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Transportation Nation

Cracked Bolts or No, New SF Bay Bridge Opening Labor Day

Thursday, August 15, 2013

KALW

The new San Francisco Bay Bridge will open the day after Labor Day. After postponing the opening indefinitely in July, the bridge’s oversight committee voted to restore the original date at a meeting on Thursday.  The cracked bolts in the new bridge are apparently better than the totally unsafe old bridge, which wouldn't survive a minor earthquake.

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Transportation Nation

The Future of the Bay Area: Transit Oriented Development

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

KALW

The Bay Area has some of the most congested cities in the whole country ­-- and over the next 30 years, another two million people are expected to move to the area. How are they all going to fit? The region is planning for a future where cars ownership is optional, transit is plentiful, and pedestrian-friendly communities are the norm.

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Transportation Nation

SF Bay Area Gets a (non-binding) Master Plan to Fight Sprawl

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

KALW

Two San Francisco are government groups have approved a master plan for an expected population boom over the next 30 years, and reactions reveal diverging visions for life in the Bay Area. 

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Transportation Nation

A "Quick Fix" Could Open the SF Bay Bridge on Labor Day

Monday, July 22, 2013

KALW

After all that, the San Francisco Bay Bridge could open on Labor Day. That’s if a new solution—being called the “quick fix”—is approved to temporarily stabilize the structure’s broken bolts.

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The Greene Space

Laurie Metcalf, Daniel Stern and Playwright Sharr White take us behind the curtain of the Broadway thriller, 'The Other Place.'

Thursday, January 17, 2013

WQXR's Elliott Forrest took us behind the curtain of the new Broadway play "The Other Place," sitting down with the stars of the Manhattan Theatre Club production on January 17.

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Transportation Nation

California Upgrades Video Monitoring of Highway Conditions

Friday, September 16, 2011

The new video wall at the Traffic Monitoring Center in Oakland, CA.

Traffic jams on California’s freeway and highway systems are notorious for their complexity and scale. Solving problems and keeping traffic moving is a 24/7 job, one that requires monitoring a constant flow of real-time data.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, that data gets fed into a “Mission-Control” style center dominated by a wall of 35 newly upgraded LED video screens that stream live images from regional freeway hotspots and interchanges.

The video screens, which are never turned off, were upgraded earlier this summer both to improve image resolution and to extend the lifespan of the monitors. According to John Goodwin, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which partially funded the upgrade, the new LED monitors should operate for about six years; older, lamp-based monitors only lasted about nine months.

The information gathered through the system is used to help pinpoint traffic and construction issues on Bay Area roadways, and is jointly monitored by the MTC, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

“Half of all traffic congestion in the Bay Area is not the result of too many vehicles and too few lanes,” said Goodwin, “But rather is due to accidents, debris spills, or a broken down car pulled over to the side of the road.” The monitoring system allows Caltrans and CHP to respond more quickly to these problems than they could through regular patrols.

Traffic sensors built into the roadway alert staff to problem areas. They then can use cameras to zoom in precisely on problem areas, and get help to accident scenes and stranded motorists, or mitigate long and frustrating waits for commuters.

The bulk of funding for the $899,000 cost of the upgrade came from the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program (CMAQ). The MTC paid for 11.47 percent of the upgrade costs with funds that come in part from a surcharge on motor vehicle registration fees.

 

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Transportation Nation

Back of the Bus: The Courts Weigh In on Transportation Equity

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

AC Transit bus (photo by lensovet/Wikimedia Commons)

(San Francisco--Casey Miner, KALW News) If you've had a chance to listen to Back of the Bus, you know a little something about civil rights and Bay Area transportation. The quick version: local transit advocates believe money goes disproportionately to big rail projects like the Oakland Airport Connector at the expense of the local bus service used primarily by low-income and minority riders. Last month the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on that topic -- and it says the transit advocates are wrong.  But you can bet the story won't end here.

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Transportation Nation

More Concerns Over Civil Rights in Bay Area Transportation

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

(San Francisco, CA - Casey Miner, KALW News)  It was nearly a year ago that local transportation advocates filed a complaint against BART, alleging that the agency had not complied with federal civil rights legislation when making plans for the Oakland Airport Connector. The Federal Transit Administration agreed, and BART lost $70 million in stimulus funding as a result.

Now, it’s not just BART that’s under scrutiny. BART gets its federal funding via the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the regional body that doles out state and federal funds for transportation projects, and they’re on the feds’ radar as well. Last February, the FTA asked MTC to prove that it had procedures in place to make sure everyone who got money was complying with federal law.

You can read the back and forth on the Public Advocates website (the local group that filed the original complaint), but the gist of it is this:

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