Tuesday’s Headlines

  • Taxi services have seen an uptick in business since the coronavirus outbreak, but many drivers are taking precautions like sanitizing their vehicles, refusing rides to the airport and cutting back hours (Bloomberg). Virginia Sen. Mark Warner is urging Uber, Lyft and delivery services to compensate drivers who may have come into contact with the virus so they aren’t incentivized to keep working and spread it to others (Tech Crunch), which Uber says it will do (Reuters).
  • Replica — a spinoff of Google parent company Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs — is offering cities data to help them plan more efficiently. However, it won’t say where the data comes from. (Fast Company)
  • Virginia lawmakers passed bills to raise the gas tax — part of which will go to transit (unlike in many states) — crack down on reckless driving and drivers’ cellphone use, and allow police to use cameras to catch speeders. Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to sign the bills. (Washington Post)
  • Florida lawmakers want to replace yellow-flashing crosswalk signals with red-flashing ones, saying drivers are more likely to stop on red. But such a law could actually put pedestrians in danger, because the red signals are 10 times as expensive, so cities might rip out the yellow ones and not replace them. (ABC Action News)
  • Sound Transit wants to lower its $124 fare evasion fine and do a better job of advertising discounted fares. But it won’t decriminalize fare evasion, as some transit systems have done. (Seattle Times)
  • Traffic deaths rose by 17 percent in Portland between 2015 and 2018 despite Vision Zero (Willamette Week).
  • It’s hard to believe that liberal Berkeley hasn’t adopted Vision Zero yet, but the the city council is only now considering it. (Daily Californian)
  • Greater Greater Washington has questions for D.C. city council candidates — but no answers yet — many of them having to do with development patterns and transportation.
  • Twin Cities transit ridership fell by 2.7 percent in 2019. (RT&S)
  • London cyclists are using bike-mounted video cameras to report bad drivers to the authorities. (Forbes)
  • The New York Post threw a pity party for Manhattan drivers who are paying hundreds of dollars a month to park. One guy even has to keep his collection of vintage cars in New Jersey. Oh, the humanity!