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A New Type of Streetsblog in St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast? Yep.

A little more than six years ago, we launched the Streetsblog Network as a way for people across the country writing about livable streets, sustainable transportation, and smart growth to band together and share ideas. There are many wonderful things about the Streetsblog Network, but I would put this is at the top of my list: It is both profoundly local, full of people working on the nitty-gritty of street design, transit service, and planning issues in their hometowns, and broadly distributed, with hundreds of members operating in cities all over the nation.

For a long time we've been thinking about how to build on these strengths. And today we're going live with a new way to channel the energy of the Streetsblog Network and broadcast it to the world.

We are launching affiliate sites that combine the work of Streetsblog Network members in four regions: St. Louis, Ohio, Texas, and the Southeast. These sites run on a different model than our other city-based Streetsblogs with full-time staff. Each Streetsblog affiliate syndicates material from several blogs in its region and runs a daily dose of headlines to satisfy the universal craving for morning news. Have a look. (Doesn't it blow your mind to see the words "Streetsblog Texas" in a site banner?)

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Our partners in this endeavor are volunteers writing in their spare time, independent media entrepreneurs, and people working at non-profit advocacy organizations and academic institutions. By running their work in this format, on the Streetsblog platform, we aim to help build their audience both nationally and in their home regions. The geographic scope of most of these sites is bigger than the usual Streetsblog city-based beat, but the writers are addressing overlapping issues -- a Paleolithic state DOT, for instance, or city leadership that struggles to get Complete Streets right. We believe there will be strength in numbers like there's been with the national Streetsblog Network.

For readers, we hope these sites will unearth stories that might have been overlooked before. So much good stuff comes over the wire of the Streetsblog Network, which now collects feeds from more than 400 member blogs, we just can't highlight all of it. The new format should bring more of this reporting and commentary to the surface for our audience.

For Streetsblog, putting together these affiliate sites has enabled us to reconnect and strengthen ties with partners doing excellent work in regions we want to pay closer attention to. We're grateful to the Summit Foundation, whose support made this project happen (and which continues to fund training sessions where Streetsblog editors and Streetsblog Network members trade advice about how to make an impact on streets and transportation policy using online media). Streetsblog USA Editor Angie Schmitt has been our point person and wrangler as we've put this all together.

So, today is the first official day of publication for Streetsblog St. Louis, Streetsblog Texas, Streetsblog Ohio, and Streetsblog Southeast. These sites are a collaborative effort drawing from the work of the following partners. Huge thanks to all of them for taking this leap with us.

Streetsblog St. Louis:

Streetsblog Ohio:

Streetsblog Texas:

Streetsblog Southeast (mostly Atlanta, Charlotte, and Florida north of Miami):

A really talented bunch. We can't wait to see where things go from here.

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