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)


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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 […]

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America’s streets are changing for the better. The signs are everywhere: Whether it’s bike sharing in Chattanooga, complete streets in New Orleans or bus rapid transit in Cleveland — cities across the country are trying new things and making impressive progress in the pursuit of safer streets and sustainable transportation. It’s all thanks to a lot […]

Can LA Make “Great Streets” If the Mayor Won’t Stand Up for Good Design?

Los Angeles, with its expanding transit network, is supposed to be in the process of shedding its cocoon of car-centricity and emerging, in the words of a recent Fast Company headline, as America’s “next great walkable city.” The city’s streets, however, didn’t change a whole lot under former mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. When Eric Garcetti was elected mayor in 2013, advocates thought […]