Tuesday’s Headlines from Across Our Nation

  • With subways and commuter rail largely empty, cities like New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are taking the opportunity to repair tracks and renovate stations. (NY Times)
  • Why does everyone have to go to work at the same time? Staggering schedules and getting rid of rush hour would help avoid overcrowding on transit and gridlock in the streets (New York Mag). Then again, Georgia transportation officials think COVID-19 might change commuting patterns for good as some people continue to work from home indefinitely (Recorder).
  • While everyone was distracted by mass protests and the pandemic, President Trump issued an executive order allowing federal agencies to ignore environmental regulations on infrastructure projects like pipelines and highways, which will disproportionately harm communities of color. (Gizmodo, Streetsblog)
  • Do we really need new pipelines right now, anyway? BP is laying off 10,000 employees as the pandemic continues to hit Big Oil hard. (Forbes)
  • As essential workers, food delivery drivers are supposed to be exempt from curfews. Uber is bailing out the ones whom the cops arrested anyway. (CBS News)
  • The Eno Center for Transportation breaks down Rep. Pete DeFazio’s bill doubling the gas tax. Unfortunately, three-quarters of the revenue would go to highways and only a quarter to transit.
  • The Lafayette Square protests are just part of a long-running battle between the Trump administration and the city of Washington, D.C. over control of public spaces around the White House. (City Lab)
  • Asheville created new training programs for police after an officer was caught on video beating a black man for jaywalking. But they haven’t done much good, based on the department’s excessive force during recent protests. (WLOS)
  • Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles lists transit as one of her top concerns. The CATS system is expected to lose $8 million in fare revenue this year, and could take years to recover. (Agenda)
  • The Oregon DOT manipulated a hand-picked review board into rubber-stamping the Rose Quarter freeway widening project in Portland. (City Observatory)
  • The Bee questions why Fresno hasn’t joined the slow streets movement like other California cities.
  • Downtown Houston BCycle kiosks that were shut down during protests won’t reopen until Friday. (Chronicle)
  • KQED solves the mystery of why the Golden Gate Bridge now sounds like Side B of David Bowie’s “Low.” — new sidewalks!


Times Square: Too Many People, or Just Too Many Cars?

Why is Times Square so crowded? An article in yesterday’s New York Times considered that question, asking real estate brokers if businesses might be shying away from the area due to packed streets and sidewalks. According to a survey cited in the article, 68 percent of Times Square office workers say congestion is the top […]

Driven to Distraction in America

A couple of weeks ago I left the transit-rich confines of New York City and headed down South to visit family. I made it all the way to Meridian, Mississippi, without getting in a car (I rode the subway to Penn Station and took Amtrak from there), but once I got off the train in […]