Amtrak modernizing locomotive fleets on Northeast, Keystone Corridors

It was in the year 2000 that Amtrak’s Acela Express Northeast Corridor (NEC) services were first introduced. Thirteen years later, locomotives being built by Siemens at its Sacramento, Calif., plant are destined for NEC and Keystone Corridor services, Amtrak and Siemens jointly announced. “The first units of the $466 million order will be field tested this … Read more

SoCal making slow-but-steady progress on air-quality-improvement front

“According to [Natural Resources Defense Council staffer Kaid] Benfield, the six counties of Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura and home to some 18 million residents in 191 cities, is dispersed over an area totaling 38,000 square miles.” (See: “Landmark California program could have huge emissions-reductions impact”). By contrast, the state’s San … Read more

Colorado forward-thinking regarding transportation, transportation policy

“A new state law that quietly moved through this year’s legislature gives cities and counties unprecedented freedom to spend tax dollars on transportation projects other than roads and bridges,” Monte Whaley wrote in the Denver Post. “This means communities for the first time can use their share of the $250 million pot of money made up of … Read more

Proposed short-haul freight rail line linking Central, Southern California has potential

“Diesel, used by most [heavy goods vehicles], causes more air pollution per kilometre than other fuels such as petrol.” This was a determination of the European Environment Agency (EEA), as brought to bear in the EEA’s Feb. 28, 2013 “Reducing the € 45 billion health cost of air pollution from lorries” press release – a … Read more

The road to lower auto emissions could mean more road work ahead – huh?

At one part in particular in the previous post, in essence, I asked if it is not more economical to expand California State Route (SR) 99 – which is currently being widened from four to six lanes at various spots between Kern County, located in the south San Joaquin Valley, and Sacramento to the north, rather than to … Read more

To alleviate road congestion, expand roads, provide alternatives or both?

In my last post I was pretty direct by suggesting, in effect, that American roadway infrastructure was heading in the wrong direction. As you know, roadways can only handle so many vehicles per given unit of time operating at a per given unit of speed. The proper term is “capacity.” Too little capacity and traffic flow becomes … Read more

Again, turning farmland into commercial, residential, etc. property benefits whom?!

One would think, in America, based on ongoing conversation, significant strides have been made in the effort to save farmland from non-agriculture-related development. Case in point. To quote Jeff Turrentine from his “Neighborhood Watch” article, “Sprawl destroys the defining character of suburbs by conferring upon them many problems associated with urban areas: crime, congestion, paved-over … Read more

eMission control – Focus: Transitways

I can’t recall exactly when I first became a fan of transit but my enthusiasm for such goes quite a ways back. It was in the mid-1980s that I rode the Baltimore subway, and predating this during the mid-1970s, I rode BART or the Bay Area Rapid Transit line in and around San Francisco for … Read more

Revisited: Will California’s second-tier HSR cities reap big-city rewards sans certain big-city headaches?

Construction of America’s newest and first true high-speed rail (HSR) line is expected to get underway this summer. It has been a long time coming – since 1996, I think. The rail line is to link Los Angeles and Anaheim with San Francisco (via California’s San Joaquin Valley and San Jose) with eventual extensions to San … Read more

Will California’s second-tier HSR cities reap big-city rewards sans certain big-city headaches?

At the California Progress Report, in “City, County Growth and High-Speed Rail Development a ‘Two-Way Street,’” I wanted to know if the California high-speed rail project was going to affect growth – development, land use, transportation – around stations and, if it is going to, how. I wrote: “In search of answers, I consulted the … Read more