Friday’s Headlines

  • Drivers are killing pedestrians in greater numbers in part because people are increasingly forced to walk in places that were built on the assumption that no one would ever walk there, like freeways and wide surface arterial roads. Authorities have responded mainly by blaming victims, rather than provide safe places for people to walk. As gentrification pushes people who can’t afford cars out of walkable inner cities into the suburbs, the problem will get worse. (Bloomberg)
  • Uber’s rewards program could worsen congestion by incentivizing single trips. (NPR Illinois)
  • Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged to build a two-way, bus-only “K Street Transitway,” replacing what’s now parking and an access road (Greater Greater Washington). In addition, her 2020 budget proposal includes more money for bike-lane enforcement, continuing and expanding a free circulator, extending the streetcar line and fixing the notorious “Dave Thomas Circle.” (WAMU)
  • Houston — where drivers have killed 2,000 people on foot and bikes since 2003 — needs redesigned streets and sidewalks, wider bike lanes, protected bike paths and vigorous traffic enforcement. (Press)
  • Is Philadelphia finally getting serious about Vision Zero? Signs like speed cameras, permanent bike lanes and civilian traffic officers point to yes. (Philly Mag)
  • A Cincinnati study recommends retiming lights so pedestrians have more time to cross, designating pickup and drop-off zones, giving the streetcar priority at traffic signals and adding more parking meters. (Enquirer)
  • A liberal, black commentator in Atlanta pushes back against the notion that racism is the reason Gwinnett County’s transit referendum on Tuesday failed. The pro-transit side wasn’t well organized, and residents of the majority-black southern part of the county didn’t think they’d get much bang for their buck. (Georgia Pol)
  • Almost a year after Nashville voters rejected a $5-billion transit referendum, the coalition behind it, Moving Forward, announced new leadership and will turn its attention toward influencing various city and regional master plan updates. (Tennessean)
  • The Durham-Orange light rail line is still eligible for federal funding, although its future is dim since Duke University pulled out. (WRAL)
  • The Phoenix City Council bowed to pressure from anti-transit business owners and voted to delay a light-rail extension planned for the west side of the city. Nearby Glendale killed its portion in 2017, leading opponents to dub it a “train to nowhere.” It’s the second time the council has voted to delay a light-rail extension and spend the money on roads instead. (Arizona Republic, Streetsblog)
  • Baltimore lawmakers advanced legislation to permanently legalize e-scooters, tax them, cap their speed and fine violators. (Fishbowl)
  • Contrary to popular belief, it’s hard to beat a streetcar in a footrace. (City Lab)