Tuesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • The coronavirus pandemic is showing Americans just how much space in cities is wasted on cars (The Atlantic). San Francisco residents have been clamoring for the city to close Golden Gate Park to autos, giving them a safe space to exercise, and Mayor London Breed finally complied (SFGate). Boston’s currently empty streets provide a great opportunity to widen sidewalks, add bike lanes and lower speed limits (Boston Magazine). But in New York City, cars still rule the streets, even when the streets are empty (NY Mag). But then again, Mayor Bill de Blasio finally committed to opening 100 miles of streets, as Streetsblog reported.
  • And this should go without saying, but expanding sidewalks doesn’t spread COVID-19 (Streetsblog).
  • City Lab has some ideas on how to save public transit: In the short term, sanitize vehicles and stations, give workers PPE and require riders to wear masks. Make plans to scale up service and rebuild ridership when the crisis ends. Then encourage density near transit stations and rethink how transit is funded. Meanwhile, Transit Center is hosting a webinar Wednesday on fixing busted transit funding.
  • Transportation workers want the government to mandate the use of personal protective equipment, but the feds have been reluctant to step in. (Roll Call)
  • In cities like Atlanta, scooter companies are pushing local governments to rethink their auto-centric street designs. (Slate)
  • Houston is lobbying the Texas DOT to scale back plans to rebuild I-45, replace car lanes with dedicated bus rapid transit lanes and build bus stations along the freeway with pedestrian and bike access. (Chronicle)
  • Drivers killed 17 pedestrians in Philadelphia over the first three months of the year — almost double the number of deaths over the same period in 2019. (WHYY)
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti wants to cut millions from the city’s Vision Zero program, which isn’t working very well even when fully funded. Pedestrian deaths are up 52 percent since 2015, when the program started. (LAist)
  • Delaware legislators want to work with Amtrak, Pennsylvania and Maryland to create a regional commuter rail system. (Business Now)
  • Side effects of India’s coronavirus lockdown include clear skies, mountain views and the sounds of birds chirping rather than drivers honking. (New Yorker)

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