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)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Today’s Headlines

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President Will Talk Infrastructure in State of the Union (Transpo Nation) Sen. Kerry Expects Obama Will Launch New Climate Initiative in SOTU (The Hill) Video: Mayors Speak Out on Need for Infrastructure Investment (Time) GOP Leader Says “Just Spend More” Isn’t the Answer to Infrastructure Crisis (Transpo Nation) Guangzhou Wins Sustainable Transport Award for Bus […]

Today’s Headlines

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Oil Prices Soar on Libyan Turmoil (ABC, NYT) Meanwhile, Geithner Says Economy Can Handle Spike (The Hill) Tom Friedman: Bring on a $1 Per Gallon Gas Tax (NYT) NRDC Ranks “Smartest” Cities for Transportation (Grist) New Report: A Primer on the Federal Transportation Program (T4America) Honolulu Breaks Ground on Commuter Rail Line (Bloomberg) Highway Trust […]

Today’s Headlines

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Michael Bloomberg Urges Cities to Prepare for Self-Driving Cars (WaPo) A Car and Driver Q&A With Anthony Foxx on the Future of Transportation Twin Cities Get Federal Grant to Plan Development Along New Light Rail Line (F&C) Uber Endorses Seattle Transit Ballot Measure (GeekWire) Chicago Black Lives Matter Activists Discuss Transportation Justice With Chicago Reader Does Metro Run Through DC’s Most Populated Areas? […]

As Chicago Forges Ahead With BRT, Congress Holds Up Key Rail Project

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The transportation news has been flying out of Chicago lately. Last week, in a 41-9 vote, the City Council approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago Infrastructure Trust, which will be used to build projects with private financing. Earlier this week, Emanuel and transportation commissioner Gabe Klein just unveiled a plan for a downtown bus rapid transit loop […]

Today’s Headlines

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Now That 38 States Have Distracted Driving Bans, Is It Time For a Federal Law? (Chicago Tribune) “125 MPH Rail or Bust,” Says Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers (The Hill) Congressman: No Transit Construction Without Minority Jobs (Chicago Sun-Times) In Georgia, DOT Chief Job Is a Political Favor, Not a Merit-Based Appointment (AJC) L.A. Ensures That […]

Today’s Headlines

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LaHood roasted with Toyota jokes at off-the-record dinner, featuring tributes from the president and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel (The Hill) Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) makes it clear that she’s on board with L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa’s increasinly popular "30/10" transit plan (LAist) As Obama signs a $20 billion highway trust fund infusion into […]