Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wednesday Wrap: 12/9/09

Wednesday Weekly Wrap-Up is a feature looking back on transportation and planning news and opinions from the last week or so.
  • Newsbreak: Better bus service increases ridership: One wonders why we don't do more of this. Everett's new Swift BRT will likely increase transit ridership. Hopefully we'll see more arterial bus improvements around the nation.
  • Light Rail for Florida: Pinellas County Florida has officially added light rail to long-term plans. By 2033 a line could be operating between Saint Pete and Clearwater.
  • Rain Good for Streetcars: There must be something in the rain. Another Pacific Northwestern city, Spokane, is looking at Streetcars. If Portland is any indication, they can't go wrong.
  • Lay down the Trails and tear up the Tracks: Work is finally starting on Atlanta's Beltline corridor. The first step is removing the old tracks. So far the oldest rail that's been found dates to 1904.
  • SunRail moving forward: Florida's House of Representatives passed a commuter rail bill in special session this week. And the Senate followed suit. Governor Crist has promised to sign the legislation. The bill would help maintain Miami's Tri-Rail and would set up commuter rail in central Florida.
  • Come on ride the Train: Amtrak saw record ridership over Thanksgiving.
  • LaHood takes on Coburn: Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood recently wrote a post on the DOT's blog challenging Oklahoma Senator Coburn's worldview. Well, at least his view of alternative transportation.


Peter said...

is it just me or is ripping up tracks supposed to be reserved to, you know, the car companies?

sounds like a disaster. wow.

Matt' said...

In this case, tearing up the tracks is a good thing. The tracks on the Beltline today are old freight rail tracks, some of which have been on the ground for over a century. The line was not double tracked, and in some cases rails and ties were missing.

The Beltline LRT will not use the same rails but it will use the same right-of-way. But the LRT is still years off. First to be built will be parks (with room for the LRT), and for that to happen, the rails have to go.

So this is a momentous and happy occassion.

IMGoph said...

to be pedantic, there isn't that much rain in spokane. since it's on the lee side of the cascades, most of the moisture is pulled out of the clouds before they get that far inland... :)