Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Nationally, 75 percent of commuters drive to work alone — a figure that doesn’t seem to budge, no matter what city planners do. A new report that analyzes Census data suggests that’s because transit agencies don’t do a good job of connecting people with jobs. Density is a factor, too. (City Lab)
  • Blurring the line between private, shared transportation and public transit could cut travel times by 30 percent and, if autonomous vehicles are electric, reduce greenhouse emissions by 85 percent, according to a new study. (Axios)
  • Uber is exploring autonomous e-bikes and scooters that can drive themselves to be charged or to where they’re needed. (Tech Crunch)
  • Massachusetts lawmakers have introduced a bill to hike fees on ride-hailing services to reduce traffic and raise money for transportation projects. (Boston Herald)
  • A Seattle Times columnist says Mayor Jenny Durkin made a mistake reviving a streetcar project plagued by cost overruns and should spend the money on light rail or bus rapid transit instead.
  • MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker lays out the Atlanta transit agency’s plans in a Journal-Constitution op-ed.
  • Minneapolis’s Metro Transit has scrapped plans for a bus-only lane on Hennepin Road. (Star Tribune)
  • Aspen, Colo., is backing away from plans to launch an alternative transportation program this summer that would have included free shuttles and bike rentals and discounted Lyft rides to encourage residents not to drive. (Aspen Times)
  • The Eugene, Ore. road where a driver recently killed a 70-year-old pedestrian is notoriously dangerous, with heavy traffic and no sidewalks. (Register-Guard)
  • The kids are alright. (Daily Trojan)

 

Monday’s Headlines

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  • The federal shutdown is costing the D.C. Metro 16 percent of its rail ridership, 8 percent of its bus ridership and $400,000 in revenue per day as thousands of employees stay home rather than commute to work. Metro may have to consider service cuts, the agency told Virginia and Maryland senators. (Curbed) Virginia is giving Metro a cash advance to bridge the gap. (WTOP)
  • In West Seattle, Viadoom hasn’t been as bad as expected because so many people were willing to switch modes when a busy viaduct closed last week. More than twice as many people are biking as a year ago. (KOMO)
  • Transit advocates want Cincinnati to raise its income tax to fund better bus service. (City Beat) While the city hasn’t responded to that request, Mayor John Cranley recently committed to spending $900,000 on pedestrian safety improvements. (WCPO)
  • The Houston Chronicle generally supports the city’s $7.5-billion 2040 transit plan, but the paper’s editorial board thinks money earmarked for light rail is better spent on bus rapid transit.
  • Uber will pay a nearly $1 million fine because it charged surge prices during a winter storm in violation of Gov. Charlie Baker’s state of emergency declaration. (Boston Globe)
  • Mobile analytics company StreetLight Data is introducing a tool to help cities measure bike and pedestrian traffic, which is notoriously difficult and expensive to do. Planners can use the data to make decisions about where to place infrastructure. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Vancouver is giving Streetsblog’s Worst Bus Stop in North America a makeover. (Daily Hive)
  • The mother of an Australian tourist killed on a bike by a truck driver in New York’s Central Park West spoke out against Whoopi Goldberg, who ranted last week against protected bike lanes on “The View.” (Patch, StreetsblogNYC)
  • The Stranger rips bus-hating Seattle radio personality Todd Herman a new one for bragging about how he drives in bus lanes. Apparently Herman’s record of traffic infractions is as bad as his opinions on transit.

Friday’s Headlines

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  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has hired Linda Bailey, director of the National Association of City Transportation Officials, to head up the city’s ambitious — but so far unsuccessful — Vision Zero program. (WaPo) Bowser was recently booed for talking about taking cars off the road, but Greater Greater Washington says citizens should be applauding instead.
  • A group of people with disabilities is suing the city of San Diego, Bird, Lime and Razor for failing to keep sidewalks clear of dockless scooters, which can be obstacles for the blind and folks in wheelchairs. (NBC)
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit is eliminating the D-Link, its free downtown shuttle due to low ridership. While that seems like a loss, it’s really an example of how the entire Dallas bus system makes no sense. (D Magazine)
  • Uber is dropping 1,000 of its JUMP electric bikes and scooters into Scottsdale and Mesa, Ariz. (12 News) And Omaha is rolling out an e-scooter pilot program in March. (KETV)
  • The Columbus Dispatch supports hiking Ohio’s gas tax to pay for road repairs and transit improvements.
  • New bike lanes are coming in St. Petersburg (Fox 13), Boise (Idaho Statesman), Philadelphia (Voice), Memphis (a different Fox 13) and Ann Arbor (Concentrate).
  • Worried than ride-hailing will take people off transit and put more cars on the road, Vancouver officials are considering charging Uber and Lyft a congestion fee. (Sun)
  • A Rochester, N.Y., driver is sorrynotsorry that he gave a 10-year-old on a bike a concussion and then fled. (Daily News)
  • Some idiot tried to cut off the Oklahoma City streetcar, collided with it, then drove off. (KFOR)

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Pedestrian deaths doubled in San Diego in 2018, from 17 to 34. (Union-Tribune) Charlotte drivers have already killed three people on foot this year, and the city’s Vision Zero director is recommending using cameras to catch speeders. Almost half of crashes involve speeding. (WBTV) It’s even worse in Washington, D.C., where 55 percent of fatal crashes were caused by speeding. But most people don’t care because they value time over lives, according to a Governor’s Highway Safety Association report. Many states have essentially given up, raising speed limits as high as 85 miles per hour. (Post)
  • When Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan killed the Red Line in Baltimore, he pledged $135 million to revamp the city’s bus system instead. The results have been less than stellar: Poorly enforced and maintained bus lanes, mixed on-time performance and, as a result, flat ridership. (City Lab)
  • Next City proposes that transit should be free during the traffic nightmare that is the Seattle Squeeze. It’s not, but crowds are showing up early to catch trains and buses anyway, according to KUOW. One woman’s new car-free commute, including 10 miles on a bike, was documented by Q13. Bike commutes like hers are rising in the wake of “Viadoom,” the Alaskan Way Viaduct’s closure, Curbed reports.
  • Average daily rides on Milwaukee’s The Hop streetcar rose in its second month of operation, but as the Milwaukee Record points out, people are going to complain about it anyway. A streetcar skeptic debates city leaders on whether it’s been successful on an OnMilwaukee podcast.
  • Meanwhile, Sacramento’s proposed streetcar suffered a major setback when the low bid came in $76 million over budget. (Bee)
  • The Phoenix New Times rode trains with a bunch of people wearing no pants and lived to tell the tale. Yes, there’s a slideshow.
  • And New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went on “The View” (below) to talk about his national agenda, but ended up getting grilled on bike lanes in a fact-free fashion by Whoopi “Drives in From New Jersey” Goldberg. (NY Daily News).

bill responds

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Bridge ramps and a crosstown interstate tore apart Charleston’s primarily black neighborhoods in the 1920s and again in the ‘60s. Now, with the bridges dismantled, the city is planning affordable housing and a  park to knit those neighborhoods back together. (Next City)
  • The Federal Highway Administration gave preliminary approval last week for Oregon to start tolling parts of two freeways. (Willamette Week)
  • The Atlanta City Council is refocusing on Complete Streets while planning a slate of upcoming road projects. (Curbed)
  • A University of Washington study found that, while bike-share bikes are concentrated in “advantaged” neighborhoods, they’re available everywhere in Seattle regardless of racial or socio-economic lines. Also, people who rent bikes rarely wear helmets. (UW News)
  • Wired asks if bike activists are “selling out” by jumping to Uber, Lyft, Bird or other private companies.
  • Segway is producing a new, sturdier type of e-scooter for Lyft, with a wider base, thicker wheels and longer battery life. (The Drive) In other scooter news, 100 Limes have arrived in Little Rock for a six-month pilot program. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
  • The Tampa Bay Times is not happy with the candidates to lead Hillsborough County’s growing transit agency.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to withhold road and transit funding from cities that don’t address the state’s affordable housing crisis by building more and denser housing — an ingredient for efficient transit. (LA Times)
  • London’s ban on polluting vehicles in one of its most traffic-choked neighborhoods is getting pushback from taxi drivers, although cyclists say they’ve already noticed a positive change. (The Guardian) The streets aren’t the only part of London that are polluted — the air quality in the fabled Underground is up to 30 times worse than on the street. Why? The Tube is deep and poorly ventilated, trapping exhaust that wafts in, and even though the trains are electric, their brakes throw off particulates. (City Lab)
  • Call it Uber for monorails or Elon Musk’s tunnel but aboveground — either way, autonomous floating pods in St. Louis probably aren’t going to fly. (KMOX)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Transit systems are in danger of losing funding if the federal shutdown drags on. (Barron’s) Meanwhile, Washington, D.C. Uber drivers are feeling the pinch, too, with fewer requests for rides from furloughed government employees. (WTOP)
  • Most cities leave the responsibility for shoveling snow to property owners. That endangers pedestrians, and cities should clear sidewalks themselves. (City Lab)
  • Worried about the “Seattle Squeeze,” aka “ViaDoom,” with the Alaskan Way Viaduct now closed? KOMO has a primer for transit newbies.
  • Metro Atlanta’s population is projected to grow by 2.5 million by 2040, and to keep pace both with growth and rival cities, MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker is calling for a $100-billion investment in transit over the next 40 years. (AJC)
  • Charlotte officials are grappling with how they came up $77 million short on funding for a 26-mile bike trail that was supposed to cost $38 million. (Observer)
  • Twin Cities YIMBYs — Yes in My Back Yard — are advocating for denser development, pedestrian-friendly streets and better transit. (Pioneer Press)
  • Los Angeles is targeting 80 of its most dangerous streets and intersections for Vision Zero projects. (Curbed)
  • Walk Bike Nashville held a memorial last weekend for the 23 pedestrians drivers killed there last year. (Fox 17)
  • This is how you do it: Paris is making transit free for children under 11 — with older youth getting a 50-percent discount — and bike rentals free for everyone under 18. (Fast Company)
  • Uber’s flying taxis are not what The Jetsons promised us. (The Guardian)
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