Friday’s Headlines to Round Out the Week

  • An international auto consultant predicts that in the future people will drive less and buy fewer cars, eliminating the need to widen roads. (City Observatory)
  • The Brookings Institute suggests a stimulus plan that includes covering households’ transportation costs and grants to states for infrastructure maintenance.
  • Minimum parking requirements are among the regulations limiting the amount of new housing built in cities. (City Lab)
  • Ants can show us how to optimize freight fleet routes to cut vehicle emissions in half. (Intelligent Transport)
  • Wonk fight! Pedestrian Observations takes on the Strong Towns philosophy of incremental transportation improvement, arguing that it’s born out of timidity.
  • After a string of legal losses on the labor rights front, Uber and Lyft won a victory in the California Supreme Court, which ruled they can’t be sued for undercutting taxi fares. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Willamette Week calls Portland’s $5-billion transportation referendum a “big gamble,” wondering if the rise of telecommuting will hit transit as hard as it hits driving in the long run. Meanwhile, Portland is fining the feds $500 for every 15 minutes an illegal fence blocking a bike lane remains up around a federal courthouse. (KOMO).
  • WHYY says Philadelphia’s transit agency, SEPTA, should install bus-only lanes to speed up service and lower fares for regional commuter rail to entice riders.
  • A cracked West Seattle bridge could be replaced with one built from local timber that accommodates light rail, bikes and pedestrians. (Post-Intelligencer)
  • Houston Public Radio interviews the Harris County METRO CEO about ridership losses, restoring fares and why so many bus drivers are getting COVID (hint: Texas is one of the states that reopened).
  • Mobility company Helbiz is putting 300 e-scooters into Arlington and Alexandria. (ARLnow)
  • America’s most famous sidewalk, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is getting an upgrade, with outdoor dining, shade trees and safety improvements replacing on-street parking. (NBC4)
  • National Geographic has a list of interesting places to walk, like secret staircases in Los Angeles, the country’s longest pedestrian bridge in Chicago and a bucolic cemetery in Washington, D.C.


Trucks and Cities Are Like Oil and Water. Is There a Solution?

About 350 pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are killed each year by large trucks in this country. Big freight trucks are incompatible with cities in many ways, bringing danger, pollution, noise, and traffic congestion. They park in bike lanes and have shockingly big blind spots, putting everyone around them at risk. And yet, most cities haven’t […]

Barbara Boxer’s Transportation Bill: Same As It Ever Was

The future of national transportation policy is pretty much like the present of national transportation policy, if the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has its way: underfunded and highway-centric. The bill released by Senator Barbara Boxer’s EPW Committee yesterday [PDF] rejects pretty much everything the Obama administration put forth in its bill, including permanent […]

High Stakes for Cities as Feds Start Regulating Self-Driving Cars

Last week as part of his State of the Union Address, President Obama announced a $4 billion investment over the next 10 years to test autonomous vehicles and get them ready for the market. Two days later at the Detroit Auto Show, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced that federal regulators would begin to develop coherent safety regulations for […]

Freight Panel Chair Says House Will “Balance Out” Transportation Modes

This article was adapted from an earlier report on Streetsblog NYC. A Congressional road show on freight arrived in New York last Friday afternoon, bringing together air, trucking, and rail industry representatives to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s freight panel. While the House is holding hearings like this one, U.S. DOT is working toward […]

Dallas City Council Member: Adding Highway Lanes Is Pointless

We’ve written about the seedy good-old-boy network in Texas that, with naked self-interest, has lobbied for and built more, more, and MORE highways, even as public budgets and household pocketbooks struggle under the burden. So it is with great admiration today that we recognize a voice of reason out of the Lone Star state: no, not Pedestrian […]