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  • The plan, which envisions 34 miles of new bike lanes on San Francisco streets, was initially approved in 2005 but quickly drew a lawsuit from local resident Rob Anderson. He argued that the initiative required an environmental impact report, an argument upheld by San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch, who ordered a temporary injunction against any bike-related improvements until a study was completed.

    SF Examiner
  •  Five major firms will submit their final bids to build the first 29 miles of train track in the Central Valley this Friday. The bids represent the actual cost for the first leg of the high-speed rail line and will be delivered in sealed envelopes and placed in fireproof cabinets.

    Mercury News
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    The state's Public Works Board on Monday cleared the way for the California High-Speed Rail Authority to begin negotiating for property in Fresno and Madera counties needed for high-speed train tracks. In a meeting that lasted less than 10 minutes, the board -- which includes the directors of the state's Finance, General Services and Transportation departments -- voted 3-0 to approve the formal selection of 356 separate parcels by the rail authority.

    Fresno Bee
  • ...Carsharing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and place matters – greatly.  Whichever ways shared-mobility evolves in the next few years, it will continue to depend on privileged access to public street space in very specific places and under very particular terms.  Shared-mobility hinges on public sector buy-in; the industry knows this & acts accordingly.  It can’t reach its market without planners helping –and letting – them.  In 2013 planners will need to take off the kid gloves, now that in many cases we’re dealing with serious businesses (and ones that can look after themselves, thank you very much).  In Zipcar, Avis is buying a sort of public trust, and planners will be responsible for seeing that they are a good steward.

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     The pilot of the oil tanker that hit the Bay Bridge last week apparently decided at the last minute to change course and head between a different set of bridge towers, a tricky maneuver that may have played a role in the accident, experts said. The course change put him more at the mercy of a current that cuts beneath the bridge, and with a thick fog that suddenly swept in as he approached the towers, pilot Guy Kleess would have had less margin for error as he steered the Overseas Reymar the morning of Jan. 7, according to the experts.

    SF Chronicle
  • Unlicensed drivers and those whose licenses have been suspended or revoked are nearly three times more likely to cause a fatal crash than licensed drivers, a DMV study found. The study used crash data over a 23-year period and reviewed two-vehicle fatal crashes in which only one driver was at fault.

    Santa Rosa Press-Democrat
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    Anam Ardeshiri has himself been the victim of one of the great tragedies of urban parking. He’s parked his car – in this case in Baltimore – and then returned to it a mere two minutes after the meter expired, only to find a $32 ticket waiting for him. Legions of drivers can undoubtedly relate. But pity the meter maid who gives a parking ticket to a doctoral candidate in transportation and urban infrastructure studies. "I believe that for two minutes more, using this facility shouldn’t cost me 32 dollars," argues Ardeshiri, a Ph.D. student at Morgan State University. "It should cost at most one dollar, two dollars – and I’m willing to pay. But if it turns to 32 dollars, it’s not fair."...Smarting from his own experience, Ardeshiri designed a system that would make it possible to eliminate parking tickets all together.

    Atlantic Cities
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    FOR 35 years the steel bolts holding up the ceiling of Sasago Tunnel, on a busy toll road west of Tokyo, were never checked. On December 2nd more than 600 of them had worked themselves so loose that a 130-metre stretch of the roof collapsed, crushing nine motorists. The disaster played into the hands of Shinzo Abe, who two days later launched his successful campaign to become prime minister partly on a promise of renovating Japan’s rusting infrastructure. As promised, on January 10th Mr Abe approved a massive public-spending bonanza, expected to exceed ¥13 trillion ($150 billion)—more than was spent in emergency measures after the 2011 earthquake, and about 2.6% of GDP.

    The Economist
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    BEIJING is frequently shrouded in dense, yellowish smog so thick that the other side of the road is obscured. But the deadly smog that enveloped the city over the past weekend was so bad that air-quality readings from a monitor on the roof of the American Embassy said simply: "Beyond Index". The most polluted cities of the world's largest economies:

    The Economist
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    Much of Washington is in obstruction mode these days, but not the Federal Transit Administration. The FTA recently announced changes to New Starts and Small Starts — its main capital funding programs for transit — designed to expedite the grant process. Together the programs fund about half the cost of light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferry systems in the United States.

    Atlantic Cities