Tuesday’s Headlines are Going to the Mall

  • Malls are often derided by urban planners, but people flocked to them for a reason: From seniors who wanted to take a walk to people in wheelchairs to skateboarding teenagers, their well-maintained infrastructure made people feel safe. (City Lab)
  • If we really want to reach carbon zero, let’s focus more on biking than electric vehicles. (Streetsblog USA)
  • Car tires are killing us, reports the Guardian (though an expert kinda debunked the paper’s scariest claims).
  • Climate change is forcing East Coast schools to send kids home early because they have no air conditioning and no money to install it. (Washington Post)
  • Dezeen thinks the pandemic will usher in a “magical” golden age of cycling in cities.
  • California regulators have approved allowing robot taxies on San Francisco streets. (NPR)
  • Rising construction costs may force Austin to take a hard look at its $7 billion Project Connect transit plan, so here’s another look at some of the major proposed projects. (Chronicle)
  • The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spends more than half its sales-tax collections on operating costs, which leads critics to wonder if there will be enough left over to fund expansion plans. (AJC)
  • Alexandria’s fare-free transit experiment has been a big success. (Governing)
  • Orange County, North Carolina, officials are finally getting a reckoning on how area governments spent $157 million on a light rail line that never made it past the planning stage. They also threw cold water on any attempt to try light rail again. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • The definition of “curb” in Pennsylvania is threatening the construction of new protected bike lanes in Philadelphia. (Inquirer)
  • Los Angeles bus and train rides are free today to help boost voter turnout. (L.A. Times)


What’s Killing the Enclosed Mall?

Anyone who values healthy cities may feel a bit of schadenfreude about the decline of the American shopping mall, which is becoming almost as retro as music videos and Orange Julius. But many communities have simply traded enclosed malls for “lifestyle centers,” where customers drive, park, and then walk among stores in an open-air setting. […]

Reaching Across the Urban-Suburban Divide

As today’s post from Seattle Transit Blog acknowledges, criticizing the place where someone lives is one of the surest ways to create division and contention when discussing planning issues: Photo by yuan2003 via Flickr. If I criticize a portion of Bellevue’s cul-de-sac development, a commenter is just as likely to deride my urban elitism as […]

How to Turn a Dead Mall Into Walkable Place

Built on a 136-acre site in the heart of a walkable, inner-ring suburb in 1962, Severance was the first mall in the Cleveland area. And over the years, it has mirrored every trend in retail, morphing from an indoor mall to a big-box anchored “shopping center.” But the site recently lost its anchor — the […]

A TOD Impostor in Fresno

Recently on Streetsblog we looked at developers who misapply the terms “green” and “new urban” to sprawling, exurban housing developments. Another abused term in the planning lexicon that we could have mentioned is surely “transit-oriented development.” If any building is close to transit — even a parking garage — someone is going to call it TOD, […]

Greater Atlanta Continues to Treat Walking Like a Crime

Despite the national outrage over the Raquel Nelson case, officials in metro Atlanta continue to treat pedestrians like criminals. Last Wednesday, a 35-year-old woman was hospitalized after being struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross a road in northwest Atlanta. A local Fox affiliate reports that the woman suffered injuries and is in “stable” condition. […]