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Wednesday’s Headlines Think Smaller Is Better

American drivers need to break their addiction to ever-bigger trucks and SUVs. But automakers don't give them much of a choice.

12:01 AM EDT on August 23, 2023

Martin Pettitt, CC|

In Britain small cars like this are the norm, but they’re not even available in the U.S.

  • Small cars are more efficient and less dangerous for pedestrians, but because automakers make higher profits off of trucks and SUVs, many refuse to even sell them (Ars Technica). In related news, the 10,000-pound electric Hummer has the lowest gas mileage equivalent of any EV on the market — even lower than some gas-powered sedans (Jalopnik).
  • Traffic engineers should be looking at transportation from a public health perspective, according to a new research paper. (Governing)
  • A California bill would overhaul the state's racist highway-building practices that have exacerbated poor air quality in low-income communities. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
  • Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is abandoning plans for a public-private Beltway widening partnership and asking the feds for $2.4 billion to complete the $6 billion project. (Washington Post)
  • A recent D.C. study that tracked more than 300,000 vehicles found that 70 percent were exceeding the speed limit. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • The Twin Cities have a deal with Hennepin County to split the remaining $535 million cost for the Southwest Corridor light rail project. (Minnesota Public Radio)
  • Seattle is spending an extra $170 million on a light rail project to avoid impacting a street that only carries 9,000 cars a day. (The Urbanist)
  • As unpredictable as robotaxis can be, the greatest threat they pose is to San Francisco's transit system. (48 Hills)
  • Eliminating parking mandates and reducing dependency on cars allows developers to free up urban space for humans. (Milwaukee Independent)
  • The only thing worse than Dallas drivers might be its roads. (Morning News)
  • Light rail in Austin is still six to eight years away. (CBS Austin)
  • Starting Sept. 1 transit will be free for Philadelphia city government employees. (WHYY)
  • The driver of a Philadelphia trolley that crashed in July didn't know the brakes had been disabled while being repaired. (KYW)
  • Richmond has found a new bikeshare vendor to replace a company that suddenly went belly-up. (Axios)
  • Transit isn't just for people — according to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, it's good for fish, too. (Alaska Sporting Journal)
  • Toronto is considering a parking tax that would encourage using transit and bring the city half a billion dollars annually. (CBC)

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