Thursday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • Generally, light rail works best in dense areas near jobs, but instead, many cities have built underused lines to suburbs and airports, according to the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank.
  • States are taking advantage of streets emptied by coronavirus to fast-track repairs (Wired). Or are they? USA Today reports that falling gas-tax revenue is forcing states to postpone construction projects.
  • Many transit agencies are ditching fares and allowing all-door boarding in an effort to spread out riders. One think tank has a different approach — charge higher fares during peak hours and encourage employers to stagger shifts. (The Guardian)
  • The New York Times thinks coronavirus is the death knell for dense, transit-oriented developments as we know them. But as City Lab points out, Americans have always had a love-hate relationship with cities, especially in times of pandemic, but density isn’t a problem — it’s the solution to problems like affordable housing and climate change.
  • If scooter companies want to survive, they’re going to have to stop clashing with local governments. (Fast Company)
  • California’s attorney general sued Uber and Lyft alleging that they’re violating a new law categorizing their drivers as employees rather than contractors. (NBC News)
  • The Washington, D.C. suburb of Arlington County won’t close streets for social distancing because the police chief says they don’t have enough traffic cones. (ARLnow)
  • The University of Texas is researching a new type of battery that lasts longer and is more sustainable to produce than the lithium-ion batteries currently used in electric vehicles.
  • This might be Elon Musk’s least-crazy idea yet: Turn Tesla into a power utility. It has applied for a license to generate electricity in Great Britain, and its cars’ batteries could prove useful in storing wind and solar energy. (Inverse)
  • Brussel’s new Green Party transport minister wants to transform the traffic-choked Belgian capital. (Politico)
  • And, finally, great news: Former Streetsblog USA Editor Angie Schmitt’s hotly anticipated book about the rise in pedestrian deaths, “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America,” is available for pre-order! (Island Press)

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