Headline News

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  • An association of predominantly white contractors asked a federal appeals court Monday to stop Caltrans from reserving some federally funded road-building contracts for companies owned by minorities and women.

    SF Chronicle
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    New research out of California shows public transit is a tough sell to those who’ve had bad experiences. Cec Haire saw the headline… and then called the study’s author, Andre Carrel, to find out more.

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    Two of BART's busiest San Francisco stations could be on track for a $900 million expansion, complete with new tunnels, elevators and extra platforms to boost rider capacity. The rebuilding of the Embarcadero and Montgomery Street stations would require tearing out the existing walls, installing new platforms, boring additional tunnels for staircases, and putting in extra elevators.

    SF Chronicle
  • Higher levels of ozone (O3) exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy were associated with significant increases in rates of pre-eclampsia and preterm birth, Swedish investigators concluded. The risk of both conditions increased at least 4% for every 10 µg/m3 rise in ozone concentrations and possibly as much as 12% in the case of pre-eclampsia.

    MedPage Today
  •  An analysis from a team of California Department of Transportation experts, released Thursday after more than a year of preparation, confirmed data problems involving radiation-based tests of reinforced concrete foundations for nine bridges or other freeway structures, including the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

    Sacramento Bee
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    ...In an analysis that included more than 3 million births, an increase of 10-µg/m3 in airborne particulate matter was associated with a slight but significant increase in low birth weight (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.05,P<0.001), according to Payam Dadvand, MD, PhD, of the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, and colleagues.

    MedPage Today
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    Nitrogen dioxide is a nasty gas produced largely by internal-combustion engines. A small whiff of NO2 is enough to anesthetize the nose, and its chemical byproducts can harm the cardiovascular system and trash a good pair of lungs.This pernicious pollutant is rampant throughout the planet, but nowhere moreso than above the heavily trafficked lanes of international shipping vessels. 

    Atlantic Cities
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    ...The question of where to invest in transit-oriented development is a complicated one. We recently stumbled across a smart way of visualizing the answer – with “typology radar graphs!” – from the Center for Transit-Oriented DevelopmentLast week, the center released an extensive study of more than 100 transit stops in the Pittsburgh area. Glancing across all of them, how are transit agencies supposed to know where to invest limited funds to boost the prospects for a transit-oriented community? And how should developers figure out where new projects might succeed?

    Atlantic Cities
  • After last week's post on the public perception problem facing congestion pricing, Jarrett Walker of the Human Transit blog (and book) replied that part of the problem is the very term congestion pricing. Walker believes the term carries a punitive connotation, and also finds it inaccurate....A short list of terms both accurate and inviting includes road space pricingmobility pricing,congestion relief pricingtraffic reduction pricing, and commuter pricing. Of these, mobility pricing has the sweetest ring, but it feels a touch abstract for the average driver. 

    Atlantic Cities
  • Package trucks—those familiar parcel delivery vehicles that double-park on your block—have become an international target of commuter ire. According to the Federal Highway Administration, a significant amount of city gridlock can be attributed to restrictions on freight movement, like a lack of space for trucks in cities. By one estimate, 947,000 hours of vehicle delay annually can be attributed to delivery trucks parked curbside in downtown areas.

    Atlantic Cities