A South Korea has overturned a law banning TVs on car dashboards, which cab drivers have installed to “beat boredom” during traffic jams. The TV watching led to increased crashes and injuries. However, the court’s holding seems mostly based on legal technicalities, and the legislature should be able to just re-pass a more valid law. (BBC News, A.M.) (Tip: A.M.)
Debate tolls thoroughly! Now don’t!
Maryland House of Delegates Majority Leader Kumar Barve (D-Gaithersburg) opposes higher rush hour tolls on the ICC, a road he fought hard to build. He wants the issue “debated openly and exhaustively.” But he wasn’t against rush-hour tolls when the ICC was being debated exhaustively, nor is he speaking out against them for the proposed I-270 toll lanes, which he signed a letter supporting. (Baltimore Sun)
Making transit more accessible
Metro has gotten a grant to help persons with disabilities use fixed-route transit instead of MetroAccess. Each MetroAccess ride costs Metro about $38, so the more people can use regular buses and trains, the better. The program will partner with existing disability services facilities. (Examiner)
The various long-term planning organizations, like COG and NCPC, are holding a forum with the Coalition for Smarter Growth to discuss the “Greater Washington 2050” long-term direction of the region. This is a good opportunity to push officials to think about more than cars in their plans, especially COG which hasn’t been so good about that in the past. The forum is next Thursday, November 12th, from 6-8 pm.
Jaydriving worse than jaywalking
Traffic columnists may scorn “throngs of iPod-wearing” jaywalkers, but the evidence actually shows that jaywalking is not much of a safety problem, writes Tom Vanderbilt. Statistics showing pedestrians to be at fault for most accidents in places like Florida just show how bad Florida roads are and how easy it is for drivers to foist the blame. (Slate)
Buffett Northern Santa Fe
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has bought Burlington Northern Santa Fe, making a big bet on the future of freight rail. (It’s also a big bet on coal power and against strong environmental legislation). (Post, Cavan) (Tip: Cavan)