Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • E-scooter and bike rentals doubled to 84 million in 2018. Most of the increase came from e-scooters and dockless bikes, but experts say docked bike-shares are more likely to be sustainable. (Deseret News)
  • Google subsidiary Sidewalk Labs is preparing a detailed report on its controversial plan to remake Toronto’s waterfront as a “smart neighborhood” with heated sidewalks and robots making deliveries — and everything collecting data on everyone. (NY Times)
  • Hoping to appease critics of its proposed expansion, Stanford University is offering Santa Clara County, Calif., $4.7 billion to address affordable housing and transportation issues — including $1.1 billion for transit improvements. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Lacking funding to extend Metrorail lines themselves, Miami officials are looking to China for help with supposedly cheaper maglev technology. However, only American-built transit systems qualify for federal grants, and a city analysis said maglev likely wouldn’t save money over elevated ordinary rail lines. (Herald, Streetsblog)
  • President Obama’s transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, is among those will serve on a new safety review board looking into Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority operations after a series of derailments. (Boston Herald)
  • The death of the Durham-Orange light rail line has a silver lining: It could free up funds for Chapel Hill, N.C., bus rapid transit. (Herald-Sun)
  • Milwaukee will lose $8 million in funding every year city officials delay extending its streetcar line. (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Opponents of Minneapolis’s Southwest light rail line have seized on bee habitats as their latest tactic to stall the project. (WCCO)
  • Public hearings on New Orleans transit updates start Monday. (WWNO)
  • Two D.C. suburbs recently rejected road diets after citizen outcry, even though the projects would make those streets safer and hardly affect traffic at all. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Some people will do almost anything to save a few seconds behind the wheel. A London woman even posed as a dead cyclist’s aunt to oppose a separated bike lane. (The Guardian)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • State and local governments are wasting $25 billion on nine bad freeway projects in Portland, Raleigh, Houston, California, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, according to the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (City Lab). Also see StreetsblogUSA‘s ongoing “Highway Boondoggle” series breaking down the list, project by project.
  • Uber and Lyft — both swimming in red ink — will be forced to jack up fares to satisfy Wall Street’s thirst for profits now that they’ve gone public. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Virgin Trains, the privately owned passenger rail company formerly known as Brightline, has broken ground on the second phase of its Miami-to-Orlando line, expected to be completed in 2022. The route, which now runs between Miami and West Palm Beach, is planned to extend to Tampa. (Click Orlando)
  • L.A. Metro wants transit users to rent out their parked cars to reduce congestion. The service is supposed to replace ride-hailing, but how putting parked cars on the road will reduce congestion remains unclear. (Government Technology)
  • A new Boston casino development — and the traffic it will bring — presents opportunities to improve public transit. (MassLive)
  • Some want more freeway lanes, of course, but a surprising number of Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers have sensible ideas for easing the region’s notorious traffic — such as bus-only lanes and congestion pricing.
  • Traffic deaths have risen in Las Vegas over the past few years, but engineers now seem to understand that making streets safer for pedestrians makes them safer for everyone. (Review-Journal)
  • Osceola County sheriff’s deputies will be stationed at three dangerous Orlando intersections Wednesday to ticket drivers who fail to yield for pedestrians. (Orlando Weekly)
  • The Albuquerque Journal says the city’s Complete Streets ordinance needs to be strengthened.
  • Construction has started on a protected bus lane and bus islands on 14th Street in Washington, D.C. (WTOP)
  • A Portland city commissioner thinks distracted walking is to blame for pedestrian deaths. Did they get run over by their own cellphones? (Bike Portland)

Monday’s Headlines

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Sponsored post: Spin and Better Block Foundation are calling on designers, urbanists and anyone who cares about safe and livable streets, to submit ideas for a new generation of multimodal parklets. Winning designs will get built and installed in Denver in September. Let’s take back our streets from cars, one space at a time. Apply now: https://www.spin.pm/streets

  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and other Democrats are questioning Uber and Lyft about safety problems with drivers’ vehicles. (Roll Call)
  • The Federal Transit Administration awarded Bay Area Rapid Transit the first portion of what will be a $1.35-billion grant, allowing the agency to expand capacity by buying 306 new rail cars, build five power stations and add train control technology. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Transit agency MARTA’s first trains starting rolling 40 years ago this month. For the next 20 years, the system expanded. Then suburban communities drew a line in the sand. Now, with new sales tax revenue rolling in, passenger rail in Atlanta is poised to start expanding again. (AJC)
  • For more than 40 years, I-35 has divided Austin and frustrated commuters. With an $8-billion rebuild coming up, the Austin Chronicle contemplates how to make the “Main Street of Texas” suck less.
  • Maryland has cut a bike path from a proposed new bridge over the Potomac River, potentially putting cyclists in shared lanes with fast-moving cars. A narrower path could be restored once bids come in. (WTOP)
  • In South Carolina, at least, the Trump Administration has diverted transportation funds away from cities and to rural areas. (The State)
  • D.C. Metro police have opened an investigation into a cop who allegedly Tasered a man. (NBC4)
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill reversing a state law that restricted e-scooters to sidewalks, meaning cities can now make their own rules about where they can ride. (Fox 13)
  • Philadelphia will start a dockless bike-share pilot program this fall. (Tribune)
  • Kansas City is planning bike lanes for the busy Meyer Corridor. (WDAF)
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is most expensive least efficient transit system in the country. (Mercury News)
  • Washington, D.C’s “Sidewalk Vigilante” fights potholes outside the law. (WJLA)

Friday’s Headlines

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  • Uber wants a monopoly on transportation — not only ride-hailing, but public transit, flight, delivery, ambulances and even freight (Axios). Speaking of Uber, the company says it will launch flying taxis in Dallas and Los Angeles in 2023. (Commercial Observer)
  • Wired asks if micromobility in America is a bust. Spoiler alert: No.
  • Or is it? Chinese bike-share company Ofo, once valued at $2 billion, is now bankrupt. (Quartz)
  • Changes are coming to three extremely dangerous streets: San Francisco’s Howard and Folsom are getting protected bike lanes  and bus-only lanes (Examiner). In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney signed a bill adding speed cameras to Roosevelt Boulevard (Curbed).
  • The Cincinnati City Council approved a measure filling a streetcar shortfall, partly with revenue from higher parking fines. (WCPO)
  • Tacoma, Wash. is spending $217 million to replicate a streetcar route it paved over 70 years ago. (News Tribune)
  • San Diego’s new $44-million bus rapid transit line isn’t so rapid — it’s actually slower than the ordinary bus line it replaced. (inewsource)
  • As expected, the Federal Transit Administration formally approved a $74-million grant for the bus rapid transit Orange Line in Minneapolis. (Star Tribune)
  • Seattle is increasing the amount of time for people to cross the street to reduce pedestrian deaths. (KING)
  • Momentum is growing for a new Charlotte-area light rail line. (Rock Hill Herald)
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