Thursday’s Headlines Served Up Fresh

  • Republicans’ new coronavirus relief bill, the HEALS Act, includes $10 billion for air travel, but stiffs public transit, even though 90 percent of transit riders post-COVID are essential workers (Streetsblog USA). After the bill dropped, transit agencies nationwide renewed their call for $32 billion in emergency funding to replace decimated fare collections and head off catastrophic service cuts (Washington Post).
  • Just as protesters nationwide are toppling Confederate statues, activists in cities like New Orleans are pushing to tear down the urban freeways that resulted from racist policies targeting Black neighborhoods for destruction (Pew Stateline). Many of those freeways were built during Urban Renewal, and the Boston Review has a long history of the program, which at its peak in the 1960s displaced 50,000 Black families a year.
  • The League of American Cyclists named a new award for Kittie Knox, a Black woman from Boston who belonged to the organization’s precursor and faced discrimination on the racing circuit in the 1890s. (Velo News)
  • A new report from the de Beaumont Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Smart Growth America and the National Complete Streets Coalition gave 29 of the 40 largest cities in the U.S. a gold medal for pedestrian safety, up seven from 2018.
  • MIT research shows that many ride-hailing trips are replacing transit rides, rather than trips in private vehicles. In one Chinese city, a third of ride-hailing passengers would have taken transit instead.
  • Old tires can be used to build bike-lane barriers that are better than the flimsy plastic poles many cities use. (Fast Company)
  • A federal judge ordered New York State to start paying unemployment benefits to Uber and Lyft drivers — a major victory in their fight for labor rights. (NY Times)
  • Seattle residents will vote in November on a sales tax to replace the repealed car-tab fee that would raise $42 million a year for Metro buses. (Seattle Times)
  • San Francisco supervisors reversed course and approved $40 million for Caltrain, which was in danger of going bankrupt, though permanent funding is contingent on governance reform at the transit agency. (Examiner)
  • Dallas Area Rapid Transit generates $10 billion a year for the local economy and over 60,000 construction jobs, according to a University of North Texas study. (Mass Transit Mag)
  • Houston is considering an ordinance to fine drivers who park in bike lanes or tow their cars. (Chronicle)
  • These delivery robots are coming soon to clutter up a sidewalk near you. (Digital Trends)

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