Change I Like! Census Bureau Says A Lot More People Are Biking to Work

October 6, 2010 at 3:42 pm

I knew it! I felt It! I sensed it! The number of people getting around by bicycle is growing steadily. According to American Community Survey, conducted annually by the Census Bureau, the number of bike commuters grew 0.3 percent between 2005 and 2009. Rise in gas prices or the hard-hitting recession, etc, etc are among the many reasons.

A couple of undeniable factors that influenced this trend are: (1) the rising awareness among the public about the health benefits of biking and (2) the forward thinking city administrators and staff (such as NYC Transp. Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and DC DOT’s Gabe Klein ) who have provided the necessary infrastructure that encourages safe biking.

Hope this trend continues and more cities take the cue.

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You’re right. That’s almost nothing. But bear in mind that’s the median for the entire country, which includes a whole lot of rural and exurban areas where bike commuting isn’t viable. Bike commuting is still an infinitesimally small percentage of all commutes, accounting for just 0.55 percent of commutes last year, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

But if you look only at urban areas — where bike commuting makes far more sense — the gains are huge. Given the Obama Administration’s emphasis on bike-friendlier transportation policies, the growth almost certainly will continue.

The League of American Bicyclists dove into the numbers and found bike commuting in the 70 largest cities (.pdf) in the United States climbed 35 percent between 2005 and 2009. Kansas City, Missouri, saw the biggest increase, climbing an astonishing 1,095 percent. Indianapolis followed with a jump of 392 percent. New Orleans rounded out the top three with an increase of 155 percent.

See more at


Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – October 5, 2010

October 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Airlines Increase Fight Against Online Ticket Fraud

Link to article in USA Today:


2) Monitoring for Fatigue by GPS is ‘Dangerously Misguided’

Link to article in Supply Chain Review:

3) North Korea GPS Jamming Device ‘a New Security Threat’

Link to AFP article:


4) An Intelligent System for Maritime Surveillance has Been Created

Link to article from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid:


5) Volpe Highlights – October 2010

Link to newsletter:

6) Latest Edition of Texas Transportation Researcher Online

Link to magazine:


7) Taiwan Transport Ministry Launches Traffic Safety Quiz on Facebook

Link to CNA article:


8) Devices Claim They’ll Help You Drive Safely While Texting, on the Phone

Link to article in the Detroit Free Press:


9) CarTel Personalizes Commutes by Using Wi-Fi to Network Cars

Link to article from MIT:


10) New York MTA Plans Digital Displays for Trains, Buses and Stops

Link to article in the New York Post:

11) Riders Like Wi-Fi on New Bay Area Light Rail Express Trains

Link to column in the San Jose Mercury News:


12) Toyota Shows Smart-Grid Technology for Its Plug-In

Link to AP article:

13) Corporate Vanity Plates Under Study in Virginia

Link to article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

14) Road to the Future

New automotive technologies, including photonics, are about to change how and what we drive.

Link to article from SPIE:

15) Auto Dealers Facing Facebook: Is It Worth the Trouble?

Link to blog in Automotive News:

News Releases

1) Singapore Airlines to Launch In-flight Connectivity

Upcoming Events

Road Weather Policy Forum – November 8-9 – Washington, DC

Today in Transportation History

1930 **80th anniversary** The British airship R 101 crashed in France during its maiden voyage.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

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Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

No worries, mate! New study says Airplane Air Is No Riskier Than Other Enclosed Spaces

October 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Hmmm.. So, is this going to change the way we set our rules and regulations that now prohibit those who are suspected of carrying air-borne pathogens? Let’s see how the regulators and airline companies react to the findings..

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“There is always an increased risk of infection whenever you enter a confined space, but an aircraft cabin is no worse an environment than the office you sit in every day,” said Dr. Mark Gendreau, an emergency and aviation medicine expert at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass.

Cabin air, he said, is refreshed about 15 times an hour, compared with less than 12 an hour in an office building. On most full-size jets, the air is also circulated through hospital-grade HEPA filters, which are supposed to remove 99.97 percent of bacteria and the minuscule particles that carry viruses. The cabin air is also divided into separate ventilation systems covering every seven rows or so, limiting the ability of germs to travel from one end of the plane to the other.

Still, that does not rule out the prospect of diseases spreading from passenger to passenger on a long flight. Travelers tend to ignore doctors’ advice to avoid flying if they are sick, exposing unsuspecting seatmates to a threat of infection, the research panel noted.



A study of how local petty politics undermines national progress: A High-Speed Rail Perspective

October 4, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Image Courtesy: NY Times - John Badman/The Telegraph, via Associated Pres

Hmmm.. Individual agendas and petty partisan politics are often the biggest road blocks for progressive nation building in most democracies around the world and the U.S. not so immune to this trend. An article from today’s New York Times documents such a situation and dissects the issues facing the High-Speed Rail program in light of the upcoming elections.

Republican candidates for governor in some of the states that won the biggest stimulus rail awards are reaching for the emergency brake.

In Wisconsin, which got more than $810 million in federal stimulus money to build a train linebetween Milwaukee and Madison, Scott Walker, the Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor, has made his opposition to the project central to his campaign.

Mr. Walker, who worries that the state could be required to spend $7 million to $10 million a year to operate the trains once the line is built, started a Web site,, and has run a television advertisement in which he calls the rail project a boondoggle.

….Similar concerns are threatening to stall many of the nation’s biggest train projects. In Ohio, the Republican candidate for governor, John Kasich, is vowing to kill a $400 million federal stimulus project to link Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati by rail. In Florida, Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor, has questioned whether the state should invest in the planned rail line from Orlando to Tampa. The state got $1.25 billion in federal stimulus money for the project, but it will cost at least twice that much to complete.

And the nation’s most ambitious high-speed rail project, California’s $45 billion plan to link Los Angeles and San Francisco with trains that would go up to 220 miles per hour, could be delayed if Meg Whitman, a Republican, is elected governor. “In the face of the state’s current fiscal crisis, Meg doesn’t believe we can afford the costs associated with new high-speed rail at this time,” said Tucker Bounds, a campaign spokesman.

On the move? California cracks down on people living in vehicles

October 4, 2010 at 6:07 pm

One has to wonder what will happen to these people when they are forced to move? In the picture below: Diane Butler and her husband, Abraham, are among many who may be forced to leave the Venice section of Los Angeles by regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.’s from beach lots.

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Their nomadic existence might be ending, though. The Venice section of Los Angeles has become the latest California community to enact strict new regulations limiting street parking and banning R.V.’s from beach lots — regulations that could soon force Ms. Butler, 58, to leave the community where she has lived for four decades.

“They’re making it hard for people in vehicles to remain in Venice,” she said.

Southern California, with its forgiving weather, has long been a popular destination for those living in vehicles and other homeless people. And for decades, people living in R.V.’s, vans and cars have settled in Venice, the beachfront Los Angeles community once known as the “Slum by the Sea” and famous for its offbeat, artistic culture.

Yet even as the economic downturn has forced more people out of their homes and into their cars, vehicle-dwellers are facing fewer options, with more communities trying to push them out.

As nearby neighborhoods and municipalities passed laws restricting overnight parking in recent years, Venice became the center of vehicle dwelling in the region. More than 250 vehicles now serve as shelter on Venice streets, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.



Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Monday, October 4, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057


1) Undersold Ad Space Undercuts Atlanta’s Airport

Link to article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:


2) Stop Sign Cameras Catch California Drivers Off Guard

Link to AP article:

3) If You’re on an Abu Dhabi Street, You’re on Camera

Hundreds of advanced security cameras deployed in a fresh bid to curb reckless driving.

Link to article on Emirates 24|7:

4) AccessKenya Launches Traffic Cameras

Link to story on Capital FM:

Link to cameras:


5) Toll Transponder Discounts Not ‘Discriminatory’ – US Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit

Link to article in TOLLROADSnews:

6) RFID Puts Salt Lake City Drivers in the Fast Lane

Link to article in the RFID Journal:


7) State DOTs: A Word from Our Sponsor

Link to story on Fox News:

8) The Magic of TaxiMagic

App allows you to call for a cab and track its arrival.

Link to transcript and video report on PBS’s Nightly Business Report:

9) Florida DOT’s SunGuide Disseminator – October 2010

Link to newsletter:


10) Washington State DOT Wins National Award for North Cascades Highway E-newsletter

Link to article in The Bellingham Herald:


11) More Cities Turn to Solar Power for Traffic Signs

Link to article in USA Today:


12) Report Calls Tsunami Detection System Unreliable; Buoys on West Coast Often Fail

Link to article in The Bellingham Herald:

13) Pipeline Control Room Workers Focus of Safety Concerns

Link to article in the San Jose Mercury News:


14) Metrolink Moves to Implement Collision-Prevention Technology

Link to story on KPCC Radio:

15) AT&T, T-Mobile to Offer Service in New York Subway Stations

Link to article from Bloomberg:

16) Maryland Transit Administration Now Posts MARC Performance Results

Link to blog in The Baltimore Sun:


17) To Avoid Commonwealth Games Traffic, Log On Here

Link to Press Trust of India article:

Link to site:

18) New Service in Dubai to Navigate Car Users in Real-Time

Link to article in Gulf News and audio report from Radio 2:

19) Tracking Dubai with Dalili

New roadway traveler information system praised by newspaper.

Link to editorial in the Khaleej Times:

20) Ohio’s New Traffic Monitoring System Plays Havoc with Radar Detectors

Link to column in The Plain Dealer:


21) Delaware DMV Launches Senior Driver Day, Web Site

Link to story and audio report on WDEL Radio:

Link to site:

22) Information Overload for Truck Drivers? Volvo’s DIS Will Help You Decide What’s the Most Important Task

Link to blog on BigLorryBlog:

23) Andy Rooney on Gadgets in Our Cars

Link to commentary and video on CBS News’ 60 Minutes:

News Releases

1) Washington State Groups Working to Get Traffic Moving After Collisions

2) Belfast City Airport Offers App with Live Information on Arrivals and Departures

3) All Chicago Transit Authority Bus Stops Now Feature Bus Tracker Texting Information

4) Taxi Magic Launches Industry’s Most Advanced Passenger Information Monitor for Taxis

5) GE Capital Fleet Services Launches New Intelligent Ops Telematics Solution

6) TransCore Receives US Patent for RFID Design Innovation

Upcoming Events

Telematics Munich 2010 – November 3-4 – Munich

Today in Transportation History

1960 **50th anniversary** Eastern Air Lines Flight 375 crashed shortly take-off at Boston’s Logan International Airport.  Sixty-two of the 67 people aboard were killed.,9171,895003,00.html


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

TCN archives:

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast

Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Friday, October 1, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

U.S. DOT to Host Conference to Discuss Major Vehicle Safety Research Results

There is still time to register for the Integrated Vehicle-Based Safety Systems (IVBSS) public meeting that will be held in the metropolitan Detroit area on October 20, 2010. Members of the industry and U.S. DOT project team will discuss test results from the one-year field operational test (FOT) in which 10 heavy trucks and 16 passenger vehicles accumulated 900,000 miles of driving data. The meeting will also include a discussion of the FOT data system and how it might be accessed for future research. The Heavy Truck FOT Key Findings report is now available.

Click here for registration and additional information. Online registration deadline is October 15.


1) October Edition of APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association) Newsletter Online

Includes articles on in-flight and airport communications and entertainment.

Link to newsletter:


2) Judge Suspends New Orleans’ Traffic Camera Program

Link to story on WDSU-TV:

3) Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against Chattanooga, Red Bank Traffic Cameras

Link to article in The Chattanoogan:


4) A Report on NaviForum Shanghai 2010

Link to article in Inside GNSS:


5) Fluorescent Traffic Signs Help Taipei Pedestrians

Link to article in The China Post:


6) Buckley and Drury, UK Residents Worried About ‘Misleading’ Bridge Signs

Link to article in The Flintshire Chronicle:


7) Should Public Safety Network be Public/Private?

Link to article in Government Computer News:


8) Cleveland RTA Launches Ridership Campaign on Facebook

Link to article in Metro:

9) TriMet Launches ‘Making a Difference’ Web Site to Highlight Positive Stories About Employees

Link to blog in The Oregonian:

Link to site:


10) Boston T Begins Posting Data on Trains Today

Link to article in The Boston Globe:

Link to news release from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority:

11) Researchers Argue for Smarter Traffic Lights

Link to IDG News article:

Link to study:

12) Traffic Cams Help Make Commute Easier in Orange, California

Link to article in The Orange County Register:

13) Synthesis of Active Traffic Management Experiences in Europe and the United States

Link to report from FHWA:


14) Auto Supplier Visteon Emerges from Bankruptcy

Link to AP article:

News Releases

1) Iconosys Announces a New Lifesaving Solution for Drivers with Collision Watch

2) Upgrading the Airport Experience: Airside Mobile Platform and App Launches with Mobile Boarding Pass Capability for Five Major US Airlines

3) FEMA Announces Adoption of New Standard for Emergency Alerts

4) Survey Reveals Youth Market is Ready to Use Their Mobile Phones as a Wallet

5) NavFree: iPhone & iPad Turn-by-Turn Navigation – No Cost

6) Transport NSW Adds Twitter Updates for Real-Time Public Transport Information

Upcoming Events

The Western High-Speed Rail Alliance Conference 2010 – October 13-15 – Las Vegas

Friday Bonus

One of the lesser-known villains from Gotham City.

Today in Transportation History

1940 **70th anniversary** The original section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, between Irwin and Carlisle, opened.


The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at

TCN archives:

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast