Today’s Headlines

  • Events in 181 Countries to Mark International Day of Climate Action (SF Gate, LAT, NYT)
  • Security Cameras Weren’t Working on Muni Bus Where Man’s Body Was Found (SF Examiner)
  • Bicyclist Hurt After Getting Tangled in the Rope of a Hot Air Balloon (KTVU, Napa Post)
  • Two Pedestrians Injured in Santa Rosa Hit-and-Run (Press Democrat
  • USA Today Blog Depicts Cyclists as Troublemakers and Asks: "Have Cyclist Rights Gone Too Far?"
  • Death in San Jose Speed Racing Crash "Enrages Many in the Community" (Merc
  • SF Firms Get Contracts to Design SMART Trains and Bike Path (Press Democrat)
  • Amtrak Lays Out What It Needs to Fully Upgrade Northeast Corridor (Transport Politic)
  • Portland Gets Federal Funds to Expand Northeast Streetcar Route (Oregon Live)
  • Tour of California Race Will Skip Marin County (Marin IJ)

More headlines at Streetsblog Capitol Hill

  • Richard Mlynarik

    Re SMART (now there’s a misnomer):

    How terribly, terribly, amazing and surprising that LTK Engineering Services should first produce a “study” that “determines” that any first-world post-19th-century, proven, cost-effective, in-production train cannot possibly be used in Marin and Sonoma, global hotbeds and leaders in rail transportation … and then … LTK Engineering Services gets a contract to “design” one-off, 50-year-obsolete, Marin-unique, high-floor, passenger-hostile, massive-cost-overrun-GUARANTEED rah-rah-rah-USA-number-one-no-foreign-stuff-allowed rail cars.

    “Rent seeking” is the economic term for the behavior of the US rail consultant mafia.
    Step one, game the regulations and game the “studies” to exclude competition, on your own say-so.
    Step two, profit!

    We get third world results, at triple or worse the cost of better projects anywhere else in the world, we get saddled with crap performance, high operating costs, dismal fuel efficiency, and the ongoing maintenance nightmare of a globally unique toy train designed by amateurs, while the criminals responsible laugh all the way to the bank.

    If anybody wants an object lesson in how we are completely doomed, SMART is as good a place to start as anything.

    But congratulations to LTK *Financial* Engineering Services.