Breakfast links: Metro safety and safe cycling
LaHood releases safety plan: The Obama administration's plan to regulate transit systems' safety would quadruple the number of safety inspectors at a cost of about $100 million. Federal safety inspectors or federally-certified local oversight boards would have greater powers including to issue subpoenas, request injunctions, and even the ability to pursue criminal penalties if necessary. (Post)
They didn't bar us, exept when it mattered: Tri-State Oversight Chair Eric Madison clarifies that while Metro didn't "bar them from the tracks" entirely, they did refuse access during live operation, which is what TOC needed to check safety procedures. So what did Metro hope to accomplish by posting its clarification reciting a quote from Madison in WTOP that Metro didn't completely "bar" them?
Letters on tolls: A Gazette letter writer chides the Montgomery County Council for voting to recommend lower ICC tolls knowing it would just force other state taxpayers or tollpayers to pay more for a road they aren't using. Another letter writer is disappointed that Nancy Navarro actually told him the truth when he wrote to complain about the tolls, unlike other Councilmembers.
Streetcar track design's pitfalls?: Yonah Freemark worries that installing streetcar tracks in the lane adjacent to the turn lane on H Street-Benning Road could be a recipe for traffic conflicts that delay the streetcars. He thinks DC should consider a design with a more dedicated right-of-way in the middle of the street instead. (The Transport Politic)
"Rock star panel" discusses cycling: WashCycle and Streetsblog DC summarize last night's panel featuring musician and cycling advocate David Byrne, Congressman Earl Blumenauer, and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Blumenauer is pushing for bike lanes on Pennsylvania Avenue. Sadik-Khan is launching a NACTO initiative to get bike infrastructure into the official manuals of allowable road designs.
Hot cyclists are distracting: The Hasidic enclave in Williamsburg, Brooklyn got the city to get rid of bike lanes because "scantily clad" cyclists made it hard for them not to look at members of the opposite sex. Other residents have been repainting the bike lanes (video). (NY Post)
Bike boulevards: A new Streetfilm explains Portland's bicycle boulevards, streets where bicycles get priority and traffic generally travels at bike speeds, and advocates for some in NYC. Ben W writes, "How about doing some bicycle boulevards in DC, starting with 10th Street NW?"Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.
- Consumers say they like trains. Why don't economists care?
- To bike without worrying about nearby cars, I'm happy on the MBT
- Alexandria has identified locations for its next 16 bikeshare stations
- Transit to Wolf Trap will still run through West Falls Church
- There's history to behold on some of DC's manhole covers
- Smarter growth will expand Prince George's tax base
- The Washington region is the world's 77th largest urban area