Thursday’s Headlines

  • Prominent Democratic presidential candidates have all put forward plans for clean energy, limiting drilling and subsidies for electric vehicles. Yet they have nothing to say about Americans’ addiction to driving — and if they don’t wean Americans off cars, they’ll never meet climate goals. (Huffington Post)
  • Economists say Uber and Lyft drivers will get a raw deal if voters approve the companies’ ballot initiative to keep their contractor status, rather than employees, as a new California law requires. (USA Today)
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms created a new city DOT Wednesday and announced $200 million worth of bike and pedestrian safety projects over the next three years. The Vision Zero plan targets the 6% of Atlanta roadways where 72 percent of deaths occur. (Curbed)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle profiles a 67-year-old woman who was injured by a driver while walking in February — one of thousands since the city set a Vision Zero goal of eliminating pedestrian deaths by 2024. Twenty-six have died so far this year.
  • A little Monday morning quarterbacking from My Northwest, which notes that Washington state legislators could have avoided the I-976 referendum catastrophe by passing one of three car-tab bills that would have cut Sound Transit’s funding, but not nearly to the extent last week’s referendum did.
  • The Charlotte city council reversed course and will now fund a $50-million study on the Lynx Silver Line, a 26-mile light rail line to suburban Gaston County. (WCNC)
  • St. Petersburg has wised up to the high cost of free parking and will charge for parking downtown on nights and weekends. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • San Antonio’s nonprofit bike-share is in danger of folding after abruptly losing its top sponsor. (Rivard Report)
  • The University of Minnesota student government is lobbying state lawmakers to make more Twin Cities light rail stops free for students, citing a need to access housing and grocery stores. (Minnesota Daily)
  • The New York Times found a way to exonerate drivers and blame pedestrians for the 50-percent rise in fatalities among walkers since 2009: “[D]istracted drivers and bigger vehicles [are] the chief culprits. So being fixated on a screen while walking can’t be safe.” Seems to us that distracted drivers and bigger vehicles are the things that can’t be safe.
  • The latest overaggressive response to the minor problem of fare evasion comes from New Jersey Transit, whose “fix” for the problem is a clear violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (James Sinclair, via Twitter) — but later in the day, the agency fixed it.
  • Washington, D.C.’s 26 new parking enforcement officers will be able to use photos of cars illegally parked in bike lanes to ticket drivers even if they’ve left the scene. But only photos taken by the officers — those submitted by cyclists are unfortunately still only good for making us feel better about ourselves. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Kenya’s road-building fervor in Nairobi is a legacy of colonialism (City Lab). In contrast, Quito, Ecuador is dealing with a population explosion by growing up rather than out, and will open its first subway line next year (Curbed).
  • Every picture tells a story, don’t it? After 26 years of work, longtime model railroad enthusiast Rod Stewart has completed a 124-foot by 23-foot (you read that right) scale model of 1940s Pittsburgh. And yes, we think it’s sexy. (Daily Mail)