Thursday’s Headlines

  • A fifth of U.S. roads are in poor condition, up from 14 percent in 2009, according to a new study by Transportation for America and Taxpayers for Common Sense. But does that mean we need to spend more on infrastructure? Part of the problem is states keep building more lanes instead of maintaining what they have, which in turn increases maintenance costs (Curbed, Streetsblog). Another new study, by U.S. PIRG, also advocates repairing roads over new construction, as well as more investment in transit, walking and biking.
  • The weather is warm, and scooter season is here again, with all the crashes and sidewalk clutter that implies. Can cities and companies work together to create a sustainable system? (The Ringer)
  • Volkswagen is coming for Tesla, announcing plans for two new plants in China that will be able to manufacture 600,000 electric cars a year. (Driving)
  • Two Twin Cities bike trails have been shut down for the next several years so construction on the Southwest light rail line can begin (Minnesota Public Radio). But thousands of residents have petitioned Gov. Tim Walz to halt tree-cutting along the route (Star Tribune).
  • Resistance is strong in Boston to fixing “stroads” — thoroughfares that combine the pedestrians and bikes of city streets with the high speeds of suburban roads. (CommonWealth)
  • A company called Freebee operates free electric shuttles — paid for by advertising with an eye toward eventual public funding — on busy corridors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Some city officials think they might replace the streetcar that they canceled last year. (Sun Sentinel)
  • Fares on Maryland’s state-run buses, light rail, subway and paratransit will jump 10 cents in June. (Baltimore Fishbowl)
  • Tulsa residents say they want a city sales tax for capital improvements to fund transit and biking and walking infrastructure. (World)
  • A Swedish company is working on prototype for a road that will charge electric cars while they drive, extending their range and allowing for smaller and cheaper batteries. (Fast Company)
  • Rochester, N.Y.’s bike-share is adding e-scooters (WHAM). Look out, though: Bike lanes there are full of cars, because the city doesn’t have a law against parking in them (WXXI).
  • Oh, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who championed (and then, some say, abandoned) Vision Zero is apparently going to join the stampede for president.

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