Wednesday’s Headlines Get Onboard Amtrak

amtrak wisconsin
  • Amtrak saw a 97 percent drop in ticket sales at the start of the pandemic, but ridership has almost fully recovered and some cases exceeds 2019. (Politico)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wants the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to do something about SUVs’ large blind zones that hide children in the street from drivers. (Transportation Today)
  • People have been calling for car-free streets for almost as long as cars have existed. (Planetizen)
  • The playbook for reviving big-city transit is becoming increasingly clear — at least in those big cities that already have robust, if outdated, systems. (Governing)
  • Common Edge interviews architect David Waggonner about the pessimism surrounding tearing down New Orleans’ crumbling Claiborne Expressway. The Syracuse Post-Standard examines what that city can learn from Rochester, which demolished its urban ring road. And more than 50 years after I-90 punched through Spokane, a new interchange is victimizing one neighborhood again (Crosscut).
  • Philadelphia could use federal infrastructure funds to dust off 1110-year-old plans for a Roosevelt Boulevard subway. (Inquirer, Streetsblog)
  • San Francisco has 45 traffic cops, but they only issue a total of 10 tickets per day. (SF Chronicle)
  • Denver’s new bus rapid transit network — still six years away — will be called the Lynx. (Denverite)
  • A driver hit a Colorado Springs pedestrian and broke several of the walker’s bones. Then police cited the victim for jaywalking. (Fox 21)
  • Fix the roads already! Singer Amy Grant suffered a concussion when she hit a pothole and fell off her bike (Billboard). And Boston Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale suffered a season-ending wrist injury after his bike hit a rough patch and threw him off. (NBC Sports)
  • Only a magician would dare risk death by riding in a crappy American bike lane. (McSweeney’s)


Transit-Oriented America, Part 1: Eight Thousand Miles

My wife and I were married last month in Brooklyn. For our honeymoon, we wanted to see as many great American cities as we could. In 19 days of travel, we visited Chicago, Seattle, Portland (Ore.), San Francisco, Los Angeles and New Orleans (and also stopped briefly in Cleveland, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia). How could two people as obsessed as […]

Urge Congress to Support Amtrak and Passenger Rail

Here’s a great way to support transit before we head in to another traffic-snarled Memorial Day weekend. H.R. 6003, the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act, is currently in need of co-sponsors in the House (a version has already passed the Senate). The bill "authorizes Amtrak for the five years Fiscal 2008-2012, provides for capital […]

Amtrak, Virginia Railway Express, and the Future of Privately Run Transit

Virginia Railway Express (VRE), the commuter network that links northwest Virginia to Washington D.C., today refused a challenge by Amtrak to its decision to switch operating providers to the U.S. arm of Keolis, a private French transit company. Chicago’s earliest rail transit line, pictured here, was run by a private company. (Photo: Franzosenbusch Project) Although […]

Listening to the President on Transportation

Over the last few weeks, President Obama has made a few different statements that have gotten the attention of urbanists and sustainable transportation advocates. Could it be? Does this guy really get it? And if so, what is he going to do about it? Deron Lovaas of NRDC Switchboard has done a great job of […]