Thursday’s Headlines

  • Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg have the best among a sad lot of presidential candidates’ transportation plans, according to Transportation for America.
  • The Federal Transit Administration announced its New Starts grants for 2021. Among the projects rated highly are a Kansas City streetcar extension (KSHB), double-tracking a rail line between Gary and Michigan City (Northwest Indiana Times) and Pittsburgh bus rapid transit (Post-Gazette). New Jersey’s Portal Bridge made the cut, but not the Hudson River “Gateway” project (WLNY). A low ranking could also imperil the Gold Line in Minneapolis (Star Tribune).
  • Houston residents want transit and sidewalks, not wider freeways. (Chronicle)
  • Under Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s transportation plan, local governments can get funding to run free or reduced fare pilot programs. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • A Miami chef’s death on the Venetian Causeway, a popular bike route to Miami Beach, is leading fellow cyclists to call for a protected bike lane. (Herald)
  • Commuting without a car in Seattle requires trade-offs, and one planner says the city should look to the Dutch for answers. (KUOW)
  • An energy company has stepped up with funding to expand Milwaukee streetcar service during the Democratic National Convention. (WISN)
  • Charlotte’s Silver Line is supposed to connect the city to the airport, but it will actually stop a mile short. (Charlotte Mag)
  • Austin drivers killed 11 people in January — almost triple the number from a year prior. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Detroit’s McNichols Road is getting new sidewalks, crosswalks and bus shelters. (WDET)
  • Halfway through its 20-year bike plan, Portland is on track to build 327 miles of bikeways — just half of a more ambitious goal in the plan, leaving bike advocates disappointed. (Mercury)
  • Phoenix officials are considering raising fines for jaywalking. As one opponent points out, that would mainly affect low-income people who cross where they feel safe, as opposed to walking a half mile or more to a crosswalk. (ABC 15)
  • San Francisco bus drivers are having to commute further and further to work because housing costs have pushed them out of the city, so Muni is considering providing housing for them near transit stations (Examiner). That’s also the topic of this month’s Rail-volution podcast, hosted by The Overhead Wire’s Jeff Wood, who also hosts Streetsblog’s Talking Headways podcast (newest episode here).
  • Park before the romance starts tomorrow: Police in Montgomery County, Maryland  are stepping up distracted driving patrols on Valentine’s Day. (WTOP)