Subject: Studies in the News 04-36 (May 25, 2004)

Studies in the News
Environment, Growth Management and Transportation Supplement

Contents This Week

   Road building and air pollution
   Asbestos-related deaths
   Genetically-modified insects
   Warming may reduce greenhouse gases
   Perchlorate standards in drinking water
   Critical habitat for arroyo toad
   Pesticide illness surveillance program results
   Unrecognized environmental pollutants
   Economic value of wetlands
   Transit for aging Americans
   Enforcement programs against aggressive drivers
   Older drivers and safety
   High occupancy toll lanes
   A review of pedestrian safety research
   Surface transportation innovations
   Status of intelligent transportation systems
   Transit in the new rural areas
   Benefits of urban rail
   Urban rail reduces liviability
   Toll truckways
   Nation's worst roads
   Transportation planning briefing book
   Transporation coordination for the disadvantaged
   Los Angeles metropolitan transportation authority
   Studies in the News, March 17, 2004
   Studies in the News, March 25, 2003
   Studies in the News, April 13, 2004
   Studies in the News, April 20, 2004
   Studies in the News, April 27, 2004
   Studies in the News, May 4, 2004
   Studies in the News, May 13, 2004
   Studies in the News, May 19, 2004
Introduction to Studies in the News

Studies in the News (SITN) is a current compilation of policy-related items significant to the Legislature and Governor's Office. It is created weekly by the State Library's Research Bureau and State Information & Reference Center to supplement the public policy debate in California's Capitol. To help share the latest information with state employees and other interested individuals, these reading lists are now being made accessible through the State Library's website.

How to Obtain Materials Listed in SITN:

  • When available on the Internet, the URL for the full-text of each item is provided.

  • California State Employees may contact the State Information & Reference Center (916-654-0206; with the SITN issue number and the item number [S#].

  • All other interested individuals should contact their local library - the items may be available there, or may be borrowed by your local library on your behalf.

The following studies are currently on hand:



More Highways, More Pollution: Road Building and Air Pollution in America's Cities. By Alison Cassady and others, Environment California Research & Policy Center. (The Center, Los Angeles, California) March 2004. 40 p.

Full Text at:

["Analysis of data from 314 metropolitan areas shows a significant correlation between highway capacity and emissions from cars and trucks -- the cities with the most highway lane-miles per capita tend to have the most pollution per capita. These findings suggest that building new roads will do little to alleviate traffic congestion in the long run and likely will exacerbate already severe air pollution problems in cities across the country."]

[Request #S3032]

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"Asbestos Litigation Reform" Reconsidered. By the Environmental Working Group. (The Group, Washington, DC) March 4, 2004. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["Ten-thousand Americans die each year from asbestos-related diseases and the number appears to be increasing in a growing public health crisis, according to a report by an environmental research group .... The report said that while most of the deaths were among workers who were exposed to the fire-proofing mineral decades ago, more than 1 million people are currently exposed to asbestos on the job and millions more are exposed to asbestos in the environment." Reuters News Service (March 5, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3033]

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Bugs in the System? Issues in the Science and Regulation of Genetically Modified Insects. By the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology. (The Initiative, Washington, DC) 2004.

["Researchers are tinkering with insect genes to develop more than a dozen new varieties, offering potentially broad social benefits while posing complicated new health and environmental risks.... A new report warns that the issues posed by gene-altered insects are so complex that unless federal agencies begin now to design methods of oversight, the necessary rules may not be in place when scientists are ready to start releasing insects into the environment." Washington Post (January 22, 2004) A1.]

Overview. 16 p.:

Report. 109 p.:

[Request #S3034]

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Communiqué: Annual Science Meeting of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting. By the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Accounting. (The Centre, Canberra, Australia) May 2004. 2 p.

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["The earth may be more resilient in the face of global warming than originally thought, according to scientists who believe the world is getting wetter as it warms, enhancing the biosphere's ability to soak up carbon dioxide.... 'What we do know is if we push the system in the wrong direction we could make global climate change worse.'" The Australian (May 11, 2004) 5.]

[Request #S3035]

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Three Scientific Peer Reviews of the Office Of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s December 2002 Draft Document on Perchlorate in California Drinking Water. By Jerome M. Hershman, UCLA School of Medicine, and others. Prepared for the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (The Office, Sacramento, California) 2004.

["Under terms of an agreement signed in September and October of 2003 by representatives of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and the University of California, the University agreed to select reviewers and to administer a peer review.... The report is not a consensus document. The report and the reviews represent the individual work and opinions of the three reviewers."]

Report. 33 p.:

Supplement. 3 p.:

[Request #S3036]

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Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Proposed Designation of Critical Habitat for the Arroyo Toad (Bufo californicus): Proposed Rule. By the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. IN: Federal Register, vol 69, no. 82 (April 28, 2004) pp. 23254 - 23328.

["A wildlife agency proposed designating nearly 140,000 acres in eight California counties, including San Diego and Riverside, as federally protected habitat for the endangered arroyo toad. The rule proposal comes just ahead of a court-ordered July 30 deadline for revisiting a previous critical-habitat plan spanning more than 180,000 acres, after home-building groups sued in November 2001, asserting that it was too sweeping." North County Times (April 29, 2004) 1.]

Federal Register. 76 p.:
Federal Register

Press Release. 2 p.:
Press release

[Request #S3038]

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Summary of Results From the California Pesticide Illness Surveillance Program: 2002. By the Worker Health and Safety Branch, California Department of Pesticide Regulation. (The Department, Sacramento, California) February 26, 2004. 15 pages.

Full Text at:

["The number of people thought to be sickened by pesticides in California more than doubled from 2001 to 2002, an increase attributed to better reporting and two major incidents of pesticide drift in the Central Valley, according to a new report.... The state Department of Pesticide Regulation ... found pesticides to be a possible or definite factor in 1,316 cases of reported illness in 2002 compared with 616 cases the previous year." Los Angels Times (February 27, 2004) B8.]

[Request #S3041]

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"Urban/Rural Stormwater Runoff Water Quality Management Issues." By G. Fred Lee. IN: Stormwater Runoff Water Quality Science/ Engineering Newsletter, vol 7, no. 3 (March 12, 2004) pp. 1-9.

Full Text at:

["This issue of the Stormwater Runoff Water Quality Science/Engineering Newsletter is devoted to unrecognized environmental pollutants. It contains a discussion of recently recognized chemicals in drinking waters and wastewaters that can be present in urban stormwater runoff."]

[Request #S3042]

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The Economic Values of the World's Wetlands. By Kirsten Schuyt, World Wildlife Federation, and Luke Brander. (The Federation, Gland, Switzerland) 2004. 32 p.

Full Text at:

["Goods and services worth 70 billion U.S. dollars could be at risk annually if governments around the world fail to manage wetlands sustainably, according to a report.... Poor management and the destruction of wetlands has led to increased flooding, water contamination and water shortages worldwide and costs governments large amounts of time and money to repair the damage or build and maintain huge unsustainable flood defences." Press Association Limited (February 2, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3043]

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Aging Americans: Stranded Without Options. By Linda Bailey, Surface Transportation Policy Project. (The Project, Washington, DC) April 2004. 20 p.

Full Text at:

["A Growing Deficit for Those Who Can't Drive: The study finds that 20 percent of people over 65 no longer drive, according to census data.... Most older people spend the last six to 10 years of their lives unable to drive.... There is a move to 'smart growth' and transit-oriented development concepts, in which houses, condos, apartments, offices, stores and restaurants are linked to bus and light-rail stops. But that movement is limited and far from the whole answer." Sacramento Bee (April 19, 2004) B1.

[Request #S3044]

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Aggressive Driving Enforcement: Evaluations of Two Demonstration Programs. By Jack Stuster, Anacapa Sciences, Inc. Prepared for the National Highway Safety Adminstration. (The Administration, Washington, DC) March 2004. 46 p.

Full Text at:

["Study results suggest that limited resources might be better spent on officer labor than on publicity, and that focusing enforcement responsibility on a small team assigned full-time to the special enforcement patrols might be more effective than sharing the responsibility among a large number of officers as occasional overtime duty."]

[Request #S3045]

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Older Drivers: A Review. By Liisa Hakamies-Blomqvist, Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, and others. (The Institute, Linkoping, Sweden) April 2004. 100 p.

Full Text at:

["Older drivers do not have a higher accident risk than others. They do, however, have a higher risk of being injured or killed in accidents. Generally speaking, safety measures targeted toward older drivers are beneficial for all. In the present report, measures are described that focus on the drivers, on the traffic environment, on vehicles and on intelligent transportation system applications."]

[Request #S3046]

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"Hot Lanes: A Better Way to Attack Urban Highway Congestion: High-occupancy Toll Lanes Benefit All Highway Users - Not Just the Affluent." By Robert W. Poole and C. Kenneth Orski. IN: Regulation, vol. 23, no. 1 (April 2004) pp. 15-20.

Full Text at:

["As a result of disenchantment with HOV lanes, several metropolitan areas are experimenting with a new way of using the lanes: opening them to paying customers as high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes. As of 2000, two such projects were in operation in California and another in Texas."]

[Request #S3047]

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A Review of Pedestrian Safety Research in the United States and Abroad. By B. J. Campbell, and others, Highway Safety Research Center, University of North Carolina. Prepared for the National Highway Administration. (The Administration, McLean, Virginia) 2004. 142 p.

Full Text at:

[“The report includes information on pedestrian crash characteristics, measures of pedestrian exposure and hazard, and specific roadway features and their effects on pedestrian safety. Such features include crosswalks and alternative crossing treatments, signalization, signing, pedestrian refuge islands, provisions for pedestrians with disabilities, bus stop location, school crossing measures, reflectorization and conspicuity, grade-separated crossings, traffic-calming measures, and sidewalks and paths.”]

[Request #S3048]

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Surface Transportation Innovations. By Robert W. Poole, Reason Public Policy Institute. Issue No. 16. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) May 2004. Various Pagings.

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Reauthorization Bills: Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full?;" "Public-Private Partnerships Galore, Contrary to GAO;" "Managed Lanes Gain Stature; How Do State DOTs Measure Up;" and "New On-Line Research Digest."]

[Request #S3049]

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Tracking the Deployment of the Integrated Metropolitan Intelligent Transportation Systems Infrastructure in the USA: FY2002 Results. By Steve Gordon and Jeffrey Trombly. And Statewide/Rural Intelligent Transportation Systems: 2002 Summary Report. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration. (The Administration, Washington, DC) April 2004.

["Deployment of freeway surveillance and closed circuit television cameras is advancing rapidly. The use of technology to support transit, public safety, arterial traffic management, and toll collection is also advancing apace. However, this good news is balanced by the lack of integration between key metropolitan agencies, which is continuation of a long standing and disturbing trend."]

Metropolitan Systems. 75 p.:

Statewide/Rural Systems. 64 p.:

[Request #S3050]

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Embracing Change in a Changing World: Case Studies Applying New Paradigms for Rural and Small Urban Transit Service Delivery. By KFH Group, Inc. Prepared for the Federal Transit Administration. (Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC) April 2004. 27 p.

Full Text at:

["Almost 100% population growth on the urban finge areas have transformed them from rural places into large suburban sprawl communities with major employment bases.... The purpose of this research is to examine four systems that have adapted to the new rural paradigm. Each case study will be examined with the intent of serving as a guide to other systems."]

[Request #S3051]

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Comprehensive Evaluation of Rail Transit Benefits. By Todd Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute. (The Institute, Victoria, British Columbia) April 28, 2004.

["The study calculates that the additional costs of rail transit systems are repaid several times over by economic savings provided to governments, businesses and consumers from reduced road and parking facility costs, vehicle cost savings, reduced traffic accident costs, and congestion cost savings.... This study critiques 'Great Rail Disasters,' (#S 3053) which, according to this report, failed to correctly categorize transit systems and violated other basic evaluation principles." VTPI Press Release (April 21, 2004) 1.]

Executive Summary. 4 p.:

Report. 52 p.:

[Request #S3052]

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Great Rail Disasters: The Impact of Rail Transit on Urban Livability. By Randal O'Toole, Center for the American Dream. (Independence Institute, Golden, Colorado) February 2004.

["The report profiles San Diego and 28 other U.S. cities that have or are planning light- or heavy-rail transit systems. Besides faulting the cost-effectiveness of the systems, the report says the environmental benefits of rail transit have been overblown. 'Rail transit has had negative net impacts on every urban area in which it is located,' said the report." San Diego Union-Tribune (February 17, 2004) B1.]

Issue backgrounder. 2 p.

Report. 46 p.

[Request #S3053]

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Corridors for Toll Truckways: Suggested Locations for Pilot Projects. By Robert W. Poole, and Peter Samuel, Reason Public Policy Institute. Policy Study 308. (The Institute, Los Angeles, California) 2004. 35 p.

Full Text at:

["The truckway would run ... from Los Angeles ... to Barstow.... It would consist of four lanes, two going in each direction and cost $16.5 billion.... Truck fees ranging anywhere form 38 cents to 80 cents a mile would pay off the bonds and finance maintenance and operation of the dedicated truck lanes." Sacramento Bee (May 13, 2004) 1.]

[Request #S3054]

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Bumpy Roads Ahead: Cities with the Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother. By The Road Information Program. (The Program, Washington, DC) April 2004.

["Los Angeles motorists drive on some of the worst freeways and roads in the country, and have to pay an additional $705 a year for wear and tear on their vehicles, a report said. Los Angeles leads the nation in bad roads for the second consecutive year. Five other California urban areas -- San Jose, San Francisco-Oakland, San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside-San Bernardino -- were also on the top-10 list." Los Angeles Daily News (April 28, 2004) 1.]

Report. 25 p.:

Press Release and Appendicies. Various pagings.:

[Request #S3055]

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The Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process: Key Issues: A Briefing Notebook for Transportation Decisionmakers, Officials, and Staff. By the Transportation Planning Capacity Building Program, U.S. Department of Transportation. (The Department, Washington, DC) March 2004. Various pagings. Federal Highway Administration Federal Transit Administration

Full Text at:

["This notebook, by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), provides government officials, planning board members, and transportation service providers with an overview of transportation planning. This notebook provides a basic understanding of the key concepts, along with references for additional information."]

[Request #S3056]

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Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Federal Agencies Are Taking Steps to Assist States and Local Agencies in Coordinating Transportation Services. By the U.S. General Accounting Office. GAO-04-420R. (The Office, Washington, DC) February 24, 2004. 18 p.

Full Text at:

["To promote and encourage further coordination of the transportation services provided by these programs, we recommended that the Departments of Labor and Education join the Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services as members of the Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility ... to develop and distribute additional guidance to states and other grantees that encourages the coordination of transportation services."]

[Request #S3057]

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Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority: It Is Too Early to Predict Service Sector Success, But Opportunities for Improved Analysis and Communication Exist. By the California State Auditor, Bureau of State Audits. 2002-116. (The Bureau, Sacramento, California) December 2003. 52 p.

Full Text at:

["The report concludes that it is too early to predict service sector success, but opportunities for certain improvements exist. Before the MTA established sectors, it did not perform any cost-benefit analyses or fiscal projections, nor did it fully consider alternatives to sectors. Thus, the MTA has reduced its ability to measure the effectiveness or efficiency of its sector implementation.... The MTA is still attempting to resolve some issues affecting sectors that existed before it decentralized its operations."]

[Request #S3058]

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[This section links to items in Studies in the News since the last Environmental Supplement.]


"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-18 (March 2004)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "Park Service turns down Gaviota coast;" "Assessing perchlorate risk;" "Stone Lakes wildlife refuge;" "Compensating for agricultural land conservation;" "Concern over phosphorus;" "Transportation funding reform;" and "California high-speed rail."]

[Request #S3059]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-20 (March 2004)

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[Includes: "Liability reform for brownfields;" "Island fox listed as endangered;" "Healthy forests;" "Report on 2003 wildfires;" "Statistical data on older drivers;" "Added risks for older drivers;" and "Transportation agencies deal with budget cuts."]

[Request #S3060]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-24 (April 2004)

Full Text at:

[Includes: "State goals for perchlorate;" "Sub-populations and environmental toxins;" "State environmental policy innovations;" "Environmental regulations;" "Timber company subject to SWRCB;" "Journey to work;" and "What government can do about congestion."]

[Request #S3061]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-26 (April 2004)

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[Includes: "Preventing sprawl;" "Protecting ocean resources;" "Security of stored nuclear fuel;" "Recommendations for preventing firestorms;" "Immigrant drivers'licenses in Florida;" "Federal highway funding;" "Highway reauthorization funding;" and "Small gain in transit ridership.]

[Request #S3062]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-28 (May 2004)

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[Includes: "474 U. S. counties fail air standards;" "Issues in regulation of genetically modified crops;" "Climate change and clean car solutions;" "Index of leading environmental indicators;" "Court limits California's anti-toxics labeling;" "Report of ocean policy commission;" "Most endangered rivers;" and "Airline quality ratings."]

[Request #S3063]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 4-30 (May 2004)

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[Includes: "Using phytoplankton to absorb CO2;" "Public health goal for arsenic;" "Extinct species in the last 20 years;" and "Ocean policy."]

[Request #S3064]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-32 (May 2004)

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[Includes: "State of the air;" "Court rules against smog curbs;" "Water privatization;" "Increased highway deaths;" and "Funding transportation systems."]

[Request #S3065]

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"Environment and Natural Resources." IN: Studies in the News, 04-34 (May 2004)

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[Includes: "Regulations on nonroad diesels;" "Diesel emissions;" "Health effects of greenhouse gases;" "Bald eagle no longer endangered;" and "Plan to cut mercury in San Francisco Bay."

[Request #S3066]

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