Talking Headways Podcast: More Than Just a Box

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This week I'm joined by Matthew Heins, author of The Globalization of American Infrastructure: The Shipping Container and Freight Transportation. Matthew talks about how the American highway and rail systems created a global standard for shipping containers, containerization’s effects on labor and relevance to an automated trucking future, and the massive intermodal freight terminals in cities like Chicago.

Today’s Headlines

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  • Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Is Vaporware (WaPo, NPR) and His “Infrastructure Week” Was a PR Mess (Hill)
  • Without a Real Plan From the Feds, Cities and States Should Prepare to Go It Alone (Slate)
  • WMATA Board Backs Cost-Cutting and Funding Blueprint — Now It’s Up to DC-Area Politicians (WAMU)
  • Robust Transit Is NYC’s Competitive Advantage. What Happens When It Falls Apart? (Tri-State)
  • Des Moines Releases Downtown Vision to Eliminate One-Way Streets, Add Protected Bike Lanes (Register)
  • Smart Growth America Ranks How Nicely Your City Has Promised to Build Complete Streets (Next City)
  • Tucson Police Blame Pedestrian Victims for Getting Killed on Tucson’s Roads (AZPM)
  • Street Safety Campaign in Lexington, KY, Shames Pedestrians for Using Phones on Sidewalk (WUKY)
  • Bloomington Resident “Worried About Safety” Opposes Plan for Bike Lanes, Calmer Traffic (WJBC)
  • A Pop-Up Protected Bike Lane Appears in Lewiston, Maine (Sun Journal)
What's keeping cities from rolling out changes like this faster? NACTO wants to know. Photo: Nathan Roseberry (CDOT) via NACTO/Flickr

NACTO Wants to Find Out How Cities Can Design Better Streets, Faster

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The National Association of City Transportation Officials, representing more than 50 urban transportation departments across the United States, is known for street design guides that prioritize walking, bicycling, and transit. Now the organization is turning its attention to the nuts-and-bolts of how city bureaucracies can implement these designs in a timely manner, so meaningful change can happen within our lifetimes.

Today’s Headlines

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  • Public-Private Partnerships Can Work, But Government Must Be Careful Not to Get Screwed (NYT, Politico)
  • Shelley Poticha Pokes Holes in Trump’s Wall Street-Friendly Infrastructure Privatization “Plan” (NRDC)
  • Baltimore Mayor Says She Could Use Bogus Fire Truck Rule to Erase More Bike Lanes (Sun)
  • Building More Dense, Walkable Housing Is the Key for Cities to Support the Paris Agreement (Cascadia Weekly)
  • Meanwhile, in Seattle: 400 Apartments (Plus 260 Parking Spaces) Above New Light Rail Station (Capitol Hill Times)
  • It Looks Like the Atlanta Streetcar Is Back on Track After Series of Operational Problems (AJC)
  • Kansas City Streetcar Authority Endorses Route for Northward Extension (KC Star)
  • Hampton Roads Transit, With Falling Bus Ridership, Plans Light Rail Expansion (Virginian-Pilot)
  • Meanwhile, in Clemson, SC: Mayor “Very Interested” in Personal Rapid Transit Pod Cars (Independent Mail)
  • Meet the New Highway Expansion Plan, Same as the Old Highway Expansion Plan (Tampa Bay Times)
The red areas mark close calls between drivers and pedestrians. Image via City of Bellevue

Can Algorithms Design Safer Intersections?

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Cities and tech firms are deploying new technology to gauge risks at dangerous intersections. These sensors, cameras, and machine-learning algorithms are promising, especially when it comes to measuring close calls that don't result in crashes - but cities are still figuring out how they can use this information. In the meantime, there's no reason to wait on designing safe streets.

Today’s Headlines

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  • Sharp Rise Since 2010 in “Super Commuters” With 90+ Minute Trips to Work (Governing)
  • Planners Focus on Two Alternatives for Downtown Dallas Subway Link, Will Seek Federal Funds (Dallas News)
  • With Baltimore Bus Revamp Set to Launch and Purple Line on the Ropes, Maryland Replaces Transit Chief (Fox 45)
  • Empty Mall and Big-Box Parking Lots Increasingly Being Redeveloped, But They’re Not Necessarily Walkable (NY Post)
  • Voters in Sprawling Suburb Reject TOD: “We Love Our City and We Don’t Want It to Be Urbanized” (Denver Post)
  • Why Does U.S. Lag on Privately-Financed Infrastructure? We Use Tax-Free Gov’t Bonds Instead (Bloomberg, WSJ)
  • Albuquerque City Council Ensures Proposed 2-Cent Gas Tax Will Not Help Fund Transit (Albuquerque Journal)
  • Oregon’s Massive Transportation Funding Package Shortchanges Safe Routes to School (BikePortland)
  • Suburban Las Vegas Officials Surprised When Residents Ask for Road Diet and Median (13 Action News)
  • Tampa Bay Times: While We’re Building Massive Roads, We Should Make Sure They Can Allow Transit, Eventually
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