Monday’s Headlines To Start Off Your Week

  • Low-income residents, people of color and essential workers are bearing the brunt of the havoc the pandemic has wreaked on transit systems. But Mitch McConnell’s Senate is in recess until Sept. 8. (New York Times)
  • American roads are getting more dangerous for cyclists and pedestrians, with deaths up from 6,300 in 2010 to 8,800 last year, even as cars themselves are safer than ever — if you’re inside one. Technology that can control speeds and stop drunk drivers from starting their cars already exist, but the government won’t require them (City Lab). We’re sure former Streetsblog USA Editor Angie Schmitt will be all over that in her forthcoming book, “Right of Way.” (Order now from Island Press.)
  • Lots of Uber news the past few days: A California judge denied Uber and Lyft’s request for an extension on classifying their drivers as employees (Fox Business). As a result, the companies have threatened to pull out of California, but Eater reports that the move wouldn’t affect its most lucrative business, food delivery. Uber claims its drivers make $55,000 a year — a figure at which many experts scoff (CBS News). Meanwhile, in Seattle, starting in January, ride-hailing companies will have to make sure drivers earn at least $16.39 an hour after expenses like gas and insurance (KING 5).
  • The Federal Transit Administration released $464 million in grants for 96 bus replacement and bus facility projects in 49 states. (Transportation Today)
  • The New York MTA — the nation’s largest transit system — is facing financial ruin, with a $10-billion deficit, and needs a federal bailout to avoid cutting service to the bone. But Congress appears unlikely to act (see our earlier aside about Mitch McConnell). (Politico)
  • The Austin City Council agreed to put a $460-million bond issue on the November ballot to pay for bike lanes and sidewalks. That’s in addition to a property tax hike for the $7-billion Project Connect transit plan. (KXAN)
  • Just what Michigan needs: more roads. Google spinoff Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners is looking to build a road between Detroit and Ann Arbor especially for autonomous vehicles — the first of many in an entire network for self-driving cars. (Tech Crunch)
  • Chicago bike cops are terrorizing protesters, using bikes as weapons, despite calls for supplier Trek Bikes to divest from police. (Twitter)
  • A parking ban hasn’t stopped mostly out-of-state drivers from descending on Vermont swimming holes in droves, pandemic be damned. They’re just parking in breakdown lanes that are also used by cyclists. (Vermont Digger)
  • Sidewalks outside bars in Arlington are getting really crowded, putting people at higher risk for coronavirus. (ARLnow)


Congress Set to Pass Yet Another Short-Term Transpo Funding Patch

The 35th transportation extension in the last six years is about to pass. The House had passed a five-month extension, the Senate insisted on moving forward with its six-year bill, then the House proposed a three-month extension, and somehow that sounded great to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. To win McConnell’s support for the short-term […]