Tuesday’s Headlines

  • President Trump will once again ask Congress to pass an infrastructure package in tonight’s State of the Union address. (USA Today) The price tag for fixing the nation’s infrastructure, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, is $2 trillion — although that group’s credibility was hurt by its executive director saying nice things about Elon Musk’s silly tunnels. (CNBC)
  • Strong Towns says Atlanta’s streetcar — a nearly $100-million project that carries just 700 riders per day and had to be shut down during the college football championship last year and Sunday’s Super Bowl — was a waste of money and an indictment of the entire federal transit-funding program TIGER.
  • The Baltimore DOT still wants to zero out funding for new bike lanes in 2020, over the objections of biking and transit advocates. (Fishbowl)
  • Charleston’s first parking study in 20 years calls for better transit, more bike lanes, integrating transportation modes, dynamic parking pricing and exempting some developments from parking minimums. (Post and Courier)
  • UCLA students hail Uber and Lyft 11,000 times a day, prompting environmental concerns about unnecessary short trips on campus. (Daily Bruin) And Streetsblog’s Angie Schmitt thinks that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Durham, N.C. NIMBYs have sued to keep a proposed maintenance yard for the Durham-Orange light rail line out of their neighborhood. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • Last week’s polar vortex exposed problems with Chicago’s transit system (lighting tracks on fire, anyone?) and highlighted the need for additional capital investment. (Tribune)
  • The family of a woman killed by a self-driving Uber in Tempe last year has filed a $10-million lawsuit against the city, saying it created a dangerous situation by paving a median on the road where she died. (Arizona Republic)
  • Minneapolis’s light rail system is in “a safety crisis,” according to the union that represents Metro Transit employees. (KSTP)
  • Brevard County, Fla. residents are clamoring for safer streets after two recent reports ranked it one of the most dangerous places in America for pedestrians. (Florida Today)
  • Austin Busch

    Lighting the tracks on fire in Chicago is actually a very smart solution for the extreme cold. There’s specific infrastructure in place to make this possible, because it happens so regularly.

    Metra (mostly) didn’t shut down on a day when Amtrak didn’t run, because Metra is actually (mostly) prepared. Of course, shutting down the Metra Electric District for the polar vortex and still fixing it a week later is a lot more concerning.

  • Stephen Simac

    The Brevard county story brings up the same point I did about skewing the ratings by not accurately counting the numbers of walkers. Commuting to work by walking is a small fraction of actual numbers of pedestrians. That’s not to say Florida isn’t a dangerous place to walk or bicycle, but I believe Louisiana is probably more deadly per mile traveled by either choice, just as it ranks very high for vehicle deaths. They allow drivers to have open alcoholic beverages and even have drive through liquor stores.