Wednesday’s Headlines From Around the Country

  • Many transit workers don’t feel adequately protected from coronavirus by their employers, and some are calling for systems to shut down (City Lab). The U.S. DOT issued guidelines that are pretty weak sauce — basically, abide by CDC guidelines on face coverings, hand washing, cleaning surfaces and social distancing. Streetsblog has some better ideas, like rear-door boarding and surgical masks for drivers.
  • But what does the future hold for transit post-coronavirus? An infrastructure bill would be a chance to reimagine the U.S. transportation system, making it more sustainable and equitable, a former Massachusetts DOT director writes in Commonwealth magazine. Fast Company predicts that the pandemic will lead to more automation and more surveillance on transit systems. At a recent panel discussion, transit operators said ridership numbers will become less important in the post-coronavirus world, with more emphasis on providing an essential service, Smart Cities Dive reports.
  • New Zealand is the first country to provide funding for wider sidewalks and pop-up bike lanes enabling pedestrians and cyclists to keep a proper distance apart during the pandemic (Forbes). Berlin and other German cities are also installing pop-up bike lanes (The Guardian). Frustrated with lack of action by the city, some Washington, D.C. residents are using tactical urbanism to create more space for walking and biking themselves (Greater Greater Washington, Streetsblog).
  • Streetsblog SF has more on Oakland’s “slow streets” plan, which Mayor Bill de Blasio mischaracterized, Streetsblog NYC says.
  • Filling out your Census form will help determine how much transportation funding your community receives. (Mobility Lab)
  • The Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County approved a $6.7-billion list of transit projects to put before voters in November, including bus rapid transit on arterial roads and extending MARTA heavy rail. (AJC)
  • Construction flaws have delayed the opening of a South Los Angeles rail line again, this time until mid-2021. (L.A. Times)
  • Uber and Lyft have dropped a lawsuit challenging a Seattle law allowing drivers to unionize. (Seattle Times)
  • Not funny: Comedian Tracy Morgan got in a shouting match with a New York pedestrian after (maybe) hitting the guy with his Lamborghini. (TMZ)