Monday’s Headlines From All Over Our Nation

  • Moscow Mitch is really pushing the deadline. The Senate Majority Leader says the GOP will introduce a coronavirus relief measure this week — just days before federal unemployment benefits expire (CNBC). The package is expected to include another round of $1,200 checks, but reduced unemployment payments because Republican leaders don’t want to use “taxpayer” money to help other taxpayers … whose paychecks contain contributions to the unemployment fund in the first place (CNN). 
  • Boris Johnson knows the cure for COVID-19: biking! Activities like cycling reduce obesity, which in turn drastically reduces the risk of dying from the virus, as well as many other things. Johnson will announce today that he’s encouraging doctors to prescribe biking, among other fitness measures. (Forbes)
  • On top of COVID fears, capacity limits on buses are adding time to transit riders’ commutes. More buses could solve the problem, but because ridership is down, agencies don’t have the money. (TIME)
  • When you’re done with your disposable mask, throw it away properly — PPE litter on the ground and in the ocean is a threat to the environment. (New York Times)
  • Thirty years after the ADA passed, most curb ramps and half of sidewalks still aren’t accessible for people with disabilities. Most cities and states have taken a piecemeal approach to compliance. (Fast Company)
  • Elon Musk’s dumb Las Vegas tunnel just got even dumber. Instead of 12-person “pods,” the tunnel will carry five-seat Teslas, making it essentially a glorified valet service that won’t accomodate wheelchairs. (Curbed)
  • On the bright side, Denver’s RTD is retrofitting 172 light rail cars to make them more accessible. (Mass Transit Mag)
  • Thanks to the pandemic, Austin is considering scaling back its ambitious transit plan from $10 billion to $7 billion, converting a light rail line to bus rapid transit and delaying four BRT lines. (KUT)
  • The Utah Transit Authority is restoring most of its pre-COVID service next month, but it won’t look the same as before. Some routes are being cut entirely, while others will get more frequency. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • St. Petersburg will test driverless shuttles this fall. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • A Nashville pro-transit group calls for dedicated funding for WeGo. (Tennessean)
  • An upper-middle-class white guy in Washington, D.C. penned the hate read of the century: a 2,000-word rant that, he claims, was inspired because Muriel Bowser wrote Black Lives Matter across the street from where he has tea. (Human Events)
  • Meanwhile, in Seattle, cops on bikes are plowing through groups of protesters. Maybe that will make bike companies think twice about selling their products to be abused by police departments? (Bicycle Lobby via Twitter)
  • Portland may have found a way to fight back against President Trump’s federal agents, who have been roughing up protesters: the fence they put around their base is blocking a bike lane — and the city is threatening fines. (Willamette Week)


Today’s Headlines

Joint Economic Committee releases monthly economic report, mapping which states are feeling the sting of unemployment most sharply (JEC Press) Suicide bomb blast on Moscow transit prompts heightened security in U.S. systems (AP) Rendell expects news from U.S. DOT on tolling I-80 to come within two weeks (Post-Gazette) Does transportation really transcend Washington partisanship? ( […]

Bunning Throws in the Towel, Congress Restores Transport Funding

Workers at the U.S. DOT and on transportation projects around the country are back on the job today after Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) lost his politically hazardous battle against a 30-day extension of federal infrastructure law and unemployment benefits. Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) (Photo: CNN) But while Republicans sought to distance themselves from Bunning’s five-day […]

Good News and Bad News: Obama’s Plan Would Work, But GOP Won’t Pass It

This morning brought some useful indicators about the outlook for President Obama’s jobs bill. Good news first: Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, says President Obama’s job creation plan will likely add 1.9 million jobs, cut the unemployment rate by a percentage point, and grow the economy by 2 percent. The plan includes $50 billion for infrastructure, […]

Confirmed: Sprawl and Bad Transit Increase Unemployment

Since the 1960s and the earliest days of job sprawl, the theory of “spatial mismatch” — that low-income communities experience higher unemployment because they are isolated from employment centers — has shaped the way people think about urban form and social equity. But it’s also been challenged. The research supporting spatial mismatch has suffered from some nagging […]

More Evidence That Unemployment Doesn’t Explain the Decline in Driving

For those who say driving rates will pick right back up again when the economy’s really humming, here’s something to chew on: In a report released this morning, “Moving Off the Road,” U.S. PIRG presents further evidence that unemployment rates and driving rates have changed independently of each other. Transportation reformers have made the case that there […]