Tuesday’s Headlines

  • Uber drivers in Los Angeles are considering going on strike after the company — valued at $120 billion — cut their per-mile pay by 25 percent (Gizmodo). Maybe other states should follow the lead of Connecticut, where a bill would guarantee Uber and Lyft drivers 75 percent of the fees charged to passengers (Mirror).
  • Vision Zero is something that’s usually implemented by cities, but carmaker Volvo has its own plan to eliminate traffic deaths: cameras and sensors in vehicles that will monitor whether drivers are distracted or intoxicated. Great idea, or too Big-Brother-y? (Smart Cities Dive)
  • It looks like New York City’s long attempt to institute congestion pricing will actually happen. Here’s the coverage from our StreetsblogNYC colleagues, plus the NY Times.
  • Cyclists are calling on New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to veto a bill requiring drivers to stay five feet away when passing because an amendment also prohibits cyclists from using traffic lanes when a bike lane or path is available. (Albuquerque Journal)
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says his 18-cent gas tax hike would save lives, but the state Senate cut it to 6 cents (Fox 8). The Senate’s version also cut transit funding from $100 million to $55 million (Cleveland Scene).
  • Cycling advocates are pressing New Orleans to crack down on drivers who park in bike lanes. One councilman wants to raise the fine from $40 to $300. (Times-Picayune)
  • A hit-and-run driver killed a man on a bike in Oklahoma City last week on a street that planners had already identified as needing safety upgrades. (Oklahoman)
  • Even if the Gwinnett County transit referendum had passed, the Atlanta suburb’s congressman, Rob Woodall, says it’s unlikely the federal government would have funded heavy rail because there’s “little appetite” in D.C. for projects that take so long to build. (Daily Post)
  • The Jacksonville Times-Union endorses the demolition of a highway ramp on the downtown waterfront.
  • The Nebraska Bicycling Alliance is expanding its advocacy to include pedestrians and is now Bike Walk Nebraska. (Omaha World-Herald)
  • And finally, why rent a scooter when you can ride your luggage? (WGBH)

Monday’s Headlines

  • Uber and Lyft drivers are pushing to unionize for better pay. One driver told The Guardian he made $3.75 an hour after expenses to risk his life during a snowstorm. Employees of a Lyft contractor that operates bike-shares are unionizing, too (San Francisco Examiner). Meanwhile, as Lyft prepares to go public, the unprofitable company is telling potential investors it plans to cut spending next year (Bloomberg).
  • When L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Vision Zero in 2015, he promised a 20-percent reduction in traffic deaths by 2017 and a 100-percent reduction by 2025. Instead, drivers are killing more cyclists and pedestrians. (U.S. News and World Report)
  • A Florida bill moving swiftly through the legislature would require two-thirds of voters to raise the sales taxes that local governments rely on to fund transportation improvements. City and county officials are calling it an assault on home rule. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Virginia will use buses, water taxis and Amtrak discounts to move people stranded by the months-long closure of six D.C. Metro Blue and Yellow Line stations for repairs. (WTOP)
  • As of Saturday, Seattle’s downtown transit tunnel is for light rail only, pushing 830 bus trips and 30,000 riders a day onto surface streets. (MyNorthwest)
  • Charlotte is getting its first permanent protected bike lane. (Observer)
  • Residents along Atlanta’s booming North Avenue say they’re seeing more collisions and pedestrian safety problems and want it to become a Complete Street. (Curbed)
  • Orlando’s public bike-share, Juice, has been squeezed out by competitor Lime’s dockless e-bikes. Juice is pulling out its docked bikes now that its contract with the city has expired, but pledges to return with more dockless models. (Weekly)
  • In four months of operation, the St. Louis streetcar has only sold 4,300 tickets, bringing in a quarter of expected revenue. (Fox 2 Now)
  • Virginia transportation officials were forced to visit Elon Musk’s Boring Company in L.A. and came away unimpressed. “It’s a car in a very small tunnel,” one said. (Jalopnik)
  • And, finally, a lot of dummies are going to die before engineers get driverless cars right. (Business Insider)

Friday’s Headlines

  • Drivers are killing pedestrians in greater numbers in part because people are increasingly forced to walk in places that were built on the assumption that no one would ever walk there, like freeways and wide surface arterial roads. Authorities have responded mainly by blaming victims, rather than provide safe places for people to walk. As gentrification pushes people who can’t afford cars out of walkable inner cities into the suburbs, the problem will get worse. (Bloomberg)
  • Uber’s rewards program could worsen congestion by incentivizing single trips. (NPR Illinois)
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged to build a two-way, bus-only “K Street Transitway,” replacing what’s now parking and an access road (Greater Greater Washington). In addition, her 2020 budget proposal includes more money for bike-lane enforcement, continuing and expanding a free circulator, extending the streetcar line and fixing the notorious “Dave Thomas Circle.” (WAMU)
  • Houston — where drivers have killed 2,000 people on foot and bikes since 2003 — needs redesigned streets and sidewalks, wider bike lanes, protected bike paths and vigorous traffic enforcement. (Press)
  • Is Philadelphia finally getting serious about Vision Zero? Signs like speed cameras, permanent bike lanes and civilian traffic officers point to yes. (Philly Mag)
  • A Cincinnati study recommends retiming lights so pedestrians have more time to cross, designating pickup and drop-off zones, giving the streetcar priority at traffic signals and adding more parking meters. (Enquirer)
  • A liberal, black commentator in Atlanta pushes back against the notion that racism is the reason Gwinnett County’s transit referendum on Tuesday failed. The pro-transit side wasn’t well organized, and residents of the majority-black southern part of the county didn’t think they’d get much bang for their buck. (Georgia Pol)
  • Almost a year after Nashville voters rejected a $5-billion transit referendum, the coalition behind it, Moving Forward, announced new leadership and will turn its attention toward influencing various city and regional master plan updates. (Tennessean)
  • The Durham-Orange light rail line is still eligible for federal funding, although its future is dim since Duke University pulled out. (WRAL)
  • The Phoenix City Council bowed to pressure from anti-transit business owners and voted to delay a light-rail extension planned for the west side of the city. Nearby Glendale killed its portion in 2017, leading opponents to dub it a “train to nowhere.” It’s the second time the council has voted to delay a light-rail extension and spend the money on roads instead. (Arizona Republic, Streetsblog)
  • Baltimore lawmakers advanced legislation to permanently legalize e-scooters, tax them, cap their speed and fine violators. (Fishbowl)
  • Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to beat a streetcar in a footrace. (City Lab)

Thursday’s Headlines

  • Transit advocates are criticizing President Trump’s proposed budget for cutting transportation funding and failing to take advantage of an opportunity for infrastructure investment (Smart Cities Dive). Meanwhile, Trump’s Federal Transit Administration continues to allow projects to languish by refusing to disburse the funds it does have (Streetsblog).
  • Most Streetsblog readers probably don’t agree with Trump on much, but can empathize with his fear of self-driving cars. As Vox explains, new modes of transportation always make people anxious.
  • Even Mayor Jim Kenney admits Philadelphia’s streets “suck,” but he says the city is making progress on safety and is speeding up construction of separated bike lanes. (PlanPhilly)
  • Unlike the other 46 states, laws in Virginia, Maryland, Alabama and North Carolina make it all but impossible for a pedestrian who’s hit by a car to prove the driver was negligent. (Mobility Lab)
  • Ridership on the Milwaukee streetcar fell sharply in January from its first two months of operation. Numbers from February and March are unknown because of a glitch in the counting system. (Journal Sentinel)
  • San Francisco is the third-most congested city in the U.S., and half the increase in traffic from 2010 to 2016 is attributed to Uber and Lyft. (Marina Times)
  • Oregon is the only state without a law regulating ride-hailing services, and legislators aim to change that this year. But they’re sharply divided between eliminating local rules and allowing cities to add extra requirements. (OPB)
  • As it revamps the Little Rock bus system, Rock Region Metro faces an age-old conundrum: Try to cover the largest area, or focus on the routes where the most riders are? (Democrat-Gazette) The agency is also hoping for more federal funding. (KUAR)
  • Biking is catching on in Maui, despite Hawaii being ranked one of the worst states for cyclists. (Maui News)
  • Portland’s Metropolitan Area Express light- rail system, explained. (KOIN)
  • The Toledo (Ohio) Blade editorial board gets right to the point: Fix the dang sidewalks.
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