Tuesday’s Headlines

  • It’s election day! Yes, it sounds strange, but in this case, a vote to cut transit funding will actually mean more money for buses. Cincinnati voters will decide today on Issue 22, which would roll back an income tax for transit. But it will only take effect if voters approve an even larger sales tax hike for transit next year (WCPO). In Seattle, voters go to the polls today to vote on Initiative 976, which would drastically reduce car-tab fees and gut funding for Sound Transit. The Seattle Times has a primer. In addition, a $3.5-billion bond issue for transit is on the ballot in Houston, and a Houston Chronicle column argues that it will help improve air quality in a city that’s still smog-ridden 29 days a year.
  • Tampa Bay Mayor Jane Castor says transit woes are the city’s most important problem — and wants more light rail and bus lines, bike lanes and walking paths. It’s contingent on a 1-percent sales tax that’s currently in legal limbo, but even if it’s struck down, she plans to move forward on reducing parking and increasing housing density to make it easier to get around without a car (TB Times). And the larger Hillsborough County released its plan to spend $663 million over the next 25 years on transportation improvements that include lowering speeds near congested areas and increasing service on 38 bus routes including seven new bus rapid transit routes (Action News).
  • Is this how you make America great? The Trump administration is considering major changes to the nation’s national parks (which are only our country’s crown jewel as long as we, you know, keep them that way). (LA Times)
  • Meanwhile, so depressing: Democrats aren’t talking enough about car emissions (wonder why). (Huff Post)
  • Pacific Northwest officials are meeting at Microsoft’s headquarters this week to discuss potential high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver. No funding has been identified for the estimated $40-billion project. (Willamette Week)
  • Twin Cities officials are seeking public input to help win federal funding for the $461 million Gold Line serving eastern St. Paul. (Star Tribune)
  • San Antonio’s Zarzamora Street — one of the city’s “hot spots” for pedestrian deaths — will be a testing ground for transit and pedestrian improvements, such as shared bike and bus lanes. Revamping the street is challenging because the right-of-way varies between narrow and wide. (Rivard Report)
  • According to the University of California Berkeley, Uber and Lyft’s ballot initiative seeking to overturn California’s new “gig economy” labor law would only guarantee drivers $5.46 an hour.
  • MoGo has announced locations for 31 new bike docks in the Detroit suburbs. (Curbed)
  • Construction on Omaha bus rapid transit stations is proceeding apace. (World-Herald)
  • Greater Greater Washington confirms reports that D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is blocking plans for several bike lanes. 
  • Ever wanted to get married on a streetcar? Now’s your chance. (Oklahoman)
  • And, finally, India is restricting private cars entering Delhi to try to reduce air pollution choking 19 million people. (India Today)