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)

3 thoughts on Friday’s Headlines

  1. 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)
    ——————————–

    So much for Streetsblog’s latest phony racism argument:

    “A referendum in Atlanta’s largest suburban county, Gwinnett, on joining the metro area’s transit system and investing a 1 percent sales tax in rail and buses failed by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin (AJC). The race was always about, well, race, as City Lab reported. Timing and turnout were issues, too. Although some Republican elected officials supported the referendum, they didn’t want pro-transit voters to help Democrats in the 2018 election, when 56 percent of voters in the formerly deep-red county wound up backing Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor. Turnout for the oddly timed referendum was less than 20 percent of 543,000 registered voters, and it skewed older and white — traditionally anti-transit constituencies. Streetsblog has more background.”

    https://usa.streetsblog.org/2019/03/20/wednesdays-headlines-27/

  2. “Another cyclist — this time, 23-year-old David Loya — has been killed on
    Houston streets. Loya was struck by a school bus while riding in the
    protected bike lane on Heights Boulevard. This was not a case of a
    careless cyclist weaving into traffic or driving on a busy street not
    suitable for a bike. This was a wide street, with a big bike lane
    (albeit one shared with parked cars).” no more details provided, but presumably he was killed at an intersection, (where separated bike lanes render riders virtually invisible to motorists, which I’ve pointed out) The author calls for “managed bike lanes”, whatever that means- possibly more enforcement and cleaning.

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