Friday’s Headlines As We Look to the Future

  • President Joe Biden will appoint Nuria Fernandez, head of the Bay Area’s Valley Transit Authority, as deputy administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. At VTA, Fernandez oversaw a $7-billion rail expansion into Silicon Valley. Previously she served in leadership positions at transit agencies in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. (San Jose Spotlight)
  • As Streetsblog USA pointed out, among presidents, Biden’s life has been uniquely impacted by traffic violence. A truck driver killed his first wife and infant daughter. Meanwhile, Kea Wilson also covered Pete Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing.
  • The decline in traffic at the start of the pandemic inspired “Imagine” covers, but maybe “Instant Karma” would’ve been a better choice. Those gains are expected to be wiped out once the COVID-19 vaccine takes hold. (Kinder Rice)
  • Pedestrian Observations says transit projects really do cost more in the U.S. than Europe, despite an Eno Center for Transportation study that found no difference.
  • The D.C. Metro is testing a new air filtration system it hopes will restore faith that public transit is safe — it is — along with ridership. (Washington Post)
  • Dallas is twice as dangerous for pedestrians as the average American. Its first-ever mobility plan calls for more bike lanes and wider sidewalks, but lacks concrete solutions. (D Magazine)
  • Houston’s first protected intersection is open for business. (Chronicle)
  • Utah Transit Authority ridership dropped by 47 percent in 2020, thanks to the pandemic. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is collaborating with two private companies to develop technology to model traffic patterns and improve pedestrian safety. (Chattanooga Pulse)
  • New streetlights are illuminating how dangerous it is to cross Savannah’s busy Victory Drive on foot. (Connect Savannah)
  • Ann Arbor is filling in sidewalk gaps with a voter-approved property tax hike. (MLive)
  • Say goodbye to the click-clack of Philadelphia’s analog train timetable board. (City Lab)