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Tuesday’s Headlines Carry a Big Stick

That's the advice climate scientists have for cities that want to get people out of their cars. Carrots aren't enough.

12:01 AM EDT on August 22, 2023

Creative Commons.|

A car-free street in Tokyo.

  • Carrots like better transit won't be enough to get people out of their cars, climate scientists say. Sticks like congestion pricing and restricting where people can drive are needed too. (Forbes)
  • Why do traffic deaths keep going up? Car-dependent cities like Atlanta and Dallas have far higher death rates than cities with better transit, and state DOTs emphasize speed over safety, according to the Eno Center for Transportation.
  • State DOTs shrank in the 1980s and '90s, and now that they're receiving an influx of federal cash, they're relying on outside consultants, which is more expensive than hiring employees to do the work. (The American Prospect)
  • Thanks to higher than expected sales tax collections, Austin's Cap Metro was able to put $130 million into a contingency fund. (Monitor)
  • The Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation is still waiting on the last $125 million chunk of federal funding for a recently completed light rail project. (Star-Advertiser)
  • The Tampa Bay Times editorial board wants the TESCO streetcar to remain fare-free.
  • The Massachusetts state budget includes $5 million for a discounted fare program for low-income transit riders. (WBUR)
  • Knoxville is wrapping up work on three major sidewalk projects. (WATE)
  • The Urbanist says Sound Transit should be taking Seattle car lanes for transit rather than spending more money on elevated tracks.
  • Facing a $220 million budget shortfall, Seattle is once again considering a congestion tax the former mayor nixed three years ago. (The Stranger)
  • Los Angeles' first buses started rolling 100 years ago last Friday. (The Source)
  • Just a day after California regulators unleashed a flood of driverless cars on San Francisco, a festival that strained the wi-fi confused the heck out of Cruise vehicles, one of which got itself stuck in concrete (SFGate). Officials have since restricted how many robotaxis Cruise can have on the road (SFist).
  • Meanwhile, three New York Times reporters took rides in Waymos. Two went fine. The other was touch-and-go.

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