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)


Trucks and Cities Are Like Oil and Water. Is There a Solution?

About 350 pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are killed each year by large trucks in this country. Big freight trucks are incompatible with cities in many ways, bringing danger, pollution, noise, and traffic congestion. They park in bike lanes and have shockingly big blind spots, putting everyone around them at risk. And yet, most cities haven’t […]

Transit-Oriented America, Part 1: Eight Thousand Miles

My wife and I were married last month in Brooklyn. For our honeymoon, we wanted to see as many great American cities as we could. In 19 days of travel, we visited Chicago, Seattle, Portland (Ore.), San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Orleans (and also stopped briefly in Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia). How could two people as obsessed as […]

Weiner on the Environment: Big Talk, Small Stick

Where’s the beef? Under Rep. Anthony Weiner’s plan, vehicles, like the one above, would not be charged a fee to use New York City’s most heavily congested streets On Monday evening, just hours before the federal government’s announcement that it would give New York City $354.5 million to kick-start Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan, Rep. […]

Rasmussen: Americans Want More Federal Support for Transit

Rasmussen Reports, the polling firm that got the 2012 election completely wrong, asked 1,000 Americans last week how they feel about public transportation [PDF]. The takeaway they reported was this: “74% Rarely or Never Use Mass Transit.” On the flip side, 6 percent said they used transit every day or nearly every day, and another […]