Thursday’s Headlines To Set You Up Nice

  • Given that 36,000 Americans were killed in crashes last year, the U.S. DOT’s inspector general announced it will audit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s enforcement of federal motor vehicle safety standards. According to one former administrator, the NHTSA hasn’t set any significant new standards since President Trump took office. (Reuters)
  • During the pandemic, the news has been full of stories of city-dwellers fleeing for the suburbs or vacation homes, but the numbers don’t bear that out. (Arch Daily)
  • Sidewalk robots spell trouble for people with disabilities. (Tech Crunch)
  • Bring back streetcar suburbs. (New Geography)
  • Speaking of streetcar suburbs, Greater Greater Washington republished a history of how railroads shaped the region.
  • Portland is lifting a ban on duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes in single-family neighborhoods (Mercury), and the Sightline Institute calls it the best low-density zoning reform in U.S. history.
  • Seattle’s Sound Transit will start ramping up service in September on Sounder South and other light rail lines in response to rising ridership. (KOMO)
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and the city of Chapel Hill are using a federal grant and a settlement from the Volkswagen emissions scandal to replace diesel buses with electric ones. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • A California startup is building cars that run on electricity generated by hydrogen fuel cells and emit only water vapor. The catch? High-end models could cost millions of dollars. (CNN)
  • Harris County, Texas — home to Houston — passed a Vision Zero resolution aiming to end pedestrian deaths by 2030. (The Texan)
  • The D.C. DOT will install car-free lanes for buses and bikes on three streets later this month. (Transportation Today)
  • When the Earth falls into the sun, Cincinnati residents will still be arguing about the Bell Connector streetcar. (Enquirer)

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America’s Traffic Death Toll Is a National Disgrace

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More than 40,000 Americans were killed in traffic last year, according to new estimates from the National Safety Council, the worst toll in a decade. The U.S. transportation system claims far more lives each year than peer countries. If America achieved the same fatality rate as the UK, more than 30,000 lives would be saved each year.