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    Air pollution from traffic has been linked to birth defects in a large new Stanford study of women who lived in California’s smoggy San Joaquin valley during the early weeks of their pregnancies. “We found an association between specific traffic-related air pollutants and neural tube defects, which are malformations of the brain and spine,” said the study’s lead author, Amy Padula, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in pediatrics. The research appears online today in theAmerican Journal of Epidemiology.

    Scope/Stanford Medicine
  • Drivers who want to use some of California's most crowded carpool lanes may have to track down another passenger to ride with them...California is under pressure from the federal government to improve carpool commuting times on its most heavily trafficked highways.

    Sacramento Bee
  • President Obama came to the congested ocean port here on Friday to promote his plans to rebuild the nation’s “raggedy” roads, bridges, schools and other infrastructure with a marriage of public and private investment...Ken Orski, the editor of Innovation NewsBriefs, a transportation newsletter, said the president’s emphasis on private investment was important. “We need more of that kind of involvement, rather than exclusive emphasis on public financing,” he said.

    New York Times
  • Shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. jumped more than 19 percent Monday after the company said sales are running ahead of schedule and it will post a first-quarter net profit. The Palo Alto, Calif., company said Sunday night that first-quarter sales have exceeded 4,750 Model S sedans, above prior guidance of 4,500.

    SF Chronicle
  • ...Beginning Monday, more than 200 police agencies throughout the state will take part in a monthlong crackdown on distracted driving.

    Mercury News
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    Even among  big-ticket Bay Area transportation schemes, AC Transit’s planned “express bus” line from San Leandro to downtown Oakland is a thing of beauty. Considering the cost — $178 million — it ought to be. Originally conceived as an 18-mile commuter line, with buses running every five minutes from San Leandro’s Bay Fair BART station to UC Berkeley — and with a daily ridership estimated at 25,000 — the proposed line has shrunk to 9.5 miles, with a drastically lower ridership.

    SF Chronicle
  • After more than five years of dreaming, planning, building and testing, Solar Impulse is ready to begin its most ambitious flight yet — a transcontinental journey in an airplane made largely of carbon fiber and photovoltaic cells. The beautifully simple airplane, known by its Swiss aircraft identification HB-SIA, has been meticulously reassembled at a hangar at Moffett Field south of San Francisco.

    Wired
  • The California bullet train project has reasonable ridership and revenue forecasts, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, but it could be doing a better job at producing cost estimates.

    LA Times
  • ...Almost half of all adults admit to texting while driving in a survey by AT&T provided to USA TODAY, compared with 43% of teenagers. More than 98% of adults — almost all of them — admit they know it's wrong. Six in 10 say they weren't doing it three years ago...This follows an extensive national campaign against distracted driving: 39 states and the District of Columbia ban texting while driving for all drivers, and an additional five states prohibit the practice for new drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

    USA Today
  • All-electronic tolling on the Golden Gate Bridge began Wednesday, but some drivers may have been a little too eager to take advantage of the lack of congestion. Some drivers were clocked at speeds of 60 mph going through the now-vacant toll plaza, according to the California Highway Patrol.

    SF Examiner