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transportation

Flickr user http://www.flickr.com/photos/joeshlabotnik/ / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

A riddle. If you land at a big-city airport and there’s no train there, where are you?

Answer: California.

Yes, San Francisco, I know you’re the exception, with a BART train stop inside San Francisco International Airport (SFO). But the California rule is that we’ll invest billions in our airports and billions in our trains, but we wouldn’t dream of directly connecting the two.

Instead, we taunt those who dare to dream.

Safety Rules for Limos May Be Tightened

Jul 29, 2013

A fatal limo fire in Northern California has brought about new state legislation aimed at improving limousine safety.

The fire occurred last May. It claimed the lives of five women heading to a bridal shower. The women could not escape because the limo did not have emergency exits.

Under one bill all limos would be required to have exit features such as rear doors and pop-out windows. A separate bill would require limos to carry fire extinguishers in both the passenger and driver areas.

Law Would Give Bikes a Buffer Zone

Jul 29, 2013
Flickr user alisdair / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

For a third time a California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would require cars to maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicycle. The previous two bills were vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown. Katie Orr reports from Sacramento on why this time might be different.

Flickr user ScottSchrantz / Creative Commons License / Flickr.com

What once sounded like the stuff of science fiction is now reality on the drawing board. Rapid advancements are being made in the field of driverless cars. And as Katie Orr reports from Sacramento, California is working to get out ahead of the curve. 

At a Ford Dealership in Northern Sacramento, Fleet Sales Manager Obeth Carlos Davila drives a new Ford Explorer off the lot. It’s this year’s version of the car of the future.

Davila takes his foot of the gas and his hands off the wheel and watches the car steer itself into a parallel parking space.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

The price at the pump goes up today/Monday in California – by 3 ½ cents per gallon of gasoline.  As Ben Adler reports from Sacramento, that’s because of a particularly complex part of an old state budget deal.

California tax law is full of confusing formulas with colorful names, like the triple flip and the single sales factor.  Here, we’re talking about something called the gas tax swap.  It stems from the 2010 budget deal in the heart of the recession. 

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

Earlier this month, an article in the New York Times  showcased Los Angeles for being the first major city  in the world to synchronize every one of its 4,500 traffic signals. But closer to home, a similar project is already underway in Fresno, which could make commutes on Shaw Avenue quicker by the end of April. Valley Public Radio’s Ezra Romero reports.

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Ezra Romero / Valley Public Radio

The future of a well-established neighborhood in Bakersfield is on the rocks. The reason: a three decade old freeway project with intentions to connect Bakersfield with the rest of the state. Valley Public Radio's Ezra Romero visits the community, speaks with community leaders and reports on the future of what some call a better connected Bakersfield and California.

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Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A new study shows that local roads in California are falling into a state of disrepair at an alarming rate. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the report says the majority of counties have roads at risk of failing.

High Speed Rail Systems Team Up to Pursue Trains

Jan 17, 2013
California High Speed Rail Authority

The California High Speed Rail Authority will work with Amtrak to seek out manufacturers of high speed trains. As Amy Quinton reports from Sacramento, the two systems hope by teaming up they can lower costs.

 Amtrak and the California High Speed Rail Authority say by working together they hope to advance high speed projects on both the east and west coast.

Amtrak is looking to eventually purchase 32 trains for its east coast system, and California is hoping to acquire 27 trains that operate 220 miles per hour. California

Caltrans

Plans to connect Bakersfield's Westside Parkway across Highway 99 to Highway 58 are becoming clearer today, as Caltrans has selected what it calls a "preferred alternative" for the proposed Centennial Corridor freeway.

The alignment, known as "Option B" would travel west from the current Highway 58 interchange across Highway 99 though the West Park neighborhood. The freeway's path would then turn northwest, crossing both Stockdale Highway and Truxtun, in order to connect with the Westside Parkway near Mohawk Street.

This week on Valley Edition, we learn more about a new report which shows that on average, Valley counties send more inmates to prison and jail than the rest of the state. What does this mean for county budgets as realignment is moving many of those inmates from state prisons to county jails? We also discuss the merits of public defenders in California, as Fresno County is likely to place a measure before voters this fall which could make it easier to outsource the county’s public defender jobs to private attorneys.

Courtesy City of Fresno / CalTrans

Fresno’s long planned Veterans Boulevard interchange on Highway 99 between Herndon and Shaw Avenues may be closer to becoming a reality.

The Fresno City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a plan to spend $5.4 million on design and engineering plans for the roadway, which will connect Herndon Avenue across Highway 99 with Grantland Avenue.

The project is expected to solve a number of traffic problems in the fast growing area west of Highway 99. Last year, the City Council also approved the first phase of a planned El Paseo regional shopping center near the boulevard.

This week on Valley Edition, we talk about the future of California's troubled plan for high speed rail with the agency's President, Dan Richard. We also look at the big decision the Fresno City Council will make later this week on how to guide the city's growth for the next several decades.

On this week's Valley Edition we talk about a new study that links dementia and air pollution, a new program that aims to help people stay in their homes, and a plan to make Highway 152 a toll road. 

Valley Edition for February 21, 2012:

Segment 1: There's no doubt that Californians love their cars, and the Central Valley is no exception. But with rising fuel prices, the struggling economy, and a desire to be more environmentally friendly, many Valley residents and leaders are looking at mass transit as an option. Last week, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that President Obama’s proposed budget sets aside $18 million to help fund a new "bus rapid transit" system for Fresno. Called by many "light rail on rubber wheels," this new "BRT" system would be the first system of its kind in the Valley.

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