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Today's Headlines

Wednesday’s Headlines Tax the Rich

Only the wealthy can really afford today's mega-SUVs — and they're not paying for their impacts.

12:01 AM EDT on October 18, 2023

  • SUVs are getting so big that, even with improving efficiency, the average new internal combustion vehicle pollutes more than one purchased 10 years ago, according to a climate group's study that supports taxing vehicles by weight. And since only the wealthy can afford to buy — and fuel — these ultra-heavy SUVs, the rich are mostly responsible. (The Guardian)
  • Republican states are slapping new fees on electric vehicles to supplement declining gas tax revenue, but critics say the new fees are more about the culture war than funding transportation. (Washington Post)
  • When using AI for transportation planning decisions, officials should proceed carefully and make sure a person is ultimately in charge. (Route Fifty)
  • Waymo's driverless vehicles are using LED displays and recorded messages to communicate their intentions to pedestrians (The Verge). But a longtime critic of Tesla's self-driving technology has now concluded that Waymo and Cruise vehicles are also more like to get into crashes than those with human drivers (Autoblog).
  • A law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom allows Los Angeles, San Francisco, and four other nearby cities to use cameras to catch speeding drivers. (New York Times)
  • Utah officials unveiled hundreds of transportation projects planned for now to 2050, including 4,700 miles of walking and biking trails, and a controversial gondola. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The mayors of Austin and San Antonio are exploring passenger rail between the two cities. (KXAN)
  • A task force appointed by the Minnesota legislature is considering taking Metro Transit away from the Twin Cities' Met Council and making it independent. (MinnPost)
  • Contrary to popular belief, most vendors at Seattle's popular Pike Place Market aren't opposed to pedestrianizing the area. (The Urbanist)
  • Richmond's transit agency has approved a north-south bus rapid transit to complement east-west BRT. (Times-Dispatch)
  • A Bay Area real estate company is tearing down a grocery store and turning it into parking for a nearby mall. (SFGate)
  • Mobility and environmental activists are worried about bikelash from newly elected conservative governments in Europe, but on the other hand center-right politicians aren't offering much of a vision beyond ongoing traffic jams. (Politico EU)

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