Monday’s Headlines Are Innovating Away

Sweden is taking the American parklet idea to a whole new level.
Sweden is taking the American parklet idea to a whole new level.
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is on an innovation kick, with a rather vague column in TechCrunch and a more interesting interview with The Verge, discussing how transit should be an option for everyone and not something certain people are “stuck with,” the need for better urban planning and the challenges of regulating self-driving cars.
  • President Biden’s Build Back Better bill should do more to encourage e-bike purchases, which already outpace electric cars by two to one. Imagine if the subsidies for e-bikes didn’t pale in comparison. (Wired)
  • Urban gardens, solar panels and pop-up businesses like food trucks are some of American City and County‘s ideas for utilizing vacant parking lots.
  • The 15-minute city is all the rage, and now Sweden is aiming for tiny “one-minute cities,” using prefab, easily movable parking space-shaped benches, parks and outdoor dining areas to activate streetscapes block-by-block in consultation with residents. It’s based on the pandemic “parklets” in U.S. cities but on a nationwide scale. (City Lab)
  • Public envy of European cities makes it too easy for American officials to dismiss biking and walking projects as utopian. Talking about those cities’ long struggles to get where they are is more effective. (Slate)
  • A Silver Line extension, an Alexandria metro station, renovations of other Metro stations, a pedestrian tunnel near Walter Reed, 16th Street bus lanes and 20 miles of new bike lanes are among the transportation projects set to open this year in the Washington, D.C. region. (DCist)
  • Pedestrian deaths have doubled in Nashville since 2016, and 60% of those are killed by drivers on just 2% of roads. (Axios)
  • It will take another year to reopen New Orleans’ Rampart streetcar line, closed since 2019 due to a hotel collapse. (Mass Transit Mag)
  • Expanding transit would help increase Charlotte’s dwindling supply of affordable housing. (WCNC)
  • A Hawaii study found that a per-mile road usage charge would be more equitable than the existing gas tax. (Hawaii Public Radio)
  • Oakland gave $300 debit cards to 500 residents who agreed to participate a universal basic mobility pilot program. (NBC Bay Area)
  • Although unprotected bike lanes aren’t always cleared in a timely fashion, you can ride your bike in the winter in Northern cities. Here’s how. (Greater Greater Washington)