TheCityFix Picks, December 16: Transport Grants, Beautifying BRT, Urban Mobility India

The U.S. DOT's recent round of TIGER transport grants awarded Chicago $20 million to establish a bike share program and make improvements to the Blue Line train. Photo by Russell Sekeet.

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

Trade tensions between China and the U.S. rose this week as China announced it is leveraging new duties on U.S.-made cars.

Mark your New Year calendars: The 2012 Sustainable Transport Awards, created by the Institute for Transportation Development and Policy, will be held on January 24 in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded a total of $511 million to 46 American transportation projects in the third round of TIGER (Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovering) grants.

Mayor of Nashville Karl Dean indicated the city’s forthcoming public transit system will likely be a bus rapid transit (BRT) instead of a streetcar system, saying, “Bus rapid transit is by far the most compelling case we’ve heard.”

Urban Development + Accessibility

The fourth annual Urban Mobility India conference was recently held in Delhi.

The Lujiang-Qianpu BRT line in Xiamen, China was beautified this week with the planting of a 12-kilometer, street-side Bougainvillea flower bed.

After four years of planning and amassing financial commitments for an intra-city light rail system, Detroit has instead opted for a BRT system.

Citizens of Chennai, India expressed mixed sentiments about pedestrian overpasses, also known as “skywalks,” despite the local Highways Department’s plan to commission five of the elevated walkways next year.

Air Quality + Climate Change

Exxon Mobile released The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040, which predicts global energy demand in 2040 to reach roughly 30 percent higher than that of 2010.

New analysis found that the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia would have accrued hundreds of millions of dollars per year if they each had increased their most recent gas taxes to account for inflation.

Hundreds of recent flights were canceled in Beijing because of concerns over unsafe smog levels.

Brazil is experiencing the externalities of its burgeoning oil market in the wake of a recent spill 200 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

Health + Road Safety

Hybrid vehicles are, on average, 25 percent better at protecting their drivers than conventional private vehicles, according to a new study from the insurance industry.

In a statement that’s already receiving rebuttals from the cell phone industry, the U.S. Safety Board urged a ban on all cellphone use by drivers to improve road safety.

New data released by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that, despite state bans, the rates of individuals texting while driving is increasing.

Communications + Marketing

The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out its anti-drunk driving holiday advertisement campaign today. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is set to run through January 2.

Two New York City graduate design students gifted custom-designed seat cushions to their local M15 bus drivers, who operate the second busiest bus line in the country.

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