Friday’s Headlines to Close it Out

  • Minority communities have to deal with dangerously designed roads while also trying to avoid interactions with law enforcement that could get them killed, too. (Transportation for America)
  • Spurred on by Ralph Nader’s expose, in 1970 Congress created the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For a while, it brought public awareness to the dangers of car crashes, but now its standards are so outdated, they’re useless. (Vice)
  • Get ready to start dodging delivery droids on the sidewalk, because now Pennsylvania says they have the same legal rights as human pedestrians. (Axios)
  • An engineers’ group says the U.S. faces a $2.6-trillion shortfall for infrastructure maintenance and gave the U.S. a C- overall, including a D- on transit. (Reuters)
  • Warren Buffett has $138 billion and owns a bunch of railroads. He can fix America’s infrastructure. (Bloomberg)
  • Cities have been adding e-bikes to their bike-share fleets during the pandemic. (New York Times)
  • Three steps cities can take to keep people cycling beyond the pandemic include starting with pop-up bike lanes, calming traffic and establishing long-term goals. (The City Fix)
  • Former NYC transportation commissioner Polly Trottenberg, President Biden’s pick for the No. 2 job at the DOT, says she’ll prioritize the Gateway rail tunnel if she’s confirmed by the Senate. (Transport Topics)
  • MinnPost profiles Robin Hutcheson, the “rock star” former Minneapolis director of public works who’s now deputy assistant secretary for safety policy at the U.S. DOT. 
  • On the Rose Quarter I-5 widening, the Oregon DOT is pitting Black residents who want minority contracts against mostly White environmentalists, which is a false dichotomy when pollution disproportionately affects communities of color, writes a Black environmental lawyer. (Bike Portland)
  • A California lawmaker wants to install cameras on buses to nab drivers who block bus-only lanes, a form of automated enforcement that’s common in New York. (San Jose Mercury-News)
  • Pittsburgh residents are pushing back against transit projects intended to spur development rather than move people. (Transit Center)
  • Drivers killed 26 cyclists in North Carolina last year, up from 19 in 2019. (Spectrum News)
  • Omaha advocates are looking to build a transit system that restores the functionality of its mid-20th-century streetcars (World-Herald). And streetcars could make a comeback in San Diego (10 News).
  • Boise is pushing ahead on a State Street bus rapid transit line. (Boise Dev)
  • Chile is offering taxi drivers up to $11,000 to convert to electric vehicles in an effort to rid Santiago of smog. (City Lab)
  • Contrary to popular belief, London’s low-traffic neighborhoods benefit lower-income areas as much as more affluent ones. (The Guardian)