Friday’s Headlines Keep the Change

An Open Streets event in Washington, DC. Source: Ted Eytan via Creative Commons.
An Open Streets event in Washington, DC. Source: Ted Eytan via Creative Commons.
  • Cities all over the country closed streets to cars and opened them up to pedestrians during the COVID-19 pandemic, and now they’re fighting over whether to make those changes permanent. (Washington Post)
  • From a too-small New York City tunnel to safety issues in Boston and Charlotte to traffic-choked Southern cities that rejected transit — and outrageous costs to fix it all — the U.S. transportation system is a dystopian hellscape. (Vice)
  • Good transit service is wasted without high-density zoning to match. (Commercial Observer)
  • More proof that induced demand is a real thing. (Planetizen)
  • A new mapping tool can help urban planners identify sidewalk gaps. (MIT News)
  • Used EV batteries can find new life hooked up to a solar power grid. (Reasons to Be Cheerful)
  • Chicago transit agencies are asking Illinois legislators for help with a looming $730 million budget deficit. (Daily Herald)
  • Boston’s fare-free transit pilot program is saving low-income riders significant money and making commutes easier. (WGBH)
  • Philadelphia is raising parking fines to $300 because drivers keep parking anywhere they like — even on sidewalks (Inquirer). And Market Street is getting a red bus-only lane (ABC 10).
  • Chicago aldermen passed a Complete Streets ordinance, instituted automated traffic enforcement and introduced a bill for the city to take over sidewalk snow shoveling. (Streetsblog Chicago)
  • Seattle’s Sound Transit needs more decisiveness and less micromanaging, according to an advisory group. (The Urbanist)
  • An auditor’s report found problems with the management of the Southwest light rail line in Minneapolis. (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • All 42 Charlotte train cars need repairs after a derailment revealed problems with their axle bearings. (Axios)
  • Lyft is dropping Motivate as the maintenance contractor for Portland’s Biketown bike-share system. (Bike Portland)
  • Tampa is increasing streetcar frequency to once every 12 minutes. (Creative Loafing)
  • Salem, Oregon is looking to restore streetcar service that ended in the 1920s. (Reporter)
  • Marketers say it grabs attention, but research shows consumers find it cringey when companies like Lyft intentionally misspell their names. (ZME Science)