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  • According to a report released Thursday by transportation nonprofit TRIP, rural communities across the country face a backlog of deficient roads and bridges, higher vehicle crash rates, and connectivity and capacity issues. TRIP's report, "Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America's Heartland," said rural roadways experience traffic crash and fatality rates nearly three times higher than all other roadways. For example, in 2012, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.21 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel. That number was .78 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel on all other roads.

    AASHTO Journal
  • Amazon wants to take its much-hyped fleet of delivery drones on test runs near its Seattle office -- but first the Internet retailer needs permission from regulators. In a formal request to the Federal Aviation Administration, Amazon's vice president of global public policy Paul Misener wrote that "one day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today."

    ABC News
  • For the first time in more than two decades, Los Angeles transportation officials can legally discuss building a light-rail line through a southern swath of the San Fernando Valley.

    LA Times
  • U.S. cities trying to attract young residents and the businesses that hire them are increasingly finding magic in the bike lane. With more people pedaling for transportation and recreation, lanes separated from traffic by poles, curbs or other barriers have almost doubled since 2011 and may again by 2016, according to PeopleForBikes, a Colorado advocacy group that tallies them.

    Santa Fe New Mexican
  • ...According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global status report on road safety 2013, only 7% of the world’s population is governed by comprehensive road safety laws. In a world that already sees1.24 million deaths from traffic crashes each year and increasing motor vehicle usage, this is a frightening prospect and limits our thinking on traffic safety to driver behavior. Countries like Sweden, however, have taken ambitious, holistic steps to improve traffic safety and save lives through an initiative called Vision Zero, a road safety framework that asserts that “no loss of life is morally acceptable.” The concept has spread to places such as New York City, where newly elected Mayor Bill de Blasio campaigned and has adopted the approach. 

    Sustainable Cities Collective
  • Mercedes-Benz president and CEO Steve Cannon discusses what the smart car of the future will do, plus trends in the luxury car market on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.rcedes-Benz president and CEO Steve Cannon discusses what the smart car of the future will do, plus trends in the luxury car market on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero.

    Wall Street Journal
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    Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk has pledged $1 million toward a new science museum honoring Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla in Long Island. Tesla would have been 158 years old on Thursday. The prolific Serbian-American inventor died penniless in 1943 in a New York City hotel room, obsessed with pigeons. 

  • In a hearing that mixed partisan barbs with lamentation that transportation once was a bipartisan lovefest, a key House committee moved Thursday to patch funding for roads, bridges and transit systems until May 31, 2015. If approved by the full House, the plan to keep threatened federal transportation funding flowing faces strong opposition from Senate Democrats who want Congress to find a more lasting solution after lawmakers return from the November election.

    Washington Post
  • Given Honda’s success as a maker of cars, trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, generators and other consumer goods, maybe it was only a matter of time before they looked to the skies and figured out a way to make a Honda airplane.

    SF Chronicle
  • The past couple of weeks have witnessed more than one high-profile instance of journalists demonizing cyclist behavior. In one case, NPR's Scott Simon tweeted that all city cyclists "think they're above the law" (though he subsequently toned down the venom). In the more severe case, Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy made the seemingly sociopathic suggestion that drivers annoyed by cyclists should consider hitting them and paying the $500 fine... It's been pointed out in this space before, most skillfully by Sarah Goodyear last year, that cycling haters are actually a sign of cycling success.