Headline News

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  • The Santa Monica City Council late Tuesday took a major step toward closing all or part of the city's airport after July 2015 -- a controversial move that could result in years of additional court battles with the federal government...The decision also calls for the city to consider converting airport land to low-impact non-aviation uses. Meanwhile, it will continue a legal effort to gain full control of the facility, which is subject to federal agreements designed to preserve the 227-acre airport, including its 5,000-foot runway.

    LA Times
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    ...As the system staggers out of a brutal winter season, city officials have taken Citi Bike’s operators to task over its persistent financial concerns, which have left the program hunting for new investors to support the system and pay for its long-awaited expansion. Yet a review of the program’s history suggests that a confluence of factors — wishful projections and political considerations, forces of nature and misadventures in paperwork — have imperiled the system.

    New York Times
  • Transportation officials are growing the workforce that is dismantling the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge — a move that includes a $12.67 million increase in the cantilever demolition contract they hope will be covered by cost savings in the end. The old double-decker cantilever structure was closed in September and replaced by the new self-anchored suspension span. Since June, when the contractor prioritized completing the new eastern span, demolition has fallen six months behind.

    SF Examiner
  • A federal agency overseeing transportation safety is warning pilots to take extra precautions after a pair of recent plane landings at the wrong airports....Government safety data shows that at least 150 flights made such mistakes over the past two decades. 

    AP/Washington Post
  • Two Senate Democrats unveiled a plan Tuesday that would require automakers to share more information about fatal accidents in an effort to help federal regulators uncover defects such as the flawed General Motors ignition switch that has been linked to at least 12 deaths. GM has said it knew about the defective switch for more than a decade before initiating a recall last month of 1.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and five other small models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had been looking into the defect for years but has said it did not have enough information to order a recall.

    Washington Post
  • UCLA’s Lewis Center published a report yesterday finding that California’s High-Speed Rail project is a relatively expensive way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the near-term, compared to upgrading local transit and bicycle infrastructure. Comparing CAHSR to Los Angeles Metro’s Gold Line light-rail and Orange Line bus rapid transit route and bikeway, the report finds high-speed rail to be the least cost-efficient investment the state could make.

    Streetsblog LA
  •  Will you and I be on the hook for the high cost of building California's high speed rail project? "No, the public's not gonna be on the hook. We're gonna take a fresh look at the high-speed rail," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said on the KFBK Morning News today when asked about the battle in the Assembly over paying for the project.

    KFBK
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     A home by Honda and the University of California, Davis, is expected to make more energy than it consumes. it is an example of the way solar companies and carmakers are converging on a common goal: to create the self-sufficient home, with a car's battery as the linchpin.

    New York Times
  • zzdistracteddrivers4.jpg

    Blown away by how many people use their cell phones on the freeway, San Francisco graphic designer Brian Singer came up with a new way to raise awareness of the risky behavior. Singer recently started the website Texting While In Traffic, where he's been collecting photos of distracted drivers (Singer assured Gizmodo that the photos were taken by passengers, not drivers). He's now blown up some of the images for display on 11 billboards throughout San Francisco. The hope is that the photos will freak people out enough that they'll stop.

    Atlantic Cities
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     Here are a few things to know about Robin Hutcheson. She's a Connecticut native who came to Utah in 1994 for the skiing, and except for a few years in Europe, has lived here ever since. Since 2011, she's been head of the transportation planning division of Salt Lake City, the state's capital and biggest metropolis, often commuting by bike, at other times running one way and taking public transit on the return trip. Also, as you have noted by now, she is a woman.

    Atlantic Cities