Friday’s Headlines Are Ready for a Beer

  • Despite the clamor for walkable cities and biking’s growing popularity, urban streets are still designed and used more like highways because engineers still reject induced demand and politicians won’t stand up to the vocal minority, says urban planner Jeff Speck. (Governing)
  • The infrastructure bill focuses too much on roads and cars, but it could be the start of a sea change in federal climate policy. (The Atlantic)
  • Bipartisanship at its worst: Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Raphael Warnock of Georgia joined forces to add an entire freeway to the infrastructure bill. I-14 would be extended to run from Odessa across the Southeast to Augusta. (Midland Reporter-Telegram)
  • Bird will start automatically slowing down scooters in areas with lots of pedestrians, like school zones. (Mashable)
  • Uber and Lyft are facing a reckoning for seeking profitability through unfair labor practices. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Gig economy companies are officially filing to have a Prop 22-like measure put on the Massachusetts ballot classifying their workers as contractors. (The Hill)
  • Bike advocates want Phoenix to address the rising number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths. (AZ Central)
  • Two little-used freeway ramps are taking up some of the most valuable real estate in Minneapolist. (Mpls.St.Paul)
  • St. Augustine is starting an e-bikeshare. (First Coast News)
  • The mayor of Warren, Michigan, posted photos of his bloody face after tripping while jogging to highlight the sorry state of the city’s sidewalks. (Macomb Daily)
  • Two people were killed by a train in Charlotte during a memorial service for another person who had died in a train crash at the very same spot last week. (WBTV)
  • A California teen riding his bike was injured by a California Highway Patrol officer who drove away but was caught on video. (KTLA)

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How can federal policy encourage walkable street networks instead of highways and sprawl? Image: CNU The news coming out of Washington last week jacked up expectations for national transportation policy to new heights. Cabinet members Ray LaHood and Shaun Donovan announced a partnership to connect transportation and housing policy, branded as the "Sustainable Communities Initiative." […]

It’s Time to Stop Pretending That Roads Pay for Themselves

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If nothing else, the current round of federal transportation legislating should end the myth that highways are a uniquely self-sufficient form of infrastructure paid for by “user fees,” a.k.a. gas taxes and tolls. With all the general tax revenue that goes toward roads in America, car infrastructure has benefited from hefty subsidies for many years. […]