Wednesday’s Headlines

  • Most pedestrian infrastructure isn’t meant to protect pedestrians — it’s meant to let cars go faster. Truly pedestrian-friendly streets don’t need a lot of expensive infrastructure, and a crosswalk across a six-lane divided highway doesn’t do people on foot much good. (City Observatory)
  • Former New York City transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan discusses her vision for a “six-foot city,” where there is enough public space for everyone to go about their lives while staying safely apart from one another. (The Guardian)
  • An Uber driver and labor organizer writes that the company is treating its contractors “like cannon fodder in its war against regulation.” (New York Times)
  • Mashable predicts that autonomous vehicles are still five years away, due to concerns about AI and sanitation, but doesn’t account for the fact that driverless cars won’t ease congestion, and drone choppers are too expensive for most workers.
  • E-bike riders ride more miles and leave their cars at home more often than riders of pedal-only bikes, according to a study out of Norway. (Cycling Industry News)
  • More love for former Streetsblog editor Angie Schmitt’s book “Right of Way: Race, Class, and the Silent Epidemic of Pedestrian Deaths in America,” this time from Curbed.
  • Denver advocates are pushing to expand the city’s coronavirus-era experiments with shared streets. (Denver Post)
  • St. Paul is looking to rezone areas around transit stations for denser housing and less parking. (Pioneer Press)
  • Highway projects in San Antonio are still moving forward despite a nearly $5 billion budget deficit in Texas. (Express-News)
  • In addition to all the wasted gas, the largely mask-free Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota has now been linked to 250,000 COVID-19 cases. (Mother Jones)
  • Northern Virginia is paring back transit projects because the highway tolls that fund them are down. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • L.A.’s futuristic new streetlights are adjustable and feature amenities like solar panels, charging stations, benches and umbrellas to provide shade. (Fast Company)


Janette Sadik-Khan’s TED Talk: “You Can Remake Your Streets”

In the six years that Janette Sadik-Khan has headed the New York City Department of Transportation, streets have been transformed. Across the five boroughs, 26 acres of asphalt were converted into 50 pedestrian plazas. New bus lanes are speeding transit trips on major thoroughfares in Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, and soon Brooklyn. The city […]

It’s Official: Sadik-Khan in at DOT

After weeks of speculation, City Hall has announced that Janette Sadik-Khan, a senior vice president at Parsons Brinckerhoff, will be the new commissioner of the NYC DOT. This from a press release issued this afternoon by the mayor’s office: "Janette Sadik-Khan has a superb mix of public and private sector transportation management experience and she […]

NACTO Urban Street Design Guide Sets Out to Change the DNA of Our Cities

In a direct challenge to the long-standing authority of state DOTs to determine how transportation infrastructure gets designed, the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) yesterday launched its Urban Street Design Guide. NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide has already empowered cities around the country to embrace protected bike lanes and other innovative designs that […]

DOT Launches Gehl Street Survey Project

The New York City Department of Transportation has retained Danish urbanist Jan Gehl’s firm to evaluate city streets and other public spaces. Streetsblog first reported this development as a possibility back in June, when we interviewed Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. Not long after, we got word that Gehl had been hired by the city as a […]

LaHood Announces Safety Summits to Help Shape New Bikeway Standards

In 2010, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood mounted a table at the National Bike Summit and proclaimed, “I’ve been all over America, and…people want alternatives. They want out of their cars, they want out of congestion, they want to live in… livable communities.” He added, to thunderous applause, “You’ve got a partner in Ray LaHood.” Shortly […]