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Archive for the ‘highways’ Category

BART fare evasion has become the cause celebre, with the agency given a blank check for security-theater. A partial list of projects includes $60 million to secure stairwells at night and $18.4 million for new fencing. BART may even spend $200 million replacing faregates with newer models.

According to BART officials, the fare-evasion costs the agency $25 million per year. That might sound like a lot, but in relative terms it is 5% of ridership (which compares favorably to other big city metros).

What if I told you there was another transportation system in the Bay Area with a much worse cheating problem? A large network covering the whole Bay Area, whose evasion rate was a whopping 24 percent?

I’m referring of course to the HOV highway network. MTC studies find that 24% of vehicles in the HOV lane lack the necessary number of passengers.

And whereas BART fare-dodgers don’t slow up trains, HOV cheaters very much clog up highways — to the point where average speeds in the HOV lane have slowed to a crawl. This in turn slows public transit and other buses, with large economic cost.

Unlike BART, the HOV lanes operate on the honor system and there are no plans to change that. So despite the rampant cheating, don’t expect Caltrans to install toll-booths or K-rail to “harden” HOV lanes.

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Other than some vague references to some Green New Deal, Presidential candidates have avoided talking about transportation policy — with one exception. Sen. Mike Gravel has published a 21st Century Transportation Vision to his campaign web page. For a candidate considered quixotic and unserious, he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to transportation policy.

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Of course BMW trained its AI to drive like an asshole:

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This has been a grim year for pedestrians in San Jose, with 23 fatalities (thus far). But San Jose leaders have come up with a brilliant solution: widen roadways and speed up the traffic!

Officials in San Jose think a possible solution to the recent uptick in fatal pedestrian deaths plaguing the city could be to widen the roads at a couple of traffic trouble spots.

The plan involves a land swap that will allow officials to widen Branham Road and Snell Avenue, two of the most problematic streets in the city. San Jose plans to use the strips to widen Branham and Snell. Right now, the roadway narrows down and forces cars to merge within a short distance.

This project will widen a 2-lane road into 4-lane, with medians along with new signals. This will greatly speed up traffic, leading to more death and destruction. It is crazy they call it a pedestrian safety project.

In a 2017 memo, Councilmember Khamis called this a “Green” infrastructure project, and proposed taking $2 million out of the Essential Services Fund to help pay for it.

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Branham Ln current configuration

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Not the Onion

The LAPD is finally getting serious about this Vision Zero thing….by handing out free hiviz vests and LED lights to pedestrians:

The department is working with State Farm to hand out roughly 1,200 vests and 700 lights in an effort to reduce pedestrian deaths on city streets, which are among the deadliest in the nation.

Speaking at a press conference on Nov. 28, Moore said the vests will “give a fighting chance for (pedestrians) to be seen and observed and to protect themselves,” especially when walking at night.

“We have defensive driving, there’s defensive walking as well,” he said.

This initiative comes at the same time Los Angeles is raising speed limits on 100+ miles of streets.

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What can be done to cure Florida of its parking addiction problem?

Repairs to a  parking garage for state senators and their staff, costing $28 million, are nearly complete. The underground parking garage holds 210 cars.

So the cost? $133,000 per space.

Just across the street, a parking garage with room for 100 cars sits virtually empty.

The spending is taking place as the Department of Corrections is cutting a like amount, $29 million, from substance abuse treatment. The cuts will close some programs and send some offenders to prison.

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