Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials envisions a bleak future of single-occupant autonomous cars increasing congestion and exacerbating inequality. It’s released a blueprint for cities to avoid that fate by prioritizing “walking, biking, rolling and resting.” Other recommendations include a surcharge of $10 or more on Uber and Lyft rides, charging fees for use of the curb and reducing speed limits to 25 miles per hour or less. (Autoblog)
  • Urban congestion stayed about the same nationwide in 2018, but it got worse in 20 cities and only got better in eight, according to a Federal Highway Administration report. (Land Line)
  • Imagine if every bus in the U.S. had its own dedicated lane. “The impact would be stupendous,” says former Streetsblog editor and TransitCenter spokesman Ben Fried. (Curbed)
  • The Texas DOT has apparently learned nothing from the past 60 years and continues to target minority neighborhoods for destruction to make way for more freeway lanes. (Texas Tribune)
  • A person who’s hit by a car going 20 miles per hour is three times more likely to survive and escape serious injury than a person hit by a car going 30, which is why Bicycle Colorado has started a “20 is Plenty” campaign to lower speed limits. And Denver officials are listening. (Westword)
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom is shifting gas-tax revenue from highways to transit, which the Los Angeles Times calls a “bait and switch,” but Streetsblog calls an important step toward aligning transportation policy with California’s stance on climate.
  • The Seattle Times talks to planner and author Christof Spieler, who says Sound Transit is a mixed bag but overall rates highly compared to other U.S. cities.
  • Tucson is spending $600 million to renovate its transit center, which will include not just buses but a streetcar, ride-hailing, bike shares, a hotel, apartments and a market. (KGUN)
  • An Emory University official argues that Atlanta’s planned Clifton Corridor light rail line would connect workers with jobs at Emory, the CDC and other major employers. (Saporta Report)
  • Plans for a 26-mile light rail line to the Charlotte airport have reached the city council. (WSOC)
  • The new chairman of San Diego’s Metropolitan Transit System tells the Voice of San Diego podcast about the urgent need to improve transit.
  • See? People will ride the Cincinnati streetcar. With free fares and a police escort to speed up rides, the streetcar had 43,000 riders during the four-day Blink festival — as many as it typically sees in a month. (Enquirer)
  • Uber’s acquisition of the Chilean grocery delivery startup Cornershop continues the company’s ongoing effort to dominate urban life. (Observer)
  • Besides being an eight-lane highway severing Chicago from its beautiful waterfront, Lakeshore Drive is about to get swallowed by Lake Michigan, so maybe it’s time to tear it up and put a park there. (Chicago Mag)
  • A Des Moines driver drove down a downtown sidewalk to avoid paying $200 in parking fines. “Please call the City Clerk’s Office, Barbara,” police urged the driver on Facebook. “NOW.” (KCCI)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Parents are more apt than transportation experts to see biking to school as dangerous, according to a new study. The authors think revising the street safety classification system might help convince parents that “low stress” streets are safe. (Science Daily)
  • Customers have carpooled through the Waze app over half a million times since the company started the service last September, mostly in congested cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas. A fifth of Americans carpooled during the gas shortage in the 1970s, but that number is down to 7 percent now. (The Verge)
  • From Friend of Streetsblog Mark Brown’s blog Car Free America: E-scooters and dockless bikes can replace a lot of short car trips, but only if quality infrastructure and reasonable regulations are in place.
  • West Palm Beach is the latest city to allow e-scooters, with restrictions. (Palm Beach Post)
  • A private consortium of bike, e-scooter and ride-hailing companies is working with the Pittsburgh transportation officials to provide last-mile “mobility hubs” near transit stops. It’s the first time a city has invited private companies to help create an integrated system. (City Lab)
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill requiring his state DOT to consider bike and pedestrian improvements on state routes that run through local communities (CalBike). But he did sign a bill allowing local governments to set up special tax districts for transit with voter approval, a funding mechanism that San Diego plans to use (Times of San Diego).
  • The Atlanta Journal-Constitution debunks the Federal Highway Administration’s notion that rainbow crosswalks are unsafe.
  • Lyft has joined Uber in suing New York over the city’s rule the amount of time drivers can spend cruising around in empty cars looking for passengers and causing needless congestion. (Reuters)
  • South Phoenix business owners remain wary of light rail, even after voters overwhelmingly opted to continue expanding the system. City officials have said they’ll help those businesses stay open during construction, but owners want the city to do more. (Biz Journal)
  • The Las Vegas Sun opines that the overwhelming defeat of Prop 105 in Phoenix shows that Las Vegas should forge ahead with light rail of its own.
  • St. Louis’s Loop trolley needs $200,000 to continue operating through November and $500,000 for 2020. At least one city councilman wants to use the money for roads instead. (KMOV)
  • Several Cincinnati bike and transit projects are getting federal assistance. (City Beat)
  • Only two streetcars survived when Minneapolis scrapped its rail system in favor of buses in the 1950s. One wound up in Maine, restored by a man whose grandfather operated a Twin Cities streetcar. (Star Tribune)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Buses are the workhorses of U.S. transit, but they get no respect. City Lab interviews author Steven Higashide about how bus riders are marginalized and deserve to be a higher priority.
  • The Covering Climate Now initiative brought together hundreds of news outlets to share stories related to the recent UN climate summit. Among those Media Matters singled out for praise in an overview of the coverage was Streetsblog Denver’s Andy Bosselman, who wrote an op-ed for the Colorado Sun urging the state to “stop building new roads and expanding the ones we have.”
  • A Houston political action committee backing a $3.5-billion transit referendum has raised over $437,000 — far outpacing the anti-transit PAC, which has raised just $6,000, barely enough for a website. (Chronicle)
  • Waymo is telling customers in Arizona that completely autonomous cars, with no backup drivers, are on their way (The Verge). This is the same state where a self-driving Uber car killed a woman crossing the street last year — although in that case, the backup driver didn’t stop the deadly collision.
  • Montgomery County lawmakers are furious that the state is cutting funding for bus rapid transit through the Washington, D.C. suburb. (Maryland Matters)
  • A leap in JUMP bike prices has some Sacramento residents wondering if the company is pricing out the people who need the bikes the most. (News & Review)
  • MARTA is looking to lease or buy — not build, as we previously stated — 2,000 parking spaces near three metro Atlanta train stations, and surprisingly, urbanists aren’t mad at it. (Curbed)
  • Police have issued over 1,000 warnings but just six tickets since San Antonio banned riding scooters on sidewalks in July. (Rivard Report)
  • Google is proposing a massive mixed-use development in downtown San Jose designed to encourage walking, biking and transit use. (Mercury News)
  • When the Tacoma Link light rail extension is finished in 2022, it’ll simply be called the Orange Line. (News Tribune)
  • San Francisco could make Market Street car-free next year. (Hoodline)
  • A group of Charleston residents spent their Sunday canvassing the East Side neighborhood to drum up support for bus rapid transit. (ABC 4)
  • A Florida man who shot and killed another man in a dispute over a parking space has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. (NBC News)
  • Bust out the bagpipes and play a dirge, drivers: The Scottish Parliament has finally banned parking on sidewalks (Forbes).

Friday’s Headlines

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  • Driving is the largest source of greenhouse gas, and this New York Times interactive map lets you see how much carbon dioxide is coming from your metro area and how much it’s gone up or down. Emissions are growing fastest in cities and suburbs — even ones with decent transit, although in cities with poor transit, emissions per capita are higher.
  • Electric cars aren’t the solution to climate change because building them creates pollution, and the electricity they run on is often produced by burning fossil fuels. (New Statesman)
  • At The Atlantic, former Streetsblog editor Angie Schmitt writes that Uber’s helicopters are a symptom of American inequality.
  • Lyft is shutting out third-party apps from accessing the New York bike share Citi Bike. It could be the first volley in a showdown between two different visions of digital mobility: “walled gardens” and neutral platforms. For the public good, cities should insist on the latter. (City Lab)
  • The Los Angeles city council president is proposing a minimum wage of $30 for Uber and Lyft drivers — half to cover expenses and half to keep for themselves. The current average wage is $9.21 an hour. (KCAL)
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit is considering raising its absurdly low $3 parking rate. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Richmond’s new transit chief talks about how she plans to get people out of their cars and onto buses. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • As Utah grows, it’s going to need to implement congestion pricing, improve transit and encourage walkable neighborhoods. (Pulse)
  • Atlanta is installing its first pop-up bike lane on 10th Street in Midtown. (AJC)
  • Louisville is now fining people for standing in streets and medians in a misguided attempt to protect pedestrians (and punish panhandlers). (WLKY)
  • E-scooters are coming to St. Petersburg (WUSF) and Eugene (KEZI).
  • Toronto transit users are clamoring for police to crack down on drivers who speed past streetcars, endangering people getting on and off. (Narcity)
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