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Archive for March, 2007

a mile (or 20) in your shoes


In this business, one does a lot of writing and pontificating on things one has never seen or felt. Take the Bay Bridge — please. When I want to go to the City by the Bay, I nearly always take BART. You avoid having to park and you avoid that bridge.

Yet the week I started this job, I was compelled to write about the bridge I had crossed maybe twice in my entire life. In fact, I did the story about opening the low bid of $1.43 billion for the self-anchored suspension span in Sacramento, where you can cross the most impressive bridge in 30 seconds.

This week I managed to come down from my ivory tower and experience some of the things I’ve written about but never truly understood.

To begin with, on Thursday I had to attend a meeting about planned Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2007
Under: BART, Bay Bridge, Bicycling, Caltrans, Capitol Corridor (Amtrak), Carpooling, driving, Environment, ferries, Freeways, Funding | 17 Comments »

in bondage to expensive rail projects

bus-driver.jpg The question today (and every day, it seems) is: What do we want from our public transportation? Do we want an alternatve to driving for people who can afford cars? Do we want to provide mobility for people who can’t afford cars? Do we want fast, invisible mass transit as an engine of economic development?

For some folks, it boils down to spending money on buses for the less fortunate or spending money Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2007
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Caltrain, Funding, rail, transit equity | No Comments »

deadly tanker control amendment introduced


As referenced in my story yesterday, Senator and presidential aspirant Joe Biden introduced an amendment calling for rerouting hazardous rail tankers that could be used sabotaged to bring terror to urban areas of this country:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-DE, introduced an amendment today to the 9/11 Commission bill (S.4) to reroute hazardous chemical shipments away from population centers and other high threat Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
Under: rail, Safety, Security | No Comments »

potholes fixed, and it’s still winter


In an effort to breathe more life into this blog, I’m going to start posting more on the routine correspondence I receive that I’d never think to write a story about. Some of what I’ve done on the blog recently (and that’s not been much) might have been stories, and that’s not what the blog is about.

This item I received today is your basic public agency self-congratulatory press release, although it deals with a subject that affects a lot of Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
Under: Caltrans, Freeways, Funding, Safety | No Comments »

`I’d like to thank my agent, my congestion management agency…’


After hibernating much of Thursday, I can now think more clearly about what happened Wednesday, and what didn’t.

One thing I have an oddly unjournalistic sense of guilt over is how easily I ignored the flood of press releases that came out after the California Transportation Commission banged the gavel on $4.5 billion worth of Proposition 1B highway money.

Whenever government gives birth to anything that a lot of people like, proud parents seem to come popping Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Friday, March 2nd, 2007
Under: Caltrans, driving, Freeways, Funding | 1 Comment »