TheCityFix Picks, October 21: Traffic Signs Review, Chicago Congestion Fees, MetroRapid BRT

The U.K. Department of Transportation released its Traffic Signs Review, making it easier to install and amend road signage. Photo by Wally Gobetz

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: integrated transport, urban development and accessibility, air quality and climate change, health and road safety, and communications and marketing.

Integrated transport

Ghana’s Deputy Minister for Transport Dzifa Attivor announced that the country will receive $3 billion in loans from China for transport infrastructure.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a $2 “congestion fee” tax to be added on top of existing downtown parking lot and garage parking taxes.

Devices to improve driver efficiency, such as downloadable smart phone applications, are being developed by University of Leeds researchers in the four-year, eco-Driver project.

The U.S. Federal Transit Authority awarded the city of Indianapolis, Ind. $2 million to analyze “central corridors” for use in a forthcoming bus rapid transit (BRT) system.

EMBARQ Director of Research and Practice Dario Hidalgo presented on global best practices in implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems at a recent Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) workshop. SMC is currently deveoping 30 kilometers of new BRT lines.

Urban Development + Accessibility

The EcoMobility Congress 2011 begins tomorrow in Changwon, South Korea. The three-day conference focuses on creating more sustainable cities through minimal car mode-share.

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) received $12 million in U.S. federal funding, as part of a $1 billion federal funding allotment to local transit agencies around the country.

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is holding its annual meeting and expo in San Diego, Calif. from October 30 through November 2. Register here.

Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ pro-cycling initiatives have produced 56 miles of new asphalt, new bike lanes on 15 city streets, and a ranking in 2010 as the 12th best bicycle commuting city in the country—an 84 percent increase since 2005.

Air Quality + Climate Change

The California Air Resources Board enacted the final cap-and-trade plan today, as part of California’s statewide climate plan.

International Electrotechnical Commission published two new international electric vehicle charging standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $ 6.6 million to eight universities to study the effects of black carbon on air and water quality, as well as its behavior in the atmosphere.

The findings of a new Stanford University study dissuades the inclination to emphasize the “urban heat island” effect more so than greenhouse gas emissions as a contributor to global climate change.

Health + Road Safety

The London Department for Transportation released the Traffic Signs Review, whose purpose includes making it easier for local authorities to install or amend road signage.

London Green Party Mayoral Candidate Jenny Jones called on London Mayor Boris Johnson to improve the city’s cycling safety following the death of a young woman cyclist last week.

A one-of-a-kind research facility at Oregon State University in Corvallis is conducting real-time laboratory traffic experiments using car and bicycle simulators with interactive capabilities.

Communications + Marketing

A U.S. cyclist completed a 5,847-kilometer ride from Portugal to Turkey to raise awareness for climate change.

Nascar’s youngest sanctioned racer, 15-year-old Andrew Murray is promoting awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.

The TriMet transit agency in Portland, Ore. launched Regional Trip Planner today, the first open-source, multi-modal trip planner used by a U.S. transit agency.

Capital Metro in Austin, Texas provided the opportunity for the public to peruse the buses that will be used in the city’s future MetroRapid bus rapid transit (BRT) project.

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