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  • One of the most oversold problems of everyday life in San Francisco is getting the realistic treatment it needs. Company shuttle buses, demonized by housing activists looking for a handy target, will operate under a pilot program that controls their impacts. It's a sensible plan to limit a modest problem blown out of proportion. To its credit, the Board of Supervisors approved the rules for an 18-month trial.

    SF Chronicle
  • Ratings of 34 child safety seats in frontal-impact crash tests, announced on Thursday by Consumer Reports, awarded the top ranking of Best to just 13 of the seats. A new testing procedure, said by the magazine to represent an investment of more than a half-million dollars and over two years of work, was developed to evaluate the crash protection provided by child seats. The results are intended to equip parents with the information needed to compare the safety level of seats, in this case those designed for infants.

    New York Times
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    National efforts in the last decade to clear the air of dangerous particulate matter have been so successful that most urban areas have already attained the next benchmark, according to new research by Rice University.

    Science Daily
  • What makes cities in India and China so frustrating to drive in -- heavy traffic, aggressive driving style, few freeways -- makes them ideal for saving fuel with hybrid vehicles, according to new research from the Lawrence Berkeley national Laboratory. In a pair of studies using real-world driving conditions, they found that hybrid cars are significantly more fuel-efficient in India and China than they are in the United States.

    Science Daily
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    Doubts about the High Speed Rail Authority’s ability to fund its estimated $68 billion program dominated last week’s Senate Transportation and Housing Committee hearing (see the background report in this PDF). Committee Chair Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) said he was “somewhat skeptical” about the Authority’s 2014 Draft Business Plan and questioned CAHSRA CEO Jeff Morales on the authority’s reliance on uncertain funding sources. “You couldn’t get a [small business loan] based on what we’re assuming here,” DeSaulnier told Morales, referring to the high cost estimates and funding prospects in the Business Plan.

    Streetsblog LA
  • ...We're driving less. Adjusted for population growth, the number of vehicle miles driven per year has dropped 8.9 percent since peaking in 2005...But a new study co-led by myself; Evelyn Blumenberg from the University of California, Los Angeles; and Casey Dawkins from the University of Maryland suggests there is at least one group that may need help to drive more, not less: low-income residents of high-poverty neighborhoods.

    Atlantic Cities
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    Costanza's universal theory of parking states that drivers should never pay for a spot because, if they apply themselves, they'll get it for free. Most U.S. cities do everything they can to abide the theory. They undervalue the price of street spaces. They keep parking so cheap itencourages driving (and thus undermines their own transit investments, leading to more driving). And they require a minimum number of parking spaces for new developments whether residents need them or not.

    Atlantic Cities
  • ...There has been a surge in orders for the coveted stickers, with 38,203 issued as of Friday. The limit -- for now -- is 40,000 and many officials thought it would be summer before that would be reached. Now it's believed they could run out this week.

    Contra Costa Times
  • The fix for a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 traffic deaths would have cost just 57 cents, members of Congress said Tuesday as they demanded answers from General Motors' new CEO on why the automaker took 10 years to recall cars with the defect.

    AP/SF Chronicle
  • The fix for a faulty ignition switch linked to 13 traffic deaths would have cost just 57 cents, members of Congress said Tuesday as they demanded answers from General Motors' new CEO on why the automaker took 10 years to recall cars with the defect.

    AP/SF Chronicle