Friday’s Headlines from Your World

  • The National Association of City Transportation Officials is backing off a longstanding rule that speed limits should be set based on how fast drivers are already driving. Instead, cities should set a default speed limit of 20 or 25 miles per hour on minor streets and set speed limits on major roads with pedestrian safety in mind. NACTO highlighted the Seattle DOT’s success in issuing the new guidance.
  • Contrary to popular belief, suburban sprawl — not urban density — increases the risk of future pandemics. That’s because encroaching on natural habitats makes it more likely that previously unknown viruses will jump from animals to humans. (Arch Daily)
  • An MIT task force says it will take at least another decade to create a truly autonomous vehicle. (Venture Beat)
  • What if every transit system in the U.S. was called the Metro and had the same logo? Consistent branding could help improve transit’s image, says one advertising executive. (Metro Magazine)
  • San Francisco has seen a “significant uptick” in pedestrian deaths recently, and is looking into making design changes on several high-injury corridors. (Hoodline)
  • D.C Metro will restore about 70 percent of its pre-pandemic service in August. (Washington Post)
  • Two years after voters rejected joining the metro Atlanta transit agency, Gwinnett County officials will ask voters to approve an expansion of its own transit system. (Gwinnett Post)
  • Birmingham is only partially funding transit as city officials continue to evaluate the effect of the pandemic on its budget. (WBHM)
  • ARLnow has a four-part series on bus rapid transit in Arlington.
  • New studies in Lisbon and Toronto show that safe street design encourages more people to bike, according to Sidewalk Labs’ Eric Jaffe. (Medium)
  • The UK is considering banning American SUVs because they’re so dangerous to pedestrians. (Streetsblog)
  • Stores on London’s high streets could be turned into housing if people continue to shop online. (The Guardian)


Boston Wants to Lower Its Speed Limit to 20 MPH — But Can’t

Twenty is plenty in Boston, according to its elected officials. The City Council voted unanimously this week to lower the default speed limit on most residential streets to 20 mph — and not for the first time. Speeding is the number one complaint council members hear from residents. And on Boston’s narrow streets, packed with pedestrians, […]