Wednesday’s Headlines Are Inflated

Light rail in Austin could be one of the casualties of higher-than-expected construction costs.
Light rail in Austin could be one of the casualties of higher-than-expected construction costs.
  • Cities all over the country, like Atlanta, Philadelphia and Austin, are scaling back ambitious transit plans in the face of rising construction costs. (City Lab)
  • A study in London found that people who live in low-income neighborhoods have a higher risk of being killed in a crash. (Traffic Technology Today)
  • As vehicles get heavier and parking garages get older, it could lead to catastrophe. (Curbed)
  • The Chevy Bolt, one of just two electric sedans eligible for the federal EV tax credit, is being discontinued. (CNBC)
  • China’s largest electric automaker admitted that fully self-driving cars are “basically impossible.” (The Truth About Cars)
  • Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield is in the hospital after suffering a serious injury when a pipe in a truckbed hit him while he was riding his bike on the side of the road (Block Club, Streetsblog CHI, StreetsblogUSA). We wish him a speedy recovery.
  • Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Ayanna Pressley introduced a $25 billion bill to help transit agencies go fare-free. (NBC Boston)
  • A western Massachusetts bikeshare is on hold because its parent company ran into financial problems. (Vermont Public)
  • The Washington state legislature has all but abandoned traffic safety bills as the death toll mounts. (The Urbanist)
  • Striping is underway for dedicated bike lanes in Milwaukee, and the new bus rapid transit line will open in June. (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Kansas City should go back to the future and restore its once-robust streetcar system. (KCUR)
  • California gave San Jose the last $46 million it needs to complete a light rail extension. (Mercury News)
  • Los Angeles traffic signals are timed to prioritize cars over cyclists and pedestrians. (L.A. Times)
  • The planned Omaha streetcar could cross over into Iowa. (3 News Now)
  • Phoenix painted a crosswalk purple, orange and yellow in honor of the Suns basketball team, and to promote pedestrian safety. (Arizona Republic)
  • Canada is looking to the U.S. for ways to stem transit violence. (CBC)


Ed Glaeser’s Rail Fail

The story so far: Ed Glaeser recently began an effort to assess the costs and benefits of constructing high-speed rail lines at the New York Times’ Economix blog. Last week, he posted his first substantive take on the issue, an attempt to estimate direct costs and benefits from a hypothetical line between Houston and Dallas. […]