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  • Trinity Industries, the highway guardrail maker accused of selling systems that can malfunction during crashes and slice through cars, was found by a jury on Monday to have defrauded the federal government...At the heart of the legal dispute was a design change Trinity made to its rail head, the ET-Plus, in 2005, which could cause a guardrail system to jam up during a crash and transform the railing into a spear, according to some state regulators and the federal lawsuit. Those changes were not disclosed to the Federal Highway Administration for seven years, despite requirements that any such changes be immediately reported.

    New York Times
  • Three more installments to go! This is No. 13 in a series, started back in July, on the biggest infrastructure project underway in America, and either the most important one (if you're a supporter) or most misguided (if you are not). That's the proposal for a north-south California High-Speed Rail (HSR) system, which Governor Jerry Brown has embraced as his legacy project and is selling hard in his re-election campaign. 

    The Atlantic
  • There you are, standing on a street corner surrounded by a mob of people waiting for the walk signal. In front of you, a single car gets the green light. Again. For all the talk of smart cities, they can be infuriatingly dumb at times. But imagine if your city could monitor the flow of pedestrians and optimize its traffic signals for walkers, not drivers? That’s exactly what Chicago is looking to do.

  • ..."Navigation is something that's so easy for people to do, but we have a really hard time talking about what we're actually doing," says Steven Marchette, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Psychology. "You always know where you are until you suddenly don't."

  • Thirteen months ago, about 200 people at the Lafayette Veterans Hall heated to a slow boil as community activists railed about Plan Bay Area, the regional growth and land-use strategy that emphasizes more housing near public transit...So how do you explain what happened at Tuesday night's City Council meeting, when it came time to give the so-called housing element its final review? There were only three people in the audience -- four, if you include me -- and nary a pitchfork in sight.

    Contra Costa Times
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    ...Fearing that the steel-plate slowdown that festered through the Friday commute, extending all the way to the toll plaza, could drag on through the end of the year, Caltrans said Sunday evening that it had removed the plates until engineers could figure out how to do necessary work without impacting traffic so severely.

    SF Chronicle
  • You're nearing the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge during afternoon rush hour in Marin, stuck in bumper-to-bumper eastbound traffic. You see the car in front of you take the San Quentin exit. Then, as you scan the road ahead, you see that same car re-enter the freeway ahead of you via the onramp.

    Marin Independent Journal
  • ...As a retired critical care nurse, I have spent a lot of time in the back of ambulances. One day I was appalled to see people's behavior on the road toward an ambulance with lights and sirens (Code 3). Contrary to popular opinion, the county does not allow ambulances to start their lights and sirens without a reason, and the crew must report whenever they upgrade their status.

    Mercury News
  • A construction project on the Bay Bridge's western span has been suspended after commuters experienced significant delays on Friday, Caltrans officials announced Sunday. The project was set to replace six expansion joints on the bridge's upper deck and place steel plates on the roadway to accommodate the work, Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.

    Contra Costa Times
  • ...A close look at the projects that would be funded by Prop. A shows the overall plan calls for reducing miles of traffic lanes for cars, removing an unknown number of parking spaces and reducing stops on several Muni lines to enable the buses to cross town faster. The biggest chunk — $142 million — would go into new traffic signals, crosswalks and other projects to speed Muni and make it safer to cross the street.

    SF Chronicle