Wednesday’s Headlines

  • It’s time to start taking freight into account when designing safer streets. Freight accounts for 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, and delivery trucks are much more likely to kill pedestrians than passenger cars. (The City Fix)
  • The people who are most likely to use transit—women, people of color and people with low incomes—are not represented inside transit organizations, and dismantling white supremacy will take more than tweets, writes Tamika Butler in a heartfelt Kinder Institute essay.
  • 2020 was supposed to be the year of the driverless car. So where are they? (Medium) While AI technology isn’t ready for prime time, a new algorithm could help autonomous vehicles avoid collisions (Inverse)
  • One gadfly and his lawyer are abusing San Francisco’s broken environmental appeals process to block safer-streets projects all over the city. (SF Chronicle)
  • The Federal Transit Administration finalized a $928 million grant for the Green Line’s light-rail extension into southwest Minneapolis. (Pioneer-Press)
  • A new report says that Philadelphia and New Jersey transit agencies’ fiscal crisis could cost the region manufacturing and construction jobs as agencies stop ordering rail cars and cancel new projects. (Inquirer)
  • After voting down a new light rail line last month, Sacramento’s transit board reversed course and is moving ahead with the $130 million project. (Bee)
  • Lyft announced on Tuesday that it will give half-priced rides in cabs and Citi Bikes on Nov. 3 to encourage people to vote. Just use the code “2020vote” in the Lyft app. Uber’s effort goes a bit further (USA Today).
  • Pop-up bike lanes around Boston Common will become permanent this fall. (Globe)
  • Three city-approved e-scooter companies are bringing 1,500 of the micromobility vehicles to Seattle in coming weeks. (KOMO)
  • Madison, Wisconsin, is testing pedal-assist cargo bikes to replace pickup trucks for city workers. (State Journal)
  • Well, that’s one way to get around—or rather, through—a car blocking the crosswalk. (Rex Chapman via Twitter)


Here’s How Much Safer Transit Is Compared to Driving

Keep this in mind the next time a high-profile train crash generates more press coverage than a year’s worth of car wrecks: Despite the media sensationalism and overwrought regulatory responses that follow such events, transit is already a lot safer than driving. Looking at traffic fatalities per mile traveled in the U.S., analyst Todd Litman […]

The Best and Worst of the New 5-Year Transportation Bill

Smart people are wading through the 1,300-page transportation bill that came out of conference committee earlier this week, and we’re starting to get a clearer sense of how it will change federal transportation policy for the next five years. The House voted to pass the bill by an overwhelming margin just moments ago, and President Obama has already […]

America Has a Terrible Traffic Safety Record Because We Drive Too Much

Even though the U.S. traffic fatality rate per mile driven has fallen by two-thirds in the last 50 years, America today still has the deadliest road system per capita in the developed world. Much of the improvement from safer driving and better emergency care has been wiped out by increases in total traffic. The American approach to traffic safety has emphasized seatbelt use, vehicle standards, […]