Friday’s Headlines to Close Out a Big Week

  • More takes are rolling in on President Biden’s $2-trillion American Jobs Plan. Vox explains how the plan will cut carbon emissions by building up transit and EV infrastructure. But the investment falls short of what climate activists and other progressives wanted (PoliticoThe Urbanist). Meanwhile, Transportation for America notes the plan’s “fix it first” philosophy and higher layout for rail and transit than highways, but says the devil’s in the details. Streetsblog‘s Kea Wilson also wants more details and questions whether $174 million for electric vehicles will really do enough to prevent climate change, and what its impact will be on road safety. Yonah Freemark lays out in The Hill how he thinks the administration should fill in those details to maximize climate impact.
  • Amtrak could add 30 new routes with its $80-billion share of funding (Washington Post). You may have seen the proposed map on Twitter.
  • A vehicle-miles tax is probably inevitable. (Slate)
  • The AARP gets behind Complete Streets.
  • With details still sparse, the Philadelphia Inquirer lays out how the plan could help Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. One item that’s reportedly a priority for Biden is the Gateway Tunnel, an Amtrak project under the Hudson River. (NJ.com)
  • Ohio spends 40 times as much money on highways as it does on transit. (News 5 Cleveland)
  • Boston is another city that’s mulling going fare-free as a way to rebuild transit ridership. A pilot project offers participants a free MBTA pass worth $60 and unlimited free rides on the BlueBikes bike-share. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Even the Texas DOT is considering doing away with the 85th percentile rule, which sets speed limits at unsafe levels. (Farm and City)
  • In case you missed it when we wrote about it, the Biden administration has paused the I-45 widening project in Houston over potential civil rights violations. (Politico)
  • Kansas City leaders are opposed to a bill allowing guns on Missouri transit. (Fox 4).
  • Five years ago, a Minneapolis man decided to ride his bike every day for 30 days, and he hasn’t stopped since. (Star-Tribune)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y. bikes in his city, but his budget reconciliation measure may not include anything for active modes. Image: Planet Gordon, CC

Reconciliation Bill Will Go Big on EVs

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The massive reconciliation bill under consideration in Congress would fall short of achieving our greenhouse gas reduction target — and the climate wins it does achieve would come disproportionately from consumer incentives for electric vehicles, rather than by shifting drivers out of cars. 
Jennifer Granholm, left, and Gina McCarthy, right. Images via Creative Commons.

Unpacking Biden's 'Climate-Change' Cabinet

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Pete Buttigieg drew most of the attention earlier this week, but two other key cabinet appointments this week could signal that electric vehicles remain at the center of the President-elect's climate strategy — despite evidence that transit, walking and biking is far more critical to cutting greenhouse gases.