Friday’s Headlines

The Transportation Research Board’s 99th Annual Meeting will be held in Washington, D.C. from Jan. 12-16, 2020. Click here for more information.

  • In contrast to Europe, the Trump administration is taking a hands-off approach to autonomous vehicles. New guidelines announced by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao pretty much give AI developers free rein. (Politico, Streetsblog)
  • The head of the influential Republican-leaning U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which supports raising the gas tax and reauthorization of the FAST Act, is calling for the bipartisan passage of 35 bills on the traditionally Democratic issue of fighting climate change. (Axios)
  • Vox reports that installing air filters at schools has a positive effect on student achievement. Sounds like a good reason to reduce fumes from vehicles or even ban cars to us.
  • The U.S. spent $47 billion on 1,200 miles of new transit lines in the past decade. That wasn’t nearly enough to meet the demand, though, and meanwhile, nearly 30,000 lane-miles of roadway were built. (The Transport Politic)
  • Urban congestion is down since 2014. City streets didn’t flow freely for an average of four hours and 16 minutes a day in 2018, compared to five hours and three minutes six years ago, according to the Federal Highway Administration. (Green Car Congress)
  • Fewer teenagers are getting their drivers’ licenses, which could be a sign that Peak Auto is behind us. (Bloomberg)
  • A bill introduced by Michigan Rep. Debbie Dingell is aimed at lengthening battery life and encouraging more charging stations for electric vehicles. (Detroit News)
  • Two years ago, Boston was awash in bike-shares. Now, they’re disappearing. (Curbed)
  • Master plans are ubiquitous among cities, but Pittsburgh is taking it further than the usual 20 or 30 years out. What should transportation look like in 2070? (Post-Gazette)
  • A Memphis religious group is supporting Shelby County’s proposed tax hike on individual motorized vehicle “wheel tax” to support transit. (Flyer)
  • The Houston Chronicle urges the city to fix its deadly roads.
  • One of the Madison Capital Times’s Bright Ideas really is a no-brainer: a unified payment system for bike-sharing and public transit.
  • Milwaukee officials are locked in a dispute over whether a, um, surcharge on food delivery services is a tax or a fee, which factors into whether it’s legal or not. You say tomato … (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Be ready to drop trou and/or avert your eyes this Sunday — the annual No Pants Ride is on Sunday in Seattle (The Stranger) and New York and other cities.