Wednesday’s Headlines

  • New York City transit workers are still fighting for recognition for their role in rescuing survivors and cleaning up in the aftermath of 9/11. (Spectrum News)
  • Biking deaths are up 25 percent since 2010 and 10 percent since last year as all other traffic fatalities fell, mainly due to a lack of protected bike lanes in most urban areas. (Vice)
  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wants to cut $345 million from the state transit budget over the next six years. The agency is already facing a $2 billion shortfall over the next decade. The state now has no plans for new transit projects after the Purple Line in the Washington, D.C. suburbs is completed. (Baltimore Sun)
  • The California labor bill aimed at helping “gig workers” like Uber and Lyft drivers is on the verge of passing. (New York Times)
  • Too many cycling deaths — primarily in the black community — go unnoticed, and New Orleans can do more to protect people on bikes. (Grist)
  • The local DOT is studying extending the D.C. streetcar two miles to the east (Curbed). With Kansas City also extending its streetcar line, should Cincinnati consider following suit? (WCPO) Seattle is going the opposite way, canceling a $52 million contract to buy new streetcars (MyNorthwest)
  • DUIs have dropped in Austin since Uber and Lyft came to town, but it’s unclear how much ride-hailing services have to do with the decline. (KUT)
  • Wichita is well behind peer cities like Omaha, Oklahoma City and Tulsa in transit spending. (Eagle)
  • Atlanta is putting another $2.7 million into improving MLK Drive, one of its most harrowing streets. (Curbed)
  • Privacy concerns have Toronto residents souring on Google’s “smart neighborhood,” Quayside, which will feature tunnels for delivery vehicles and heated LED-lit sidewalks, but also collect lots of data. (Fast Company)
  • With ride-hailing, e-scooters and driverless vehicles all promising to transform transportation, a ride on a coal-powered locomotive in Nevada is a reminder of when railroads really did change everything. (City Lab)

4 thoughts on Wednesday’s Headlines

  1. Misleading headline guys. There is a big difference in canceling the rolling stock order for Seattle’s streetcar vs cancelling the project which isn’t happening!

  2. Blake, are you just compelled to write BS, fake headlines and article descriptions? It seems this occurs every day. Just recently SB ran a headline about the skyrocketing pedestrian deaths, but now you claim that bike fatalities are up, while all others fell (that would include pedestrians). And then you make a statement lacking any empiricism that the increase is mainly due to lack of protected bike lanes. Back that claim up. It is ironic that fatalities for bicyclists and pedestrians are increasing concurrent with improvements in infrastructure, meaning there are a whole lot of elements at play.

  3. I agree with FTP, lots of logical contradictions in the Vice article. Most “protected” bike lanes have been built in a few urban areas in the last few years, after the predictable failure of painted bike lanes to reduce the carnage, yet fatalities have increased, again mostly in cities. Bicycle fatalities are more likely to be documented by police/media than serious or minor injuries, but it’s reasonable to assume those are also increasing. They are a major disincentive to existing and potential cyclists, because these stories circulate person to person. I know because I have heard hundreds of them over the last 50 years and shared some of mine. Most don’t involve collisions with motor vehicles.

  4. From the Grist article, “At least eight people in a bike lane had been hit, and two of the cyclists — Sharree Walls and David Hynes — had died. The driver, the son of a New Orleans Police Department officer, had tried to pass a line of cars by driving through an unprotected bike lane for four blocks at 70 miles an hour.” Although the driver should be charged with double homicide, his decision (possibly impaired by alcohol and/or drugs) to pass there was possible because of the wider lane width provided by the bike lane. Typically these are illegally used by motorists for parking and passing at slower speeds than this killer. Among others I have been pointing out the problems and hazards of painted bike lanes for forty years, mostly ignored like the crazy uncle in the corner by younger bicycle advocates. (I have dozens of unanswered letters to prove this). So now that they understand my reservations, they demand “protected” bike lanes, which will only shift the hazards to intersections (leading to new demands for protected intersections). In the constrained space of bordered lane, collisions/crashes with other cyclists/ pedestrians, skaters and surface irregularities will increase, and these types of crashes have always been the primary cause of cyclist injuries. There are solutions to slow motor vehicle traffic down in urban and suburban settings, educate cyclists to follow traffic laws based on their needs, ensure drivers understand these and accommodate them to share the roads safely, and reduce the hostility between motorists and cyclists. Instead, all sides seem hardened into their dogmatic beliefs, until reality intervenes.

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