Wednesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

  • Cities from Dublin to Sydney are transforming streets emptied of vehicles by coronavirus lockdowns in favor of cyclists and pedestrians. Athens is planning a “grand walkway” connecting archaeological sites. In Berlin, bike lanes are popping up in a matter of days, rather than the usual years. And Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo is taking on the car lobby. (The Guardian)
  • Worldwide, sales of fossil fuel-powered cars peaked in 2017, thanks to electric vehicles’ growing popularity in Europe and China. But the U.S. is pumping the brakes on EVs by letting tax credits expire, and as a result, their share of the market is declining here. (Bloomberg)
  • Besides streets, cities have lots of other open spaces — golf courses, cemeteries, parking lots, school grounds — that could be repurposed during the pandemic to let people get outside while social distancing. (City Lab)
  • Businesses have been finding creative uses for their parking lots during the pandemic, but when it ends they’ll go back to being a colossal waste of space. (Morning Brew)
  • Coronavirus could spell the end of car-free culture if people refuse to get back on transit — which would be disastrous for cities that lack the capacity to move more cars. (The Grist)
  • Delivery vehicles are packing streets and stacking up along curbs during the pandemic, and it’s likely to get worse even after the crisis ends. (Car and Driver)
  • Miami has launched a pilot program for electric-assisted cargo bikes in an effort to reduce congestion and pollution. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Foot traffic and transit riders are few and far between in downtown Pittsburgh, even as people start to ease back into normal life. (Post-Gazette)
  • The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is being too tentative on safety measures like limiting riders on buses and trains and requiring riders to wear masks. (Commonwealth)
  • Lyft has a temporary bike-share monopoly in San Francisco as Uber-owned Jump’s permit expires Monday. (Examiner)
  • Alexandria utility workers recently rediscovered historic streetcar tracks while repairing a water main break. The city abandoned its streetcar system in 1932. (Alexandria Now)
  • Driverless cars are the new hoverboards: Tech companies promised us them by 2020, but artificial intelligence is still years away. (New York Times)

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Cross-posted from City Observatory.  Earlier, we rolled out our parking price index, showing the variation in parking prices among large US cities. Gleaning data from ParkMe, a web-based directory of parking lots and rates, we showed how much it cost to park on a monthly basis in different cities. There’s a surprising degree of variation: […]

Shoup to O’Toole: The Market for Parking Is Anything But Free

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We’re reprinting this reply [PDF] from UCLA professor Donald Shoup, author of the High Cost of Free Parking, to Randal O’Toole, the libertarian Cato Institute senior fellow who refuses to acknowledge the role of massive government intervention in the market for parking, and the effect this has had on America’s car dependence. It’s an excellent […]