Friday’s Headlines

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  • President Trump claimed he walked out on infrastructure talks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer because House Democrats are investigating him. The real reason was that he finally figured out spending $2 trillion on infrastructure is a non-starter in the Republican-controlled Senate. (Slate)
  • New reports from the World Resources Institute offer transit agencies a roadmap for electrifying their fleets — a quick and simple way to fight climate change. (Curbed)
  • Simple signage can help integrate e-scooters into city streets. (Mobility Lab)
  • Vision Zero isn’t working in Washington, D.C., where drivers have killed 10 people so far this year. The city’s goal is zero traffic deaths by 2024 (WUSA). Maybe Cincinnati, which is rolling out its own Vision Zero initiative, will fare better (City Beat).
  • Nashville’s transit agency, WeGo, is proposed cuts to two dozen bus routes and a fare hike in response to a projected $8.7-million shortfall (Nashville Public Radio). Gee, if only there were some sort of tax people could vote on that would fund transit.
  • Milwaukee council members halted funding for a streetcar expansion, meaning it won’t be done in time for next summer’s Democratic National Convention. (Fox 6)
  • Berkeley, Calif., is preparing for a transit-oriented future by seeking a developer to build housing on parking lots surrounding a train station. (Next City)
  • Some officials are balking at the $1-billion cost for two tunnels along the planned West Seattle and Ballard light rail lines. (Daily Herald)
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is blaming Sound Transit’s lack of training and safety equipment for a 2017 Amtrak derailment in Seattle. (Seattle Transit Blog)
  • Charlotte is cracking down on drivers who drive or park in bike lanes. (WBTV)
  • So, apparently Tesla is actually a software company. Insert eyeroll emoji here. (Forbes)
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Talking Headways Podcast: High Impact Investing in Low Wealth Communities

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This week, we're joined by Maurice Jones, president and CEO of Local Initiatives Support Corporation, who talks about working with communities and existing businesses to develop talent in the workforce, breaking down barriers to entry in certain professions such as property development, and the history of policies and practices that intentionally excluded certain populations from opportunity.

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • President Trump just blew up the latest infrastructure talks by accusing Democrats of trying blame him for wanting to raise taxes. On the other side, The Hill reports that Democrats are wary of handing Trump a legislative victory. The Washington Post reviews the most recent “infrastructure week” and the six (6) that preceded it.
  • A Slate-pitchy BBC column suggests that maybe robot cars can be a little too cautious. Just another sign that they’re a long way away.
  • The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is borrowing $800 million to make up for payments it missed to transit agencies because of a lawsuit truckers filed over highway tolls. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
  • WaPo commissioned a poll on D.C. transportation and lead with opposition to congestion pricing. Greater Greater Washington takes issue with the poll’s leading question on that issue and points out that big majorities support bus-only lanes.
  • Neighborhood and residents groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to scrap the proposed widening of I-30 through Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
  • It’s apparent from this Free Press article that Detroit’s QLine streetcar is about development and tourism, not moving residents where they need to go.
  • Cincinnati’s struggling streetcar is facing a $1.4 million deficit, upping the pressure for the city to cut ties. (Enquirer)
  • Salt Lake City business owners are freaking out about losing 20 parking spots for better bike and bus facilities. But if biking is safer and transit is more convenient, fewer people will drive, freeing up parking. (Tribune)
  • A week after e-scooters hit Omaha streets, police are ready to start ticketing riders on sidewalks. (KMTV)
  • A proposed gas-tax hike in Louisiana is dead, given that it’s an election year there, but the sponsor is calling for a special session to address infrastructure needs. (WBRZ)
  • Uber is in a war with the Argentinian government over whether it’s a transportation company. (City Lab)
  • Honolulu is using stencils at dangerous intersections to remind pedestrians to “look all ways.” How about stenciling cars’ dashboards while you’re at it? (KITV)

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • When it comes to self-driving cars, how safe is safe enough? (Vox)
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill creating a massive new toll road and extending two other highways, despite questions like how much they’ll cost and concerns that they’ll cut through environmentally sensitive areas. (Tampa Bay times)
  • Starting in August, Metro Transit’s Green Line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul will no longer run 24 hours a day — closing from 2 to 4 a.m. — because of what officials describe as a “party train” atmosphere and possibly because homeless people sleep on the train. (Pioneer Press)
  • Valley Metro celebrated the opening of a two-mile light-rail extension in Mesa, Ariz. (KTAR)
  • A California court has ordered Uber to turn over data to San Francisco after a police study found ride-hailing is responsible for 65 percent of congestion and traffic violations in  the city. (Bloomberg)
  • A California bill would prohibit cities from limiting the number of e-scooters on their streets or requiring companies to share data and meet equity goals. (City Lab)
  • An e-scooter rider’s death is sparking talk of the need for more bike lanes and traffic enforcement in Atlanta. (Curbed)
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders reached a budget deal that doesn’t include a gas-tax hike. (Duluth News Tribune)
  • Tuk tuks — sort of an electric rickshaw popular in South America, Africa and Asia — are Louisville’s newest transportation option. (Courier Journal)
  • Portland has seen the future of transit, and it is a hydrogen-powered bus. Apparently, the technology has improved since the Hindenburg days. (KATU)
  • If you’re in the mood for a good hate-read, Randal O’Toole continues his crusade against transit. (Cato)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Paging Mayor Bowser: Dave Salovesh’s ghost bike was, yes, run over by a car driver over the weekend. (Curbed)
  • Bikes contributed to the suffrage movement at the turn of the 20th century by giving women freedom of movement and confidence, and even changing fashion. Today, there’s a renewed push to convince planners to consider the way women live and move around cities on bikes. (Curbed)
  • Every community has different needs, so Complete Streets policies shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Outlawing distracted walking doesn’t make pedestrians safer and will probably lead to racial profiling (City Lab). An incident in Florida last week where a police officer handcuffed an searched a black teen who was crossing the street proves the point (Tampa Bay Times).
  • Washington, D.C.-area residents oppose congestion pricing by a two-to-one margin (Washington Post). That’s not surprising — but it also doesn’t mean that it’s a bad idea.
  • A University of San Francisco report suggests making transit service free to better compete with Uber and Lyft. (Examiner)
  • Seattle’s DOT director says parking is an inefficient use of public space, and if the city builds more bike lanes, cyclists will come (KTTH). Meanwhile, the Seattle Times raises four questions about scooters.
  • Two years after Denver launched a Vision Zero plan, the city is falling short of its goals. (Colorado Public Radio)
  • Madison, Wisc. is betting on bus rapid transit to help cope with congestion that will come with rapid growth. (State Journal)
  • The Omaha World-Herald gets onboard with stronger transit.
  • Phoenix officials are pivoting to crafting an e-scooter policy after no one was interested in bringing dockless bikes to the city (Arizona Republic). But Zagster is starting a bike-share in Montgomery, Ala. (Advertiser).
  • An Anchorage resident who uses a wheelchair because of injuries suffered in car wrecks is lobbying for a better handicapped-accessible transit system. (KTUU)
  • A Chicago reporter documented her 30-mile bike commute on National Bike to Work Day last week. (Tribune)
  • The party started at 5:30 a.m. at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters the day the company went public (Business Insider). La-di-da.

Monday’s Headlines

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  • The Trump Administration formally followed through on its plan to withdraw $929 million in funding for a California high-speed rail line, and may try to claw back the $2.5 billion already spent on the project, which Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’d fight in court (Washington Post). Honolulu’s mayor, reacting to the news, says he’s confident the feds won’t pull funding for light rail there (Hawaii Public Radio).
  • Underpaid Uber and Lyft drivers are experience a bit of schadenfreude at the companies’ falling stock prices. (NBC News)
  • One more time, for the people in the back: Driverless cars are not coming anytime soon. (The Ringer)
  • Duke wasn’t the only university that had concerns about the Durham-Orange light rail line. UNC did, too, but records show that it was willing to try to work through them, unlike Duke. (Biz Journal)
  • Speed cameras are finally coming to Philadelphia’s Roosevelt Boulevard, one of the most dangerous streets in the country. (Inquirer)
  • Urban Milwaukee breaks down the funding for the city’s $160-million, three-mile streetcar expansion plan.
  • Folks who live in Davis, Calif. — home of America’s first bike lane — call it “Bike City USA,” but the college down didn’t do so well in the annual ranking of bike-friendliest cities. (ABC 10)
  • Cincinnati police are seeking two drivers who intentionally drove onto a sidewalk in an effort to run over several pedestrians, pinning a woman against a van. (WLWT)
  • London’s ultra-low emissions zone is working, as 9,400 fewer polluting vehicles entered the city center in April, compared to March. (Guardian)
  • A New Jersey transit bus driver killed a bicyclist in Cape May. (nj.com)
  • Just hours after a self-driving shuttle hit the streets in Providence, it was pulled over. Apparently the shuttle did nothing wrong — the officer just wasn’t familiar with the oddly shaped vehicle — but even if it had, to whom would he give a ticket? (Jalopnik)

Friday’s Headlines

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  • Uber is stingy about sharing data, but the company has agreed to allow a select few cities — New York, Seattle, Cincinnati, Nairobi and London — to track vehicle speeds. The data can help those cities make better decisions about infrastructure and traffic regulation. (The Verge)
  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials will work with five cities — Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis and Philadelphia, to build bike and bus lanes to help them meet carbon-reduction goals. (Patch)
  • As expected, the National Labor Relations Board issued an advisory memo saying that Uber and Lyft drivers are contractors, not employees. (NPR)
  • Infrastructure Talks II: Electric Boogaloo. (The Hill)
  • Streetcar roundup: Businesses are anxiously awaiting the extension of the Kansas City streetcar line (KSHB). Tempe, Ariz., is temporarily closing a downtown street as work continues on its streetcar (KTAR). Charlotte’s streetcar will stop running for 18 months starting in June so workers can finish a 2.5-mile extension (Observer). But streetcars aren’t for everyone: Providence, R.I. is spending money earmarked for a streetcar on buses instead, and it’s better off for it (Mobility Lab). Finally, a Detroit News columnist argues that the widely derided QLine can succeed if businesses subsidize fares for a while, payment is easier and it has a dedicated lane.
  • Volunteers fanned out across Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to gather data on bike-lane safety. They found drivers driving, parking and picking up and dropping off people in bike lanes with impunity. (WAMU)
  • Los Angeles appears to be pulling back from plans to install its first new bus-only lanes this year. (Curbed)
  • Did Denver’s vague new master plan just outlaw single-family development? (Denver Post)
  • Uber Black’s “quiet mode” is the ride-hailing equivalent of rolling up the window divider in your limo. (CBS News)
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