Friday’s Headlines … And We’re Done for the Week

  • Even if Republicans keep control of the Senate, President-elect Joe Biden may still be able to pass a green infrastructure bill addressing climate change. (E&E News)
  • The Left isn’t thrilled with the idea of Transportation Secretary Rahm Emanuel, but he built 200 miles of bike lanes as mayor of Chicago and would champion high-speed rail (Chicago Mag). Riffing off that piece, Streetsblog Chicago says that while Emanuel was good on transportation issues, his politically motivated decision to let a police officer get away with killing Black teen Laquon McDonald should be disqualifying.
  • The “15-minute city” is all the rage, but it’s a lot easier to do in older European cities than newer American ones that were designed for cars. (Bloomberg)
  • Color us skeptical, but Honda says it will start manufacturing self-driving cars capable of navigating freeways by March. (Reuters)
  • A transit referendum in the metro Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County failed by just 1,000 votes out of 400,000 cast, possibly because of the economic effects of the pandemic, disinformation campaigns and voter fatigue from a long ballot. (AJC)
  • Also from the AJC: Transit agency MARTA has extended CEO Jeffrey Parker’s contract through 226. The board cited his negotiations with the transit union and local governments, but he’s also been criticized for cutting bus service during the pandemic.
  • The Southwest Corridor light rail project is on hold after Portland voters rejected a transportation payroll tax measure last week. (KATU)
  • San Francisco officials and activists are pushing street design changes and education over enforcement in hopes of meeting the city’s increasingly unlikely goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024. (SF Chronicle)
  • A WAMU podcast discusses the Washington, D.C. Vision Zero omnibus bill passed in September.
  • A downtown tunnel and light-rail projects Austin voters approved last week as part of Project Connect are still a decade away. (KXAN)
  • The Arizona DOT has hired a contractor for a massive I-1o widening project through metro Phoenix. (Planetizen)
  • Miami-Dade is testing an AI camera system that can track ridership levels and monitor whether passengers are socially distancing. (State Scoop)
  • Two new bike-share companies are coming to Birmingham. (Bham Now)
  • That iconic 100-year-old fig tree in Nairobi that was about to be cut down because it’s in the path of a four-lane highway has been spared. (New York Times)
  • Barcelona is expanding its car-free superblocks (City Lab) — and maybe some U.S. cities will be next? (Streetsblog)

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