Thursday’s Headlines: Pre-Fourth of July Edition

We’ll take Friday off because the boss says we can, so here are the headlines that will have to hold you until Monday!

  • The House approved Democrats’ $1.5-trillion infrastructure bill (New York Daily News), and it’s better than any such bill that’s passed before (Streetsblog). It’s a new kind of legislative framework that ties together transportation, land use, housing, development and climate that are inextricably linked but usually addressed separately (Smart Growth).
  • Uber is starting to cooperate with transit agencies by allowing users to buy bus and train tickets or hail publicly run shuttles through its app. (New York Times)
  • Data collected by insurance company Allstate provides further proof that drivers are more reckless on streets emptied out by the pandemic. Drivers are 20 percent more likely to go over 100 miles per hour, and crash speeds are up 50 percent. (Fast Company)
  • Fare-free subways would help the environment and low-income riders, and improve systems’ efficiency at a relatively low cost. (Energy Institute at Haas)
  • Now-empty malls like Alderwood in Seattle that once contributed to suburban sprawl can be converted into walkable mixed-use developments. (City Lab)
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and other officials announced their opposition to the Rose Quarter I-5 widening project after community group the Albina Vision Trust withdrew its support. (Willamette Week)
  • Georgia State Patrol has written 50,000 distracted driving tickets since the state legislature outlawed holding a cellphone while driving in 2018. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
  • Philadelphia transit agency SEPTA (Inquirer) and the Maryland Transit Administration (Baltimore Sun) are returning to their pre-pandemic schedules.
  • Toledo’s bike-share is up and running again (Blade), Topeka’s is ending (KSNT), Columbus is adding e-bikes and a discount program for low-income users (Underground), and scooters are returning to Atlanta (AJC).
  • Oh, good: A company that owns a Texas toll road is giving drivers a chance to win cash rewards to drive up traffic. (Austin American-Statesman)
  • After emerging from the coronavirus lockdown, Bostonians have a new appreciation for the city’s pedestrian bridges. (Globe)
  • Paris Metro has a reputation for being dirty, but it’s now leading the way in safety by requiring masks, doling out hand sanitizer and spacing out passengers. (City Metric)

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House Transpo Bill Spells Trouble for Transit Projects Across America

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A provision in the House GOP’s new transportation bill threatens to upend how transit agencies fund major capital projects, delaying or killing efforts to expand and maintain rail and bus networks. The Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR), released Tuesday and marked up in committee yesterday, would change funding rules for the three federal programs […]