Wednesday’s Headlines from Here, There and Everywhere

  • Cities’ reliance on fines for minor offenses like jaywalking and traffic infractions disproportionately affects African Americans and contributes to racial injustice (The Hill). Armed police bring biases to traffic stops, and it would be fairer to use impartial cameras to catch speeders instead (Vice). Police killed African Americans like Philando Castile and Walter Scott after traffic stops, so Jalopnik goes a step further and argues for ending them altogether, quoting research showing that most traffic stops don’t actually lead to improved public safety while putting a burden on the poor.
  • In the hands of racists, cars are a weapon. (Slate)
  • Governing Magazine predicts that COVID-19 could start a period of extended decline for downtowns, but City Lab sees no sign that the allures of urban life are changing.
  • Yet another story about the coming “carmageddon” if employees returning to work shun transit and drive instead. (ABC News)
  • While research increasingly shows that riding transit is safe during the pandemic, using ride-hailing services is still risky. (Huffington Post)
  • To keep riders safer during the pandemic, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is developing an app to let them know if the next bus or train is full (Boston Globe). New York’s Long Island Rail Road has done the same thing (Newsday).
  • A proposed California law would fast-track construction of transit, bike and pedestrian projects, prioritizing them over ones that put more cars on the road. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • The Baltimore Sun frets that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will turn to the Howard Tunnel rail project to find funding to cover overruns on the Purple Line in suburban Washington, D.C.
  • E-scooters will return to Minneapolis in July after the city council votes to expand the number of vendors. (Star-Tribune)
  • RideAustin, a nonprofit alternative to Uber and Lyft, is shutting down after struggling with competition and coronavirus. (Mass Transit Mag)
  • Germany is requiring all gas stations to have electric chargers to ease concerns about range and boost demand for EVs as part of its coronavirus economic recovery package. (Reuters)
  • Milwaukee’s streetcar, The Hop, is facing questions about its long-term future after COVID-19 caused its ridership to plummet (Milwaukee Magazine). Meanwhile, actor Emilio Estevez wants the Cincinnati streetcar up and running again — but you knew that (Enquirer).

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