Planetizen Managing Editor James Brasuell tries to predict the big ideas and trends that will dominate the discussion about the future of land use, planning, and development in the first year of the new decade.
Excessive speed is thought to be the cause of the deadly derailment on Dec. 18. Positive train control, which likely would have slowed down the train, was installed on the tracks and locomotive but was not yet operational.
The California Air Resources Board has petitioned the U.S. EPA to adopt more stringent emissions standards for locomotives in order to improve air quality at rail yards, many of which are located adjacent to disadvantaged communities.
Amtrak will replace, rather than overhaul, aging Acela trains with new, 186-mph trains from French manufacturer, Alstom, though they won't exceed 160 mph. The agreement was announced Friday by VP Joe Biden at Biden Station, Wilmington, Del.