Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Grist has a must-read story about how I-980 destroyed the black neighborhood of West Oakland and why the city now wants to replace it with parks and affordable housing. Though it’s not so simple as that!
  • Turns out, paint is not a force field (as Streetsblog previously reported). Australian researchers discovered that drivers pass cyclists more closely when they’re in painted bike lanes than when there are no bike lanes. The study highlights the need for physical barriers between bikes and cars. (Philadelphia Inquirer, Treehugger, Forbes)
  • Thanks to Ohio’s new, higher gas tax — which provided a pittance for transit — a freeway interchange in Columbus that lacked funding will be rebuilt. (WOSU)
  • The Arizona Republic outlines the stakes for an August referendum on light rail in Phoenix.
  • Drivers have killed 10 people in San Francisco already this year, and city officials are promising a “quick build strategy” for Vision Zero safety projects. (KTVU)
  • The Boston Globe endorses Cambridge’s new law mandating protected bike lanes anytime a road is reconstructed.
  • Minneapolis has made the wise decision to raise parking rates and lower the maximum parking time. (KSTP)
  • Sound Transit in Seattle is subsidizing Via shuttles to take people to light-rail stations. (Seattle Times)
  • Raleigh, N.C.’s busy Oberlin Road is going on a diet, with protected bike lanes, wider sidewalks and bus stop islands added. (WTVD)
  • A new app lets users find nearby scooters from any company. (Lifehacker)

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Even in car-happy California, people looking for housing in Los Angeles increasingly want to live near transit — which is reflected in real estate listings that emphasize proximity to Metrolink rail and subway stops. (Housing Wire)
  • Younger Republicans are breaking with President Trump over climate change. Most believe that the climate is already changing, and less than half agree with the GOP’s “drill, baby, drill” mantra. (The Guardian)
  • Uber says it found and fixed a similar brake problem that caused Lyft to pull e-bikes from several cities earlier this week. Both companies’ bikes use brakes from the same Japanese company, Shimano. (Washington Post)
  • President Trump and Democratic leaders are planning to sit down yet again to talk infrastructure. It remains doubtful that a gas-tax hike could pass, but some congressmen are pushing a vehicle-mile fee as an alternative. (The Hill, Politico)
  • Greater Greater Washington has an easy way to keep bike tires from getting caught in streetcar tracks. It’s called a flange filler, and it’s malleable enough for streetcars to move along the track, but sturdy enough for bikes to go over it.
  • Phoenix’s first light-rail stop designed specifically for disabled riders opens this week, and could be a model nationwide. (12 News)
  • A major Minneapolis thoroughfare, Hennepin Avenue, is getting protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks. (Star Tribune)
  • The Boston area’s ValleyBike Share no longer takes gift cards because they make it impossible to figure out who damaged a bike. (MassLive)
  • Denver police say they’re re-emphasizing traffic enforcement as traffic deaths are on pace to exceed 2018. But their hands are somewhat tied, because enforcement cameras aren’t allowed on state highways. (Denverite)
  • San Diego is rolling out parking spots for e-scooters, hoping they’ll reduce sidewalk clutter. (Fox 5)
  • European researchers envision a system of electric autonomous vehicles that pick people up, link up into high-speed, train-like “platoons,” then pull off to drop off their passengers. (Architect’s Newspaper) Maybe they’ve seen “Minority Report” one too many times.

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Traffic fumes cause as many as 4 million cases of asthma a year among kids, according to a new study. Experts hope the study will spur cities to curb air pollution by improving transit, replacing bus fleets and incentivizing electric vehicles. (QZ)
  • More Uber IPO hot takes: Uber spends a big chunk of its IPO filing talking about how dangerous bikes and scooters are, yet throws good money after bad on jet packs (Forbes). It’s essentially a charity where tech billionaires subsidize taxi rides for young professionals, and cities could destroy it they want to — but it’s so unprofitable, that might not be necessary (NY Mag).
  • But investors seem to like what they see, at least compared to Lyft, whose stock has taken a hit since Uber filed for its IPO. (CNBC, Market Watch)
  • Phoenix’s South Central light rail line has secured a $500-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (Fox 10). Meanwhile, a judge threw out a challenge to a petition putting Phoenix light rail back on the ballot (Arizona Republic).
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is stepping up pedestrian safety efforts after a hit-and-run driver killed a man in a wheelchair and a woman who was helping him cross the street. (Chronicle)
  • About 100 cyclists slowed rush-hour traffic to a crawl on Atlanta’s DeKalb Avenue in response to news that the city won’t add bike lanes to the busy street. (WSB-TV)
  • The Memphis Flyer talks with the executive director of Explore Bike Share about the service’s new pricing plan.
  • More on Lyft pulling e-bikes from three cities over safety concerns (StreetsblogNYC, WTOP). The same brake problem was reported in Atlanta in February (Curbed).
  • Auckland, New Zealand has discovered the trick to boosting transit ridership: More bus routes, more frequent service and free transfers. Who knew? (Hint: Everyone.) (Fast Company)
  • Anybody who drives — let alone rides a bike — ought to know that drivers are the absolute worst. (Outside)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Uber filed paperwork for its long-awaited initial public stock offering. Despite the company’s claims that it complements transit, the IPO reveals what we’ve suspected all along: It’s competing with public transportation. The goal is to operate at a loss until it achieves dominance, then jack up prices. (Jalopnik)
  • More on the Uber IPO: The company lost $1.8 billion on $11.3 billion in revenue last year, and growth is beginning to slow (NY Times). That’s less of a loss than in 2017, but revenue growth also fell by half (Wired). Its biggest vulnerability may be that a quarter of its rides came from just five cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Sao Paulo (Slate). The losses make Uber seem like an essential service investors want to exist, rather than a typical business that’s forced to turn a profit, says City Lab. Some of those losses are self-inflicted, for example spending nearly half a billion on pie-in-the-sky autonomous- and flying-car research (Tech Crunch).
  • Meanwhile, competitor Lyft is partnering with a nonprofit to invest $50 million in parks and transit. (Curbed)
  • Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bike Share and the Bay Area’s Go-Bike had to ground their entire e-bike fleets because of a front brake problem, a story broken by our StreetsblogNYC colleagues.
  • Las Vegas officials have opted for bus rapid transit over light rail for a transit line from downtown along the Strip to the airport, mainly because it’s only a third of the cost. However, the vast majority of citizens who commented on the project preferred rail. (Nevada Current)
  • Although Kansas City missed out on a federal grant to extend its streetcar this year, officials are hopeful they’ll get ’em next time. (Star)
  • Honolulu will also have to wait another year for federal funding for a light-rail line. (Civil Beat)
  • After a successful pilot program, San Francisco is considering doubling the number of e-scooters allowed in the city. (Chronicle)
  • Missouri is one of just two states that hasn’t fully banned texting while driving, but that could change soon. (KROG)
  • A bill to let Seattle install cameras to catch drivers blocking intersections and bike lanes has a second life. (KIRO)
  • An SUV driver who ran over two pedestrians has residents in Washington’s Tri-Cities area talking about how streets are designed for drivers’ convenience. (KEPR)
  • A Washington, D.C. elementary school has a new “traffic park” where kids can ride bikes and play on miniature city streets. (WAMU)

Friday’s Headlines

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  • All over the country, bike-share companies are pulling out of cities or switching their focus to e-scooters. (Smart Cities Dive) But not everywhere: Vancouver is among the cities where e-bikes are growing in popularity (Sun); Ann Arbor, Michigan, is about to start a program (MLive); and in Houston, bike-share ridership is up 65 percent this year. (Public Media)
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts’s new law mandating protected bike lanes on every street when they’re reconstructed is bikelash-proof, and other cities should copy it. (City Lab) And that applies to St. Petersburg, Florida, where car-loving residents are waging war against Complete Streets. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • President Trump’s new Federal Highway Administration chief, Nicole Nason, tried to delay EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions when she worked for George W. Bush. (E&E News)
  • The Federal Transit Administration signaled it’s likely to fund Sound Transit’s Federal Way light rail extension in the Seattle area. (Kent Recorder) The FTA also funded bus rapid transit in Reno, Nevada (News 4) but not a Kansas City streetcar extension. (KMBC)
  • San Jose’s Valley Transportation Authority is stuck in a death spiral where ridership loss leads to service cuts leads to more lost riders. (Mercury News)
  • New Orleans’s bike master plan, due this summer, could include everything from protected “bike boulevards” to more racks around the city. (The Advocate)
  • Entitled, intoxicated or both? A Houston woman was charged with DWI after driving her Escalade along passenger rail tracks. (Click 2 Houston)
  • Try doing this on Amtrak.
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