Thursday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • File under: things Streetsblog has been saying for years. The coronavirus pandemic is exposing the fragility of auto-centric communities, and highlighting the need for better planning and transportation options (Rocky Mountain Institute). And the over 1 million people killed by car crashes each year is also a public health crisis (World Bank).
  • With most flights grounded due to coronavirus, governments should take the opportunity to put policies in place to discourage high-emissions air travel and invest in cleaner alternatives like rail and buses. (The Guardian)
  • Filling out your Census form will help determine how much transportation funding your community receives. (Mobility Lab)
  • Gas tax revenue has fallen sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, and the federal Highway Trust Fund — which funds roads, bridges and transit — is quickly running out of money. (Roll Call)
  • Walking and biking is important for mental and physical health while sheltering in place — but more people outdoors means it’s harder to maintain a proper distance (Omaha World-Herald). One Boston suburb has found a solution: one-way foot traffic on sidewalks (WCVB). Austin has made trails one-way as well (KXAN).
  • A federal judge cleared the way for Maryland’s Purple Line by dismissing opponents’ third and final lawsuit. (Washington Post)
  • California will allow Virgin Trains to sell $600 million in tax-exempt bonds to help finance a light-rail line to Las Vegas. (Bloomberg)
  • Baltimore is one of the largest cities in the country that doesn’t have its own transit agency; instead, transit is controlled by the state of Maryland. Greater Greater Washington says it’s time for that to change.
  • Skies are clearing in cities around the world during the coronavirus pandemic because fewer people are driving. Not in Atlanta, though, and no one knows why. (Curbed)
  • A Reno hospital has turned a parking garage into a 1,400-bed temporary facility for COVID-19 victims. (Gazette Journal)
  • The Bay Area City of Emeryville got rid of much-loathed beg buttons — the ones you press to get a walk signal at intersections — to help halt the spread of coronavirus. (SFGate)