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  • Panels of experts assigned to review major state projects are only credible if they are transparent and independent. Because the one that Caltrans trotted out to look at bridge safety was far from the ideal, it's imperative that state lawmakers explore how to make the panels better.

    Sacramento Bee
  • Questions about real and perceived conflicts of interst among experts hired to review California megaprojects, such as the Bay Bridge, high-speed rail and Delta twin water diversion tunnels, are driving state legislators to look at writing stiff new rules for peer review panels. 

    Contra Costa Times
  • Just how many new riders would jump on a train to one of Silicon Valley's most desired destinations? About 200, it turns out--and it would cost taxpayers up to $175 million to build the rail line to Los Gatos...."You could buy every one of (the riders) a Bentley and a driver," said Dave Fadness, a longtime Santa Clara County transportation commissioner. "It's crazy."

    Mercury News
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    UC Berkeley professor of epidemiology and community health William Satariano and other experts say the relationship a person has to the surrounding environment becomes crucial as his or her body wears down. One-third to one-half of adults 65 or older are estimated to be physically impaired.

    SF Chronicle
  • In an unusual move Tuesday night, San Clemente's elected leaders told the California Department of Transportation that it can't have access to city streets to supply power to a digital freeway message board that could affect a local neighborhood....Councilman Tim Brown said smartphones and other digital devices have surpassed freeway message boards. "I question, really, the need for more of these signs on our freeways when, frankly, the people make an informed decision before they leave the house as to the traffic impacts," Brown said. "Or, particularly in this case, where you've got a sign that's just two miles down providing a lot of the information necessary, with no diversion points."

    Orange County Register
  • It’s that time again – the season for fairy-tale car ads in which American families with glossy hair and dazzling teeth present each other with fancy automobiles as Christmas gifts....This year, though, there is a hint of anxiety in the (Lexus) company’s ad campaign, a seeming reflection of the auto industry's new reality: that Millennials are not driving, and by extension not purchasing or even expecting as gifts, new cars anywhere near as much as their parents did.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...In early 2012, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa tasked city department heads with developing and implementing a strategy for transit oriented development....his ad-hoc committee produced a serious report outlining the steps the city needs to take to create a unified T.O.D. Plan and implement it. The plan looked at L.A. as a series of major transit corridors and concluded something obvious: that the city needs to coordinate its department heads and visionaries to create an implement plans for these areas before any true urban planning can happen. Last week, Villaraigosa took the long-awaited first step to make that happen.

    LA .Streetsblog.org
  • ...“The pockets of neighborhoods that seem to have weathered this economic trauma we’ve had, particularly in the housing market, have been these great little accessible neighborhoods near transit stations, particularly in central cities or inner-ring neighborhoods,” said Robert Cervero, Professor of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley. 

    Intransition Magazine
  • ...By adding a suite of seven efficiency technologies to its tractor-trailer fleet, the U.S. trucking sector could save 624 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2022, according to a Carbon War Room report. The technologies would also achieve $22,400 in annual fuel savings per truck, which would see the upgrades paid off in 18 months....The report recommends five physical fuel-saving technologies, including aerodynamic upgrades, anti-idling devices, decreased rolling resistance with better tires, new transmission systems and adaptive cruise control. One of these technologies could provide between 3 and 15 percent in emissions reductions and fuel savings over a 10-year period, it says.

    EE News
  • While shopping online might contribute to air pollution due to increased trucking, perfecting hybrid trucks could help control emissions and cut fuel consumption in half....Growth in e-commerce is one phenomenon leading to significant increases in the number of trucks needed to transport goods.

    Imperial Valley News