ITSLibrary's blog

Los Angeles Moves to Protect Bicyclists

Freeways may be a symbol of Los Angeles, but LA made history last week when it passed the country's first ordinance to outlaw verbal and physical harrassment of bicyclists. As the LA Times noted, this will allow bicyclists to sue for damages in civil court even if criminal charges are not filed. Conflicts between bicyclists and motorists may stem from drivers not recognizing bicyclists' rights on the road, while many cyclists ignore the fact that they are required to follow the California Vehicle Code. Common sense and courtesy, however, can go a long way toward allowing all road users to peacefully coexist.

Carmageddon's come and gone

 405 closure from Sunset Bridge

Carmageddon was a success! The Caltrans project to replace the Mulholland Drive bridge which closed the stretch of Interstate 405 between the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles went more smoothly than expected. Check out this time lapse video of the construction.  Part of that success was a result of the PR campaign by LA Metro and Caltrans. It was also a hot topic on Twitter. They reopened 405 early, which could mean incentive pay for the contractor

 

"Parklets" taking over San Francisco

How can you add more open space to a city for parks and relaxation? Through their Pavement to Parks program, San Francisco has made "parklets" or little plazas out of parking spaces. You can read about their success in SFGate. Or go visit one:


View San Francisco Parklets in a larger map

Screen out rubbernecking?

 Turning it back on its tires by tedkerwin

Today on the Freakonomics Blog, Eric Morris revists the issue of rubbernecking and traffc congestion:

The pinnacle of transportation-related annoyance may be that not only does rubbernecking take place along the route where the accident happens, but it can even cause severe jams in the lanes going the opposite direction. So a few years ago I had what I thought was a bright idea: how about setting up screens at accident sites to hide the scene and prevent gaping?

Finally, somebody is trying out this idea in practice. The Highways Agency in the U.K. has tested such screens. (For more see thisthisthis, and this, which leads you to several other links.) The bottom line is that the screens are not perfect; for example, the barriers to which the screens have to be attached vary in size, which creates problems; the screens are vulnerable to wind; the decision about whether to deploy them must be made very rapidly; they have to be able to be set up quickly and safely, etc. Thus they are not suitable for all accident sites. However, as the links above indicate, test results have shown they are effective.

Hopefully there will be more follow up studies on the issue. Will screens be coming stateside soon?

Welcome to our new website!

Bikes on an AC Transit Bus

Photo source

Welcome to our new website! We hope you find it a useful tool in your transportation researching needs. We plan on highlighting news and interesting developments in transportation research around California in line with the research of ITS Berkeley.

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