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  •  The United States lags years behind countries like Japan, Singapore and South Korea in implementing sophisticated intelligent transportation systems that make moving goods and people more efficient, and it could hurt the economy, according to a new report....The technology can range from synchronizing traffic lights for optimal traffic flow to providing real-time information on traffic conditions and accidents to minimize traffic congestion. In Singapore, for example, all traffic lights are programmed for optimal traffic flow but just 40 percent of traffic lights in the United States are. Japan’s Smartway project goes further, offering drivers real-time traffic information, accident repots and navigation that avoids congested roadways.

  • Federal transportation inspectors are investigating a former construction worker's claims that a bridge being built in a $600 million Nevada highway project is unsafe because he was ordered to do substandard concrete work to save money.

    SF Chronicle
  • Consumers gave some of the weakest scores to the area's three main airports -- John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia International -- for everything from baggage handling to security checkpoints in J.D. Power & Associates' North America Airport Satisfaction Study for 2010. The three ranked low across the board as consumers complained that getting in and out of the airports was as much of a hassle as waiting for their bags.

    Wall Street Journal
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    Mark Reutter, author of the industrial tome Making Steel and a veteran editor of Railroad History, can safely be called an expert on the train industry. And in a new memo for the Progressive Policy Institute, he is issuing a warning to the Obama administration on its high-profile push for high-speed rail....Reutter asks why Florida and California -- the only two states pursuing dedicated passenger rail lines that reach international speed standards -- did not receive more significant amounts of money, and he lays the blame at the feet of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

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     The Obama administration today announced the winners of $1.5 billion stimulus in highly competitive stimulus grants under the program known as Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER. Southeastern and midwestern freight rail projects were the day's biggest winners, with urban streetcar projects also making a big splash....Among the several cities who sought stimulus grants to construct new streetcar lines, Tuscon ($63 million), Dallas ($23 million), and New Orleans ($45 million) emerged victorious. The latter city was singled out by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for a December announcement of new streetcar grants, seen at the time as a boost to its chances for federal aid.

  • Governor Schwarzenegger remarked Wednesday that too much time has been lost by commuters on the 405 due to an increase in traffic volume, and that more needs to be done. The governor thinks a second level may alleviate the notoriously bad traffic jams, so he wants to build up in addition to building out.

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    How the deal fell through: An annotated guide to the Oakland Airport connector from November 2000 when Alameda County voters approved a sales tax for a list of transportation improvements--to February 10, 2010 when the project was found to be not in compliance with the Civil Rights Act.

  • Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit board members on Wednesday urged a multipronged attack as it continues to search for $155 million to complete a Marin-to-Sonoma commuter train project....Some of the ideas kicked around at the meeting included finding federal money for the bike path portion of the rail project, which would allow sales tax money to go to the train. Another possibility is using money intended for other Bay Area projects that are not ready to be built.

    Marin Independent Journal
  • A controversial proposal to start building the Sonoma-Marin commute rail system in Marin County first while looking for federal funds to bridge a $155 million financial gap was discarded by rail authorities Wednesday. Instead, Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit officials said they'll work closely with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which is trying to find regional funds to pay for opening the entire line in 2014.

    Santa Rosa Press Democrat
  • Pittsburg says it will withdraw from a regional transportation fee-collection agency unless its contributions are spent on projects involving the city....Pittsburg leaders say regional road projects that would affect their city have not received a proportionate amount of funding....Pittsburg joined the group when it was created in 1994 in part to fund the James Donlon extension, a planned expressway through the hills of undeveloped land south of Pittsburg. That project aims to give East Contra Costa commuters an alternate route while taking thousands of cars off city streets like Buchanan Road.

    Contra Costa Times