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The FTA has an innovative program to locate childcare facilities near transit stations. The idea is to make it easier for parents to pick-up and drop-off their kids from daycare as part of the commute.

But the Riverside School Board apparently didn’t get that memo. They are freaking out over plans to build a new regional transit hub near the site of a planned school:

School board members are demanding regional transportation officials change plans for expanding a Riverside train station because it’s near the site of a planned school to serve the city’s Eastside community. The board voted 5-0 Thursday, July 14, to oppose the expansion, as proposed, and to urge the agency overseeing the venture — the Riverside County Transportation Commission — to pursue other options for increasing the Riverside-Downtown Station’s ability to handle passenger rail traffic.

This is about the safety of children,” said Tom Hunt, in urging colleagues on the Riverside Unified School District’s board of education recently to take a stand against the project.

One-man operation is the industry standard practice for regional and commuter services. However that isn’t the case for Denver RTD — which still uses both a driver and conductor:

Recent staffing issues for the Regional Transportation District’s (RTD) University of Colorado A-Line have caused cancellations of trips, leaving travelers waiting at Denver International Airport (DIA) for hours. Since January, 1,548 A-Line trips have been canceled, according to data from RTD. About 80% of those cancelations – 1,290 in total – happened because there wasn’t a second crew member available to be on the train. One reason for this is that the A-Line requires two people to be on board the train during a trip.

Thanks to automation, two-man operation became obsolete decades ago. To make matters worse, RTD work-rules require the second crew member to be an armed guard (i.e. rent-a-cop) — which limits the pool of applicants.

June 7th was the ribbon-cutting for new platforms at the Ashland (VA) Amtrak station. Built at a cost of $10 million, the purpose of the project was to improve ADA accessibility and safety:

A quick glance in the image above begs the question of what exactly was done to improve accessibility? There is obviously no level-platform boarding. Passengers with mobility issues will still have difficulties climbing stairs into the train. Wheelchair riders will still have to rely on mobile lifts. This was the best that could be done for $10 million?

Sadly, this project serves as a template for stations all across the country. Amtrak is spending $58 million bringing 16 stations into ADA “compliance” — with another 120 stations in the pipeline at a cost of $126 million.

This must be a new world record:

Help is on the way for people looking for parking and green spaces in San Diego’s East Village, but, if the city’s plan to build a new garage and park comes to fruition, it won’t be cheap for taxpayers. A large portion of the project’s overall project cost will be for a two-level underground 185-space structure that will be built at an estimated cost of a little under $35 million — that breaks down to a cost of $188,374.49 per parking space.

Note that the Trolley is just 1 block away.

Behold! The office building at 405 Colorado, Austin and its 13 stories of parking. Leed Certified — and was awarded a prestigious Austin Green Energy Build 2-star rating.

Technically, the helmet law is still on the books — but the police will no longer enforce it:

Interim Seattle Police Chief Adrian Diaz announced Friday that SPD will no longer stop people for four minor traffic infractions, including violations of the county’s mandatory bicycle helmet law.

In recent years, more than half of all cyclist citations were for helmet law violations, which typically involve a $100-$150 fine; according to Seattle Municipal Court data, 77 percent of those fines go unpaid. In addition to formal citations, a community stakeholder and bike advocate who contributed to the OIG’s discussions estimated that SPD officers may have stopped hundreds or thousands of bicyclists for not wearing helmets without issuing citations, sometimes as a justification to question the bicyclist about a different crime.

The Senate in France has once again debated a bill to mandate bike helmets, with violators receiving a fine of 135 Euros and possible impoundment of their bikes:

While the practice of cycling is exploding, a group of centrist senators led by François Bonneau proposes to make the helmet compulsory for “any driver of a vehicle with one or more wheels, whether motor or electric assistance, as well as ‘to any cycle driver’, under penalty of a fine of 135 euros. “Nearly two-thirds of fatally injured cyclists were 55 years and over in 2019” and “head trauma is the main cause of death among cyclists,” said the senator in his proposal.

“It seems that this is a false good idea,” reacted Françoise Rossignol, president of the Club of cycling towns and territories, Tuesday at a press conference. “So that there are more bikes, we must not put the brakes on practice”. “Safety is linked to the speed of other vehicles, to visibility (of the bikes), and to a number of essential arrangements for safety on the course”, underlined Françoise Rossignol. “Foreign studies which have looked at behavioral changes following the obligation to wear a helmet all conclude that the number of cyclists has decreased”, underlines the FUB, citing the examples of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. On the other hand, the number of injured is not decreasing as much as we expected.

“The French are fed up with having obligations imposed on them,” said Elisabeth Borne, then Minister of Transport. “We recommend wearing a helmet and everyone takes their responsibilities.” “Let’s stop pissing off the French,” Bruno Millienne, MoDem co-rapporteur, argued, believing that with a helmet one could falsely feel “safer”.

Thankfully, the proposal was rejected by the Senate Law Commission. However there is still the possibility of a helmet mandate for riders of electric scooters.

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Above the Law

Why even bother having drunk-driving laws if they are not enforceable?

A judge told TV personality Katie Price she was lucky to avoid prison at her sentencing for a drink-driving crash. The former model flipped her car near Partridge Green, West Sussex, on her way to visit a friend on 28 September. District Judge Amanda Kelly, who handed Price a 16-week suspended jail term, said her “incredibly selfish” actions “could have easily killed somebody”.

District Judge Kelly, sentencing, told the 43-year-old, who has been banned from driving on five separate occasions, she had “one of the worst driving records I have seen“. “You appear to think that you are above the law,” she told Price.

If she can get banned from driving — on FIVE separate occassions — and still keep driving anyway, then yeah she is above the law.

Price was taken to hospital, where she told police: “I took drugs, I should not be driving, I admit it all.” The court heard a drugs wipe gave a positive reading for cocaine and a roadside breath test was positive for alcohol.

Joe Harrington, defending, said: “It’s a complicated driving history. Things tend to be quite complicated with this lady. “She does not deal with her problems, particularly with paperwork.”

$65 billion.

That is how much the telecom giants will get from the Infrastructure bill Biden just signed into law. Supposedly, this money was for expanding broadband service to rural areas. Past history predicts the telecoms will instead use the money in metropolitan areas, where they can earn higher ROI. The law has no restrictions on where the money is to be spent, leaving those decisions largely to the states.

This map shows where the California PUC will be using the funds to build out the Open Access Middle-Mile network. The Bay Area (which hardly lacks for service) will be well served — while many large rural areas will not see a dime.