In 2018, cities finally got serious about parking reform, with San Francisco and Minneapolis joining Buffalo, N.Y., and Hartford, Conn., in striking down bans on car-free housing, according to Sightline. Please help Streetsblog lead the way by contributing to our annual December donation drive.
- Data shows that reducing parking also reduces congestion — if managed correctly — because drivers spend less time looking for spots. (GCN)
- An Über employee complained to higher-ups about autonomous vehicles’ near-misses during testing and backup drivers’ lack of training just days before a self-driving car hit and killed an Arizona woman while the driver was watching videos on a phone. (The Verge)
- More people are walking and biking in Atlanta — and so drivers are killing more cyclists and pedestrians, because Atlanta’s streets were designed solely for cars. (Atlanta Magazine)
- The Raleigh News & Observer delves into the street-closure issue that’s holding up the Durham-Orange light rail line.
- Women in Washington, D.C., are paying a “pink tax,” often in the form of paying extra to hail a ride rather than face harassment on public transit. (Post)
- Virginia Beach — where voters rejected a light rail expansion two years ago — was willing to build the project anyway if Amazon chose the region for its second headquarters. (Virginian-Pilot)
- Traffic deaths in Austin, Tex., have fallen from a high of 102 in 2015 to 69 this year, but that’s a far cry from zero. (Monitor)
- Former NYC traffic commissioner “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz is worried that driverless cars will double the amount of vehicle miles, rather than reduce private car ownership, because people will send their cars home alone while they’re at work. (Westfair)
- Six out of seven Tampa mayoral candidates agree on making streets safer for people on foot and bikes. At a Walk Bike Tampa forum, only one sided with current Mayor Bob Buckhorn squashing a Complete Streets project. One even bragged that he hasn’t owned a car in nine years. (Tampa Bay Times)
- The Birds have landed in Lafayette, La., but New Orleans officials say they don’t have the infrastructure, like bike lanes, to support e-scooters. (Times-Picayune)
- Albuquerque, N.M., has a $400-million backlog of sidewalk- and curb-repair projects. (KRQE)
Digital Trends recently declared 2018 the Year of the E-Scooter. Let’s make 2019 the Year of Streetsblog — the website for all of your transportation news needs, whatever your mode of choice (as long as it’s not a car). Please contribute to our annual December donation drive.
- Detroit’s MoGo bike-share started a pilot program to provide hand-pedaled bikes for people with, for example, cerebral palsy. But The New York Times found that such programs are the exception. People with disabilities have few options when it comes to bike rentals.
- While bike shares have been successful in some metro Boston cities, others have gotten rid of dockless programs because the bikes end up in the ocean or snowbanks. (Globe)
- In other bike-share news, Pacers Bikeshare is adding 23 stations and 275 bikes. (WISH) Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has found a new vendor — VeoRide plans to introduce 200 rental bikes, and possibly e-bikes and e-scooters, in May. (The Gazette) But Seattle has reported a 20 percent drop in biking, likely due to the weather. (My Northwest)
- In a Q&A with the Post, Washington Area Bicycling Association Communications Director Colin Browne talks about the need for congestion pricing.
- Oregon is asking the feds for permission to start tolling based on congestion on parts of I-5 and I-205. (Bike Portland)
- Oklahoma City has won a $14-million federal grant for its first bus rapid transit line. (Journal Record)
- With funding for the Orange Line secured, Minneapolis’s Metro Transit has turned its attention to another bus rapid transit line, the E-Line. (Star Tribune)
- L.A. is spending $10 million on special lanes where cyclists can safely writhe around in agony. (The Onion)
Streetsblog would like to spend another year performing feats of writing and reporting strength and airing your transportation grievances. Please contribute to our annual December donation drive. We’d consider it to be a Festivus miracle.
On to the news:
- It looks as if Lyft will beat competitor Uber to be the first ride-hailing company to go public, filing paperwork to sell stock as early as the first quarter of 2019. Investors are likely to value the company at more than $20 billion, even though, like Uber, it’s never turned a profit. (Reuters)
- Cities are struggling to keep up with advances in technology. Governing advises regulators to shoot for better mobility, especially in underserved areas, while also keeping sustainability in mind; using pricing, not caps on supply, to allocate resources; insist on data-sharing; and vigorously enforce the rules.
- Dockless e-scooters are not much better than docked bike-shares at serving low-income neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. (Fast Company)
- Bike-share is back in Baltimore, as Lime dropped 100 bikes over the weekend, with plans for more. Lime and Bird both agreed to pay the city $15,000 plus $1 per bike or scooter for better bike infrastructure. (Sun)
- Albuquerque, N.M., police will start ticketing drivers who park in bus-only lanes next week. (They weren’t before?) (KRQE)
- Memphis recently unveiled a revamped Manassas Street, complete with protected bike lanes, buffers, bump-outs and other traffic-calming measures, as well as some pretty crosswalks. (Flyer)
- Two Cincinnati city council members are proposing a one-stop-shop app for local transit, ride-hailing, bike shares and scooter rentals. (City Beat)
- Minneapolis’s proposed new zoning plan drastically increases density along transit lines. (Curbed)
- One Detroit writer says the Motor City’s bus system is better than you think. (News)
- Mixed messages: Lyft tells e-scooter users in Denver to ride in bike lanes, but the city wants them to stay on the sidewalk. The confusion has led to injuries and even a pedestrian slapping a scooter rider. Now the city council is reconsidering the rules. (Denver Post)
- The rules are the opposite in San Jose, Calif., where Mayor Sam Liccardo wants scooters off the sidewalks — and he’s threatened scooter companies with a ban if they don’t use technology like geofencing to help. (Mercury News)
New York Magazine thinks that Uber, which has been hemorrhaging money for nine years, is going under. Streetsblog would like to avoid the same fate — and just like Uber drivers, we accept tips! Our annual December donation drive is real. And it’s spectacular.
Now, the news:
- Climate change has made it more urgent than ever to get people out of their cars. Taking the “road diet” concept one step further, a former D.C. and Chicago DOT chief says the easiest way to do that in the short term is create “slow lanes” that prioritize non-car vehicles. (Forbes)
- A new transportation plan for Atlanta aims to move the notoriously traffic-choked city away from automobiles. The questions, as always, are: Will city officials stick with it? How many projects can they afford to build, and how will they be chosen? (Curbed) Meanwhile, the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has approved a commuter rail line and bus rapid transit in suburban Clayton County, which joined MARTA in 2014, but it will be a while before the rail materializes. (Saporta Report)
- Plans for light rail between Durham and Orange, N.C., continue to fall apart. First Duke University threatened to pull out, and now the head of the local performing arts center opposes closing a street for a railroad crossing, saying it would block vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Herald Sun) On the bright side, Chapel Hill approved an agreement to vote the $2.5-billion project forward. (CBS 17)
- A longtime associate of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin has received a $720,000 no-bid contract from the city to consult on light rail expansion. (Seattle Times)
- Brace yourselves, winter is coming — which means Cincinnati’s streetcar is about to start breaking down. This year, the city is making preparations to ensure it can operate in cold weather. (WCPO)
- Tulsa is lobbying the Oklahoma state government to increase funding for transit. (KWGS)
- New Orleans has replaced mandatory bike registration with a voluntary program that could help reunite stolen bikes with their owners. (Times-Picayune)
- Digital Trends has the most in-depth story we’ve seen yet on Quayside, Google’s planned “smart neighborhood” in Toronto.
- Bike-share roundup: Honolulu adds 33 new stations. (Star-Advertiser) Waco, Texas, adds scooters. (KCEN) Memphis’s boasts 25,000 trips in six months. (Flyer) Baton Rouge, La.’s will launch on St. Patrick’s Day. (Advocate)
Streetsblog’s annual December donation drive is ongoing. We need your help to continue bringing you the day’s transportation top headlines, great stories, op-eds and more. Give ’til it hurts!
On to the headlines:
- Lots of news out of Tampa recently: The Tampa Bay Times runs down the 11 most dangerous intersections for people on bikes, and — get this — most of them are in areas where many people can’t afford cars. One mayoral candidate wants to use the city’s share of a recently approved sales tax to extend a streetcar line. (Florida Politics) And WFTS reports on Tampa’s Critical Mass rides and a viral Facebook post asking for more sidewalks.
- With Lyft now the nation’s largest e-scooter rental provider, Uber is looking to acquire either Bird or Lime. It already owns a minority share in the latter. (The Verge)
- Manufacturers are launching an ad campaign to urge Democrats and Republicans to work together on infrastructure in 2019. (Bloomberg)
- In response to Albuquerque drivers killing 67 pedestrians so far this year, police are cracking down, not on drivers, but on people crossing outside a crosswalk — even at intersections where there are no crosswalks. (KOAT)
- San Diego politician and talk-show host Carl DeMaio — one of the most vocal critics of California’s recent gas-tax hike — is gathering signatures to put ending state funding for high-speed rail on the ballot in 2020. (Curbed)
- After a bumpy start, Pittsburgh’s bike-share is expanding next spring to 175 stations and 750 bikes. (Post-Gazette)
- Acknowledging that bike and pedestrian interests are often intertwined, the Savannah (Ga.) Bicycle Coalition has changed its name to BikeWalk Savannah to better reflect its mission of safer streets for all users. (Connect Savannah)
- West Palm Beach, Fla. (WPTV) and Macon, Ga. (NBC 41) are the latest cities to embrace Vision Zero.