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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Fuel Economy Up, Bipartisan Hatred of House Transpo Bill, and NY MTA Head: No Subway Food Ban

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top stories on TN:
LaHood Heaps More Criticism on “Lousy” House Transpo Bill (Link)
President’s Budget: High Speed Rail, Fixing Roads & Bridges, Complete Streets, TIGER Grants (Link)
Biodiesel Producers Push to Raise Federal Production Limits (Link)
Two More Ex-Governors Say Port Authority Has Long History of Problems (Link)

(photo by Ed Yourdon via Flickr)

The current head of the MTA won't support a ban on eating in the subway. (New York Times)

Meanwhile, Lee Sander -- a former MTA head -- grilled Eric Cantor about the House transportation bill. (Capital New York)

The fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. last month hit a record high. (Detroit Free Press)

Chicago politicians discover bipartisanship when it comes to opposing the House transportation bill. “When we look at transportation infrastructure, this is not a Republican or a Democratic issue. It’s an American issue,’’ said one Republican. (Chicago Tribune)

New York State says it erred when it invited community members to a briefing about the Tappan Zee Bridge; transit advocates say disinviting them is par for the course. "All the decisions have already been made behind closed doors," said one. (The Times Herald Record)

Color wars: officials in Minneapolis-St. Paul can't agree on the color scheme for its new bus rapid transit system. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

NJ Transit has released its latest customer satisfaction survey, and the results remain consistent: riders feel that the level of service is just barely acceptable. (Times of Trenton)

And Happy Valentine's Day, TN readers! Two links of love:
Why are so many romantic comedies set in cities? "Love can happen anywhere, anytime...(but) the odds are much higher in nature or in a walkable city neighborhood (or both at the same time!) than in sprawl, or while driving in traffic." (Atlantic Cities)
And a special treat for New Yorkers: did your eyes lock -- just as the C train was pulling out of the station? Did a tall, handsome stranger help you navigate the weekend subway work? Find your 'Missed Connection' tonight at the New York Transit Museum.

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Transportation Nation

A Bridge to ... London?! Historical Map with Grand Rail Plans

Monday, December 06, 2010

(St. Paul, Minnesota -- Dan Olson, MPR News) Who says people out here in Flyoverland don't dream big  transportation dreams?  Remember the contemporary kerfuffle over the bridge to nowhere?  Well, here's  a circa 1871 vision for a bridge to somewhere -- a rail line from St. Paul to the East Coast, with a bridge to London! Note the heading reads "St. Paul in the year 1900."

It's a map in the Minnesota Historical Society collection in St. Paul.  MnHS curator and map wrangler Patrick Coleman says the idea was created by the Tea Partiers of that era. Check with him for more on that.

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Transportation Nation

Moving Stories: 42 killed in Chinese plane crash; LA mayor: give bikes 3 feet; Twin Cities two-tier bus system

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Survivor of Chinese plane crash describes descent, malfunctioning exits on Embraer (LA Times)

Poor Visibility may have caused Alaska crash that killed former Sen. Stevens (WSJ)

China Railway in talks to build $30 Billion South African bullet-train (Bloomberg)

LA mayor backs law requiring motorists to give cyclists three feet on roads (Streets Blog)

Twin Cities asks: Are two tiers of bus service really fair?  (Star Tribune)

LA city officials debate parking regulations that will keep food trucks away from restaurants (KPCC)

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Transportation Nation

Why Don't More Women Bike to Work?

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Female biker's feet in heels

Rachel Bents, St. Paul consultant, now bikes to work after to give up her leased car a few weeks ago. (MPR Photo/Dan Olson)

(Minneapolis, MN - Dan Olson, MPR News) - The folks who organize national Bike and Walk to Work Week here are making an effort to address cycling's gender imbalance.  Surveys continue to show that more than two out of three bicyclists in this country are male.

Different cities are taking different approaches to try bring some balance to the equation.  Organizers in Minnesota are sponsoring rides specifically for women, in an effort to introduce and orient new riders on city streets.  Participants will get bright red T-shirts, urging women to wear red to show their commitment to women's health.

Still, a significant determinant in bike commuting - for women or men - is where you choose to live.  More enthusiastic bike commuters say they live where they know they can bike.  More.


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Transportation Nation

What happens when a community decides to get bold on transit?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

(St. Paul, Minnesota-- Laura Yuen, MPR News) MPR's four-part series on the travails of the Minneapolis-St. Paul light rail project has begun. It's a terrific, in-depth look at what happens when a community decides to re-organize its street space.

From the story --

And now we hear, 'It's a development project; it's not really a transit project at all,'" anti-Central Corridor blogger Eric Hare tells MPR. "So, in the process of being all things for all people -- and making julienne fries on the side -- what is this thing really trying to accomplish? As we get closer to construction, people who believed the project is one of those three things suddenly find that there are all these compromises made along the way, and it's not what they expected."

But proponents point to another line's success.

After that line -- the Hiawatha line -- was built, skeptics who didn't believe Minnesotans would ride big-city trains finally had an on-the-ground example to draw from, said Karri Plowman, director of the Central Corridor Partnership. It's the business coalition that came together six years ago to advance the project.

Just two years after trains started rolling along Hiawatha, the line carried an average weekday ridership of 26,270 -- well above the original projections for the year 2020.

"Very quickly, the numbers in terms of ridership and success became evident," Plowman said.

Listen to part one here.

Part two examines the University of Minnesota's opposition to the line.

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