Wednesday’s Headlines

  • Shaped by Big Oil, auto barons, segregation, mortgage lenders and suburbanites, the American legal system has made car ownership a virtual necessity. Not only that — traffic laws prioritize the safety of car occupants, criminal penalties are less for those who kill with cars, and courts make it difficult to sue those drivers. (The Atlantic)
  • Peak SUV is almost here, according to a story behind the Wall Street Journal’s paywall and summarized by the free site Jalopnik.
  • Also behind the WSJ paywall: A former airline CEO has almost eliminated Amtrak’s operating losses, but not all riders are happy about it.
  • Insurance companies will no longer cover ride-hailing companies against sexual assault claims because high payouts to victims have made it too risky. (D Magazine)
  • Seattle Times readers want to know why it takes so long — sometimes up to 20 years or more — to build a light rail line. More funding and streamlined planning could speed up the process.
  • A Phoenix referendum on halting light-rail construction is coming up in about six weeks, but campaigning on both sides has been low-key so far. (Arizona Republic)
  • A new rail line is already bringing a renaissance to four Connecticut town, even before the stations are built. (Hartford Courant)
  • Cincinnati just launched its Vision Zero program but is already seeing a small reduction in crashes involving pedestrians versus 2018. (WCPO)
  • A former top Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority official alleges he was fired after blowing the whistle on safety issues. (Boston Globe)
  • Bike and pedestrian improvements will probably wind up on the chopping block as Marin County, Calif. starts work on three major thoroughfares. (Independent Journal)
  • Shuttles that resemble golf carts are popping up in Oklahoma City, and officials are trying to figure out how they fit in with buses, the streetcar, e-scooters and bike-sharing. (Journal Record)
  • Apple is trolling Google with a billboard touting iPhone privacy next to Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs’ data-thirsty “smart neighborhood” in Toronto. (Business Insider)

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