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  • At $68 billion, California's bullet train is the nation's largest infrastructure project and arguably Gov. Jerry Brown's biggest initiative. Even so, it received just a few words earlier this year in his State of the State address. It's also playing little more than a bit role in the gubernatorial race — relegated to periodic sound bites, sharp attacks and glossy promises...failing to engage in a robust public airing of emerging technical and financial issues on huge engineering projects can compound problems, or lead to unwelcome surprises if they become more difficult and costly to manage, UC Berkeley's Robert Bea said.

    LA Times
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    If we can be real for a moment, it is maybe a little insane that we let 16-year-olds drive. Teenagers crash cars a lot, and it’s hard to imagine today’s panoply of harmless-seeming smartphone distractions making new drivers any safer...License+ comes as an update to the Automatic app, available today. It lets new drivers enroll in a 100-hour program, using the company’s car-tracking dongle to give drivers a score based on behavior like observing the speed limit and braking properly... What parents really desired, the company suspected, was a way to make sure their kids were learning how to drive responsibly.

  • If you are going to be killed by a car while riding a bicycle, there’s a good chance you are male, older than 20 and living in California or Florida. That’s the finding of a report issued Monday by the Governors Highway Safety Assn. that also noted that between 2010 and 2012, U.S. bicyclist deaths increased by 16%.

    LA Times
  • The rapid transit district began service in 1972 with a philosophy that people needed to be offered an empty seat on a train and a free parking space if they were going to be lured out of their cars to commute. But now riders will have to hand over $1 a day to park at Concord, North Concord, Hayward and the Oakland Coliseum as BART over the next few weeks phases out the last of the four free lots.

    Contra Costa Times
  • Virginia is to become the first state to remove a Trinity Industries Inc. (TRN) guardrail product from state-maintained roads, after officials there cited the company’s failure to meet a deadline for crash-testing a modified version of its ET-Plus end terminal...Virginia has installed more than 11,000 guardrail end terminals since 2006, according to Marshall Herman, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation.

  • A recent New York Times article urged baby boomers preparing for retirement to consider their future transportation needs. The average American woman is living 10 years beyond the point when she is physically able to drive, and the average man is living seven years longer, the Times reported. But as important and practical as it is for older Americans to seek housing in walkable, transit friendly locations, it’s not always easy. 

    Streetsblog Network
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    ...Flywheel, the hailing app for taxis that has The City's blessing, has successfully installed its smartphone devices on every cab company's fleet except the largest -- Yellow Cab Cooperative. The yellow color scheme has more than 600 cabs, which is more than one-third of all taxis in San Francisco, according to Yellow Cab President and General Manager Jim Gillespie.

    SF Examiner
  • Ford CEO Mark Fields says the company has the expertise and ability to build a Tesla-style full-size, high-tech, high-performance, long-range electric vehicle.

    USA Today
  • Metering lights intended to ease traffic flow onto northbound Highway 101 during evening commute hours could shave off 24 percent of driving time for some drivers, according to a study commissioned by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

    Marin Independent Journal
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    ...Many drivers who have had cyclists zoom past them mere inches away say it’s one of the scariest hazards on the freeway. But many motorcyclists say that lane-splitting protects them from being rear-ended in heavy traffic. A new, first-of-its-kind study isn’t likely to settle the argument. And that makes it even more important for the California Highway Patrol to restore some common-sense rules of the road to protect motorists and motorcyclists alike.

    Santa Rosa Press Democrat