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Monday’s Headlines Are All About Pete

From trying to avert a government shutdown to promoting rail safety, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is in the midst of a busy week.

12:01 AM EDT on September 25, 2023

  • It's been a busy past few days for Pete Buttigieg. President Biden enlisted him to talk sense into House Republicans about shutting down the government (New York Times); he had to explain the difference between climate change and seasons to a congressman (Advocate); and he criticized Donald Trump for comments about wounded veterans (USA Today). Today the transportation secretary will be in Nebraska to highlight investments in rail safety. (KETV)
  • While American transit advocates often laud Europe for its rail network, even across the pond governments short-shrift trains in favor of spending money on roads. (The Guardian)
  • Micromobility is vital for low-income people who use it for essential trips like grocery shopping and going to work. (Streetsblog USA)
  • A study of one Midwestern city found that, after it removed parking mandates for the downtown and university districts, developers built less than half as much parking there as they did in the rest of the city. (Journal of the American Planning Association)
  • Privately owned passenger rail company Brightline started running trains between Miami and Orlando on Friday (Washington Post), but tragedy also struck as a Brightline train killed a pedestrian — the 98th such death since 2019 (Palm Beach Post).
  • Omaha broke ground on its $440 million streetcar project. (World-Herald)
  • Based on Denver's successful program, the D.C. city council approved vouchers of up to $2,000 for primarily low-income residents to buy e-bikes. (WaPo)
  • Houston could have two bikeshares if the city council approves Mayor Sylvester Turner's proposal to keep BCycle afloat and the Harris County transit authority creates its own separate bikeshare system. (Axios)
  • The Austin Transit Partnership approved a $190 million budget focusing mainly on light rail construction and preserving affordable housing. (KXAN)
  • Gwinnett County commissioners in suburban Atlanta approved a $17 billion transit expansion plan, but voters will still have to approve a sales tax hike to pay for it. (WSB)
  • A proposed Seattle law would require the city DOT to built or repair sidewalks whenever it undertakes a major road project. (The Urbanist)
  • While other cities are decriminalizing jaywalking, one Charlotte suburb has just started handing out $30 tickets. (WCCB)
  • Kansas City spent 25,000 taxpayer dollars on a Barbie-themed streetcar that isn't even an ad for the movie. Whether it served the intended purpose of boosting ridership is unclear. (KCUR)

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