Thursday’s Headlines Are Inducing Demand for News

  • Engineers, economists and others have been warning about induced demand — the phenomenon of new highway lanes filling up with cars almost as soon as they’re built — for almost 90 years. But state DOTs seem to think congestion proves them right, and more lanes must be built in an endless cycle. (City Lab)
  • Mayors are pleading with Congress to pass an infrastructure bill to help them repair roads and bridges and build new light rail lines. (Axios)
  • Another study, this one by Ohio State, found that a drop in traffic during the pandemic led to more speeding, reckless driving and deaths. (Science Daily)
  • The Biden administration wants to strengthen emissions regulations, and GM is OK with that. (Reuters)
  • The cause of an Amtrak derailment in Montana has yet to be determined, but the train was going just under the speed limit. (The Hill)
  • A historic drought linked to climate change could be causing San Francisco’s sidewalks to buckle and crack. (Examiner)
  • Boulder leaders want Colorado’s Regional Transportation District to use part of its $700 million in federal stimulus money to provide more transit service to the area. (Colorado Public Radio)
  • Austin’s Capitol Metro approved a $650 million budget that includes funding to hire more drivers and create a police force. (Monitor)
  • Galveston’s historic trolley system is finally up and running again after Hurricane Ike knocked it out in 2008. (Houston Chronicle)
  • A Texas teenager who was harassing a group of cyclists by rolling coal wound up hitting and injuring six of them. The driver was not charged initially, but the district attorney has since said he’s investigating. (ABC 13)
  • A Chicago man was fined $500 for tearing up a speed bump because it damaged his car. (WGN)
  • Detroit’s QLine streetcar wasn’t able to meet its goal of service every 15 minutes when it reopened last weekend. (Metro Times)
  • Someone is brightening pedestrians’ days by making sidewalk art all over Kalamazoo. (WKFR)

 

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To Build Safer Streets, Cities Have to Challenge State DOTs

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Have you ever heard this line from your local transportation officials? “We’d like to redesign this street for safety, but the state won’t allow it.” Often, that is indeed the truth. But James Kennedy at Transport Providence says that’s still no excuse for city officials to sit on their hands. Local DOTs should directly challenge the retrograde […]

The Missed Opportunity For an Urban Stimulus: Mayors ‘Were Ignored’

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Two-thirds of America’s population, and more than three-quarters of its economic productivity, come from major cities. So why did the Obama administration’s economic stimulus law end up giving metropolitan areas the short end of the stick? Daniel Malloy, Democratic mayor of Stamford, CT (Photo: Bridgeport City Council) Harry Moroz of the Drum Major Institute attempts […]

Mayors’ Jobs Agenda Item #1: Pass the Transportation Bill

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As the country awaits President Obama’s jobs plan, to be announced (at a new time!) next Thursday, many are making their own suggestions about how to stimulate job creation. The U.S. Conference of Mayors threw its hat in the ring today, releasing “A Common Sense Jobs Agenda” [PDF] with its full-throated insistence that Congress pass […]
Nobody wants this.

Mayors Seek Transit Funds To Fight Climate Change

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A coalition of mayors wants Congress to declare a "Marshall Plan" against climate change by spending on mass transit to curb air pollution in their cities. The mayors of Atlanta, Honolulu, St. Paul, Pittsburgh, and Portland, Ore., implored senators at a climate hearing on Capitol Hill last week to invest in renewable-energy programs in order to create jobs and fund bus and rail systems, with the goal of weening people off gas-polluting vehicles.