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Monday’s Headlines

12:01 AM EST on November 18, 2019

    • Cars are killing us, part infinity: The Guardian reported on new research that links air pollution from cars to brain cancer for the first time. Nanoparticles that are easily absorbed into cells increase the risk by 10 percent for people who live on busy streets versus quiet ones.
    • As Streetsblog has long pointed out, requiring people on bikes to wear helmets actually makes riding a bike more dangerous. The number of cyclists drops, which makes drivers less aware of them and reduces the “safety in numbers” effect. (Bicycling)
    • A University of California Berkeley researcher used chauffeurs to prove what many have long suspected: People will take more trips if and when autonomous vehicles become widespread because they won’t have to drive themselves. (Jalopnik)
    • Joe Biden’s $1.3-billion infrastructure plan includes funding for complete streets, transit and high-speed rail, but doesn’t identify revenue sources. He would bypass states to work directly with cities, like the Obama administration often did. (Politico)
    • New Jersey is demanding that Uber pay $530 million in back taxes for unemployment and disability insurance, plus interest. It’s the first time a state has tried to collect payroll taxes from Uber, which notoriously considers its drivers contractors, rather than employees, and offers them few benefits. (NY Times)
    • Lyft is pulling its e-scooters out of Nashville, San Antonio, Atlanta, Phoenix, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. (Tech Crunch)
    • The San Francisco Chronicle is all over Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s request for a new bridge over the bay, which has been considered for decades and is opposed by regional planners. Its editorial board came out against it. Meanwhile, the paper also covered a new bike path on the Richmond-San Rafael bridge that was also covered by Streetsblog.
    • Atlanta’s first bus rapid transit line, along the Capitol Avenue/Summerhill corridor, could open as soon as 2024, and it’s essential that transit agency MARTA gets it right to build support for future BRT projects. (AJC)
    • San Jose is the third-most dangerous city to bike in the U.S., and apparently nothing can stop drivers there from blocking bike lanes — even protected ones. The city resolved to end traffic deaths by 2020, but as of last year they were up 37 percent from a decade prior. (Inside)
    • Los Angeles is buying 130 electric buses — the biggest order ever in the U.S. (The Driven)
    • The San Antonio city council approved $6 million for bike lanes on Avenue B and North Avenue, but some view the project as incomplete because it doesn’t extend down to Broadway. (KSAT)
    • Seattle’s Sound Transit is dropping the name “Red Line” for one of its light rail lines because it reminds people of the racist real estate practice of redlining. (My Northwest)
    • A driver was caught on video plowing into a cyclist in a St. Petersburg crosswalk, then pulling the bike off the road and driving away. Fortunately, the cyclist was not seriously injured (ABC Action News). Meanwhile, urban planner Jeff Speck has a plan to make St. Pete a more walkable city by turning interstates into surface boulevards, designing streets to slow traffic and investing in bike infrastructure (Catalyst).

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