the times posted by the professionally-trained humans in the DTM races held after the Audi demonstration.

    Wired
  • The District’s ambitious plan to build a streetcar system crisscrossing the city became much less grand Thursday when officials from Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s administration said they now will push to spend roughly a billion dollars for a transit network with only about eight miles of streetcar line.

    Washington Post
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    ...This week Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a law effectively banning Tesla Motors, the high-end electric car manufacturer, from selling its cars in the state. It is the fifth state to do so, following Texas, Arizona, New Jersey and Maryland, and a slew of other states are erecting other creative restrictions that make it harder for the Silicon Valley upstart to sell cars locally.

    Washington Post
  •  New York City’s first confirmed case of Ebola has raised complicated logistical issues of how to trace the possible contacts of an infected patient in a city of more than 8 million people with a sprawling mass transit system and a large population of workers who commute every day from surrounding suburbs and states.

    New York Times
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    ...Later this year, Congress must reauthorize a transportation bill that includes provisions designed to reduce animal-vehicle collisions and protect both drivers and wildlife. Congressional representatives must back clauses in the bill that would empower transportation agencies to use these engineering solutions where needed...

    New York Times
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    ...Bike-share has struggled to reach low-income riders despite considerable (and continuing) efforts by leading systems—Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., Hubway in Boston, and B-Cycle in Denver notable among them—and these struggles persist. Until bike-share resolves these income disparities, its development from niche amenity into legitimate form of public transit can't be complete. Data in the new bike-share report underscore just how systemic the equity problem is.

    CityLab
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    This photo pretty much says everything that needs to be said about the absurdity of the flying car. I wouldn’t even bring it up except a flying car salesman was the man of the hour at an otherwise (mostly, er, somewhat) serious daylong forum on transportation issues yesterday sponsored by the Washington Post. The flying car in question was parked outside the building, blocking a bike lane on 14th Street.

    USA Streetsblog
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    In just two generations, the share of American kids who walk or bike to school has plummeted — dropping from 50 percent in 1969 to 13 percent today. Can the trend be reversed? Yes, according to new research that shows the impact of street safety infrastructure and other programs implemented with federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) funds.

    Streetsblog USA