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    A state-by-state look at teen driver fatalities by the Governors Highway Safety Assn. found that 16- and 17-year-old driver deaths increased from 202 to 240 during the first half of 2012, a 19% jump from the same period in the previous year....The governors' association said the increase mirrored projections by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in which all traffic deaths increased by 8% during the same period.  That’s attributed to increased driving that is a result of an improving U.S. economy.

    LA Times
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    It’s been almost 50 years since California built a tunnel, but this month one of the largest engineering jobs in the U.S. today is expected to open, moving motorists from a stunning, cliffhanger of a drive to straight and well lit pair of 4,200-foot tunnels carved through the stony cliffs of the California coastline. 

    SF Chronicle
  • Dual measures to increase vehicle registration fees and issue a general obligation bond for transportation improvements could go before voters next year, but even if approved they would only put a dent in The City’s long-term needs.

    SF Examiner
  • A common complaint about carpool lanes - except, of course, from those driving in them - is that they're always empty. Throw them open to everyone, say solo drivers sick of sitting in traffic, and gridlock would vanish. Neither carpool lanes nor congestion will disappear anytime soon; in fact, Bay Area transportation plans call for expanding the patchwork tangle of lanes. But much of the growing network will be open to all drivers - if they're willing to pay a price.

    SF Chronicle
  • ...With no formal funding, physicians at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, in Buckinghamshire, decided to run a small experiment. They asked 101 suspected appendicitis patients to record whether they recalled hitting any speed bumps on their way to the ER, and if their pain changed as a result. Of the 34 patients who eventually underwent surgery and were found to have a blocked appendix, 33 were “speed bump positive”—in other words, the pain had been jarring.

    Pacific Standard
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    ...(T)he outcry over distracted driving is far from new. As radios were first being widely installed in automobiles during the early 1930s there were fierce fights over whether they should be allowed....In 1930 the former president of the Radio Manufacturers Association, C. C. Colby, claimed that talking to people in the back seat of the car posed a greater risk to public safety than the new car radio: “Radio is not distracting because it demands no attention from the driver and requires no answer, as does conversation between the driver and passengers. Motor car radio is tuned by ear without the driver taking his eyes off the road. It is less disconcerting than the rear view mirror.”

    Pacific Standard
  • Berkeleyintersection.jpg

    City staff say roundabouts on Gilman Street at I-80 will improve the interchange in several important ways. This draft design depicts, in white, the roundabouts and roadway that pass under the freeway at ground level. The green lines show the potential alignment of the bike and pedestrian route through the interchange. 

  • ...In a paper published online this week in the journal Energy Economics, I and other scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimate that the new (fuel efficiency) standards will cost the economy on the whole — for the same reduction in gas use — at least six times more than a federal gas tax of roughly 45 cents per dollar of gasoline. That is because a gas tax provides immediate, direct incentives for drivers to reduce gasoline use, while the efficiency standards must squeeze the reduction out of new vehicles only. The new standards also encourage more driving, not less.

    New York Times
  •  AASHTO and the Federal Highway Administration announced earlier this week a new SHRP2 Implementation Assistance Program intended to assist state transportation agencies deploy new products developed under the second Strategic Highway Research Program. The program application is available online and all applications must be submitted by March 22, 2013.

    AASHTO Journal
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     EUROPE’S emissions-trading system, the world’s largest carbon cap-and-trade scheme, survived a near-death experience on February 19th. The environment committee of the European Parliament voted to support a plan proposed by the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, to take 900m tonnes of carbon allowances off the market for up to five years. Had it rejected the plan, the market might have collapsed.

    The Economist