Wednesday’s Headlines to Keep the Week on Track

  • Local officials in the Northeast (Politico) and Seattle (Times) are looking to the Biden administration for help with financially struggling transit systems. Two runoffs in Georgia that will determine whether Democrats take control of the Senate may be the key (NY Daily News).
  • Biden plans to boost funding for Amtrak and transit, push for high-speed rail and encourage regional planning that centers bikes and pedestrians. But he’ll need an elusive bipartisan deal on funding to pay for it. (Law360)
  • The president-elect is also considering creating the cabinet-level position of climate-change czar. (Washington Post)
  • U.S. PIRG thinks bus-only lanes are a cheap, low-tech way to get more people riding buses and reduce carbon emissions, and more cities should be painting the streets red.
  • Automakers are turning record profits as well-off consumers, flush with stock-market gains and stimulus checks, rush to buy expensive—and deadly—pickup trucks and SUVs despite the pandemic. (NPR)
  • One day electric cars will store energy within the vehicle itself, ending the need for heavy and expensive batteries. (Wired)
  • Ride-hailing does have at least one positive effect: The more often drivers pick up or drop off customers in a neighborhood, the fewer sexual assaults are reported, according to a new study. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • The Federal Highway Administration has signed off on the Rose Quarter project widening I-5 through downtown Portland. (KOIN)
  • The Urbanist reports on how Seattle is turning the demolished Alaskan Way Viaduct into a bike- and pedestrian-friendly boulevard.
  • Republicans in Minnesota’s divided government are resisting raising gas taxes. (Star-Tribune)