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  • Standing in front of giant monitors showing live traffic patterns around the region, Caltrans’ local director on Tuesday said roughly 185,000 motorists must stay off the nation’s busiest freeway on Saturday and Sunday if this weekend’s “Carmageddon II” is to be a success.

    LA Times
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    ...This is the kind of home – already complete with wall sconces, built-in cabinets and warm paint tones – where a sizable share of Americans live (or, at least, aspire to). In the quest to combat climate change and reduce our energy consumption, it’s easy to sidestep this reality.

    Atlantic Cities
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    Passengers who don't want to sit near young children will soon get that optionon Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X. The airline, which functions of the long-haul unit of Kuala Lumpur-basedAirAsia, says it will set aside the first seven rows of coach for passengers aged 12 and older.

    USA Today
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    ...A half-century or so ago Louisville, like so many American cities, bet the farm on cars and suburbia. It sacrificed a swath of its downtown to three interstate highways....Blocks of historic commercial warehouses and banks were leveled as a consequence; the center of the city was severed from Louisville’s spectacular waterfront; mass transit was largely abandoned and many corners of town transformed into parking lots....And the traffic? It got worse.

    New York Times
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    For years, the New York City Transportation Department has held a trump card in the roiling debate over its many roadway interventions: When officials said the measures, like pedestrian plazas and bike lanes, had made streets safer, the numbers appeared to back them up. But the release last week of the Mayor’s Management Report, a twice-yearly collection of city measures, revealed a disquieting figure. Traffic fatalities from July 2011 through June 2012 were up 23 percent from the previous year — to 291, from 236. It was the first increase since 2007, when there were 310 traffic fatalities, after years of consistent decline.

    New York Times
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    Call it the Zipcar of electric scooters. Scoot Networks launches Wednesday in San Francisco, with 60 scooters available at four stations in the city's SoMa neighborhood. Backed by $775,000 from angel investors, the startup plans to add scooters and stations until it blankets the city....The customer chooses a scooter and plugs his or her phone into the scooter's dash, which has a docking port where the speedometer should be. From that point forward, the phone acts as the dashboard, showing speed, battery charge and a map of the scooter's location.

    SF Chronicle
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    ...On Tuesday at Google’s headquarters, the governor of California, Jerry Brown, signed into law a bill to legalize driverless cars. The bill had overwhelmingly passed the State Legislature. Google, which has been building the cars, says they are safer because they nearly eliminate human error. They could also be more fuel-efficient, the company says, and place California and the United States at the forefront of automobile innovation.

    New York Times
  •  ...(W)hile public transit might be preferable when it comes to controlling stress, drivers spend less time getting to and from work. At least that’s what a recent Census Bureau survey found. The mean travel time for public transportation riders was more than 47 minutes, compared with under 32 minutes for people who drove themselves and 37 minutes for people who car-pooled.

    New York Times
  • Southwest Airways Flight 844 from Minneapolis had just landed at Chicago’s Midway International Airport last December and was about to cross a runway on its way to the terminal when the co-pilot noticed a business jet barreling toward him. He shouted for the captain to stop. The plane, carrying 74 passengers, screeched to a halt just short of the runway as the smaller jet crossed before their eyes....Since 2008, there have been about three incidents a day in which a plane or a vehicle gets on an active runway by mistake, an average of 1,000 a year. That number has held steady for the last four years while the total number of flights has declined.

    New York Times
  • In the future, your automobile will be locked in the same cycle of never-ending software upgrades that holds sway over computers and smartphones. For Tesla Model S owners, the future is now.

    Wired