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  • In July, the Los Angeles Metro reportedly gave contractors a "notice to proceed" with the county's latest rail project—a 1.9-mile light rail tunnel known as the Regional Connector. By joining several existing lines in Downtown Los Angeles, the connector will reduce transfers, improve travel times, and (officials hope) increase ridership. Conceived decades ago, the project entered serious planning in 2004, and the connector is scheduled to begin service in 2020.

    CityLab
  • ...Thinking about what is going on behind the scenes is easier if we consider the automobile, also known as “the machine that changed the world.” Cars succeeded through the widespread construction of highways and gas stations. Those things created a global supply chain of steel plants and refineries. Seemingly unrelated things, including suburbs, fast food and drive-time talk radio, arose in the success.

    New York Times
  • As auto makers gear up to offer technology that automates the most grinding parts of a daily drive, getting customers on board could be the easy part. It is the regulators and insurance companies that may need the hard sell...Auto industry executives say they intend to offer systems that can robotically pilot a car at speeds up to 40 miles per hour within about five years. Meanwhile, federal safety regulators say they are still conducting research on the potential safety and benefits of autonomous technology.

    Wall Street Journal
  • ...Though there are discernible spikes in both of these charts — poorer households are most likely to bike for transportation (which is something we also see in commuting data), while the richest households are the most likely to take a recreational bike trip — there’s also plenty of variation that doesn’t fall neatly along a slope.

    Streetsblog USA
  • 20140809_USP003_0.jpg

    ...America’s streetcar revival is gobbling up funds that might otherwise go towards cheaper, nimbler forms of public transport, such as buses. This is not only wasteful, but tends to favour better-off riders, such as tourists and shoppers. Poorer residents are mainly served by buses, if at all, says Daniel Chatman of the University of California, Berkeley, who studies regional planning. “The economics of many light-rail and streetcar projects is abysmal,” he adds.

    The Economist
  • zzvmt-california.jpg

    Level of Service (LOS) has been the standard by which the state measures the transportation impacts of major developments and changes to roads. Level of Service is basically a measurement of how many cars can be pushed through an intersection in a given time. If a project reduced a road’s Level of Service it was considered bad — no matter how many other benefits the project might create. Now, thanks to legislation passed last year and a yearlong effort by the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR), California will no longer consider “bad” LOS a problem that needs fixing under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) . This won’t just lead to good projects being approved more quickly and easily, but also to better mitigation measures for transportation impacts.

    Streetsblog LA
  • danishbike-share.png

    We don’t have to dream of a country where protected bike lanes and other quality bike infrastructure have dramatically improved life for poor people. We can visit it...After embracing cars in the 1950s and 60s, Denmark took a U-turn around 1970 and began using protected bike lanes and low-speed side streets to make bicycle transportation an efficient, comfortable option. Today, this small, prosperous peninsula (whose capital, Copenhagen, is about the size of Columbus, Ohio) has the second-highest biking rates in the developed world after the Netherlands.

    StreetsblogUSA
  • bridge-1.jpg

    Copenhagen has long been leading the world in citizen-pleasing infrastructure, and the country has yet again outdone itself. In June, it welcomed the Cykelslagen, or Cycle Snake, an elevated cyclist roadway over the harbor to ease congestion. This road is the latest addition to one of the most bicycle-friendly city infrastructures in the world. In Copenhagen, more than 50 percent of residentsride their bicycles to work. Portland, Oregon, with the most bicycle commuters in the United States, clocks in at 6.1 percent

    Wired
  • A consortium of major automakers and U.S. utilities has set out to create a digital Rosetta Stone to help electric cars communicate with the power grid. The effort aspires to create a widely accepted communication standard that can send signals to electric vehicles, regardless of make or model, to slow or pause the charging of batteries.

    Union-Tribune San Diego
  • ...Urban affordability and parking policy are closely connected. In urban apartment and condo projects, parking is almost always required, and because of the high price of urban land, typically that parking is provided underground. Below-grade parking costs up to $35,000 per stall, while in many places wood-framed apartments cost about $100,000 to $120,000 to build (excluding the price of land). That means that for every parking stall we don't require developers to build, we can save 25 to 35 percent of the cost of rent, right off the top.

    CityLab