Disturbing News from Department of Energy – Audit Cites Nuclear Weapons Drivers Got Drunk (sometimes?!) on Job

November 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

(source: Washington Post’s Federal Eye)

This is very disconcerting, to say the least. But I’m glad at ths ame time they are working to fix the problem.

Federal agents responsible for driving nuclear weapons and other sensitive materials sometimes got drunk and were detained by police while on the job, according to a new watchdog report.

report released Monday by the Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General found 16 alcohol-related incidents between 2007 and 2009 involving personnel with the National Nuclear Security Administration‘s Office of Surface Transportation (OST). About 600 OST agents are responsible for safely transporting or shipping nuclear weapons and other materials across the country.

Two incidents involved extended overnight missions where OST agents parked convoy vehicles in safe harbor before checking in at nearby hotels, the report said. In separate incidents, an agent was arrested in 2007 for public intoxication while two agents were handcuffed and temporarily detained by police officers in 2009, according to the report.

Click here to read the entire story.

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TSA sends Holiday message – And the concerned citizens from “Land of the Free” respond

November 22, 2010 at 7:47 pm

(Source TSA via You Tube via  Gizmodo)

Dear Mr. Pistole , here are some responses (a mere sampling) from concerned citizens’  about this situation at airport security check points:


Image Courtesy: Land of the free? by David Vincent Wolf

Image Courtesy: Slate.com

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Bernie’s Transportation Communications Newsletter (TCN) – November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Monday, November 22, 2010 – ISSN 1529-1057

Two Months Left to Submit a Paper for the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport


Submit a technical or scientific paper for the 18th World Congress on Intelligent Transport

Systems in Orlando, Florida from October 16-20, 2011! This global event is expected to

attract over 10,000 ITS leaders, policy makers and other industry professionals. Papers must

be original and should report on recent significant and substantial achievements and results in

the transportation technology field. Submissions are due January 14, 2011, and publication

opportunities are available! For a list of other key dates, guidelines and topics, visithttp://www.itsworldcongress.org/papersubmission.html.


1) Judge Blocks American Airlines from Pulling Flights Off Orbitz

Link to AP article:


2) India’s Government Orders Airlines to Make All Fares Public

Link to article in The Times of India:


3) Google’s Wi-Fi Deal with Orlando International Airport Apparently Dead

Link to article in the Orlando Sentinel:


4) Delta Gates at JFK Airport Have Free iPad Access for Food, Fun

Link to article in USA Today:



5) The Wreck of the Lady Mary: Costly Clerical Error Stalls Rescue Efforts

Following the 2009 sinking of the scallop boat in the Atlantic an automated distress signal was sent, but an error in copying the ID led to delays.

Link to article in The Star-Ledger:



6) Seminar Discusses Intelligent Transport Systems and Its Prospects in Vietnam

Link to article on Vietnam Business & Economy News:


7) A New Look in Detroit for the Newly Public GM

Sign atop corporate headquarters gets a makeover.

Link to article in The New York Times:


8) Peter Appel Discusses US DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration

Link to audio interview on WFED Radio:



9) Go Girl Go: New Canaan, Connecticut Teen Teaches DMV About Driving Green

Link to article and video on New Canaan Patch:



10) With New Governor, Ohio Road Signs Change

Link to article in the Cincinnati Enquirer:


11) Happy Birthday Message in Construction Zone Irks Michigan Motorist

Link to article in the Livonia Observer:



12) Scientists Say They Have Solution to TSA Scanner Objections

Link to article and video in The Washington Post:


13) The CMF Clearinghouse: A Handy Safety Tool

FHWA has developed an accessible Web-based, one-stop resource for information on crash modification factors.

Link to article in Public Roads:



14) Automotive Smart Phone, Telematics Applications on Fast Track

Link to article in Aftermarket Business:



15) Riders Frustrated by Disruptions on CharlieCard Reloading Web Site

Link to article in The Boston Globe:


16) In the US, Poor Communications and Poor Choices Plague Bus Rapid Transit

Link to blog on The City Fix:


17) MARC Can’t Get the Story Straight

Different Web sites provide different delay information.

Link to blog in The Baltimore Sun:


18) King County, Washington Metro Pulls Real-Time Bus Info When Riders Need It Most

Link to blog on PubliCola:



19) Breckenridge, Colorado Launches New Projects to Reduce Sunday Traffic, Drive Business

Variable message sign to be posted at top of gondola with information on current traffic conditions.

Link to article in the Summit Daily:


20) Traffic Information Channel Raises Voice of Vietnam Status

Link to VOV News story:


21) Integrated Corridor Management

Link to article in Public Roads:


22) Smart Transport System for Manila?

Link to article on FutureGov:


23) Beyond the Triple Circle: Design Alternatives for Traffic Lights

Link to blog in the Los Angeles Times:


24) Countdown Times Add Confusion to Traffic Chaos in Kolkata, India

Link to article in The Times of India:



25) From Italy to China on Autopilot

Link to article in Wired UK:


News Releases

1) Technology Can Help Savvy Drivers Navigation Traffic, Save Money and Find New Ways to Travel this Holiday Season

2) US DOT ITS Joint Program Office Announces Seven New Research Projects for AERIS

3) Idaho Transportation Department Adds New Features to Improve 511 System for Users

4) Transportation in Delaware Moves Into the Digital Age with Launch of Social Media Initiative

5) i95travelinfo.net Spells Relief for Holiday Travelers on the East Coast

6) Navtaq Cites Top 10 Most Congested Cities and Freeways in North America

Upcoming Events

Webcast: Use of Archive Data for Planning and Operations Performance Measures – December 2


Today in Transportation History

1935 **75th anniversary** The first flight of Pan American Airways China Clipper took off from San Francisco Bay en route to Manila.


1960 **50th anniversary** The USS Ethan Allen, the first submarine designed to fire ballistic missiles, was launched in Groton, Connecticut.



The Transportation Communications Newsletter is published electronically Monday through Friday.

To subscribe (for free) or unsubscribe, please contact me at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

TCN archives: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transport-communications

Become a TCN fan on Facebook!

Questions, comments about the TCN?  Please write the editor, Bernie Wagenblast at bernie@bwcommunications.net.

© 2010 Bernie Wagenblast  www.bwcommunications.net

Quantifying The Mess – An Awesome Infographic Captures Cities With The Most Frustrating Traffic Problems

November 22, 2010 at 1:29 am

(Source: Good)

Click Image to Enlarge

A GOOD.is Transparency

Cities with the most frustrating traffic problems

Electrifying Houston – City Gets Private Electric Car Charging Network

November 21, 2010 at 8:14 pm

(Source: Good)

Houston, Texas, may end up being the first American city with a great electric car charging infrastructure. NRG Energy is rolling out what is supposedly the world’s first privately funded comprehensive electric vehicle ecosystem. Here are some interesting nuggets:

  • The system (or “ecosystem,” in their overwrought marketing speak), called eVgo, employs a very interesting business model. Subscribers sign a three-year contract and then pay a monthly fee, ranging from $49 to $89, for both a home charger and varying levels of access to this network of public chargers.
  • NRG plans to install between 50 and 150 high-speed chargers in public places— shopping centers and the like—by the end of 2011. They’ll also be installing chargers in people’s homes.
  • The high-speed chargers distributed around the city can charge a car to 80 percent  within 30 minutes.

Click here to read more.

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The Perfect Holiday Gift – Cycle Chic Calendar for 2011

November 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

(Source: Copenhagen Cycle Chic)

A Sample from Cycle Chic Calendar 2011

This incredibly awesome Cycle Chic Calendar for 2011 by the Mikael Colville-Andersen of Copenhangen Cycle Chic would make a great holiday gift for the Treehugger, biker, Transportation geeks (like me).  Oh well, I’d say go off the limb and say this: in general this is for anyone who likes beautiful things – beautiful women, beautiful city streets and beautiful bikes carrying beautiful women.  Available for purchase [and in time for Christmas] over at Lulu.com.

Downtown From Behind On Bikes- Aussie Photog Artfully Captures The “Heartbeat of New York City”

November 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm

(Source: New York Times)

Click here for more details

ONE is wearing a couture gown, another just a pair of red underwear. One is lugging a huge bouquet of flowering rhododendrons on his shoulder, another a suckling pig. They are all riding bicycles in the middle of streets downtown, and they are all shown from behind, having passed by, headed toward some unknown destination — a party, a garden, a pig roast.

The photographs are by Bridget Fleming, 30, who moved to the Lower East Side from Australia in 2008. She is halfway through an ambitious project to capture downtown denizens riding on two wheels down each of the approximately 200 streets below 14th Street. She posts some of the photographs on a blog, Downtown From Behind, and hopes the project, which she describes as a glamorous ode to “the heartbeat of New York,” will culminate this spring with a gallery exhibition and Web site.


Image Courtesy: Downtown from Behind

Click here for more on this story and for the awesome interactive.

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With this new hour glass design, you will never get a ticket for red light jumping

November 20, 2010 at 6:32 pm

(Source: Gizmodo)

Concept Traffic Light Shows How Much Time Is Left Through A Sand Glass

Image Courtesy: Gizmodo

Concept Traffic Light Shows How Much Time Is Left Through A Sand Glass

Image Courtesy: Gizmodo

It’s an incredibly simple idea: LED lights trickle down in a virtual sand glass that countdowns how much more Red and Green there will be. When it approaches 3 seconds left, the LEDs switch to yellow and give you an exact count on what’s left.

Click here to read the entire article.

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TSA Gone Wild – An Infographic Look At The Airport Security Mess

November 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

(Source: Infographia via El Chimpance)

Causing a Stir – Obama’s ‘Beast’ gets tongues wagging at the green NATO summit

November 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

(Source: AFP via Yahoo)

U.S. President Barack Obama gestures as he talks about the Opel Ampera electric car as Opel Vice President Volker Hoff (R) and General Motors Portugal Managing Director Guillermo Sarmiento (C) look on at the NATO Summit in Lisbon November 20, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Portuguese hosts of Friday’s NATO summit hoped to use the event to promote clean-energy and electric cars, but all eyes were on US President Barack Obama’s diesel-guzzling “Beast” instead.

As is usual when he travels, Obama’s eight-tonne armoured behemoth of a limousine was flown out to Lisbon before the US leader’s arrival, and it ferried him from the airport tarmac to his first meetings of the weekend.

Doubtless he didn’t intend the Beast’s roar to drown out his hosts’ green message, but a US presidential motorcade and its attendant escort of Secret Service SUVs do attract attention, even at the most elite gatherings.

Click here to read the entire article

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