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Thursday’s Headlines Are Down but Not Out

The decades-long decline in American cities' air pollution is slowing down. But why? Plus, autonomous vehicles' latest foibles and more headlines.

12:01 AM EDT on October 19, 2023

Metro Library, CC|

Smog over Los Angeles.

  • Due to stricter federal regulations, air pollution in U.S. cities has been falling for decades, but that decline is slowing, and researchers aren't sure why. (Bloomberg)
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating GM's Cruise division over reports that its autonomous vehicles don't know how to act around pedestrians (AP). In related news, a rogue robotaxi in San Francisco was caught on video driving down a footpath as a pedestrian cried, "I don't want to be a beta tester!" (Jalopnik)
  • The Guardian calls for a federal ban on cars turning right on red to combat the rise in pedestrian deaths.
  • In an interview with the New York Times, Ford CEO Bill Ford said red states are politicizing electric vehicles, comparing it to the COVID vaccine. He also discussed the United Auto Workers strike.
  • Tesla is urging the NHTSA to adopt stricter fuel efficiency standards, with other automakers claiming they can't meet them. (Reuters)
  • The Stranger takes a deep dive into how a 30-year-old Seattle planning document pitted urban residents against car-loving suburbanites and still shapes the city, for better or worse.
  • Now that car manufacturing jobs have dried up and the football team moved to downtown Detroit, nearby Pontiac is trying to revitalize itself as the Motor City has done. (Washington Post)
  • An Albuquerque report cites lack of funding for the city's lack of progress on Vision Zero (KRQE). In Milwaukee, any progress on reducing speeds seems to be blunted by the increasingly heavier vehicles on the road (WUWM)
  • Satisfaction with Denver transit increased by double digits since the Regional Transportation District stepped up law enforcement, according to an RTD survey. (KDVR)
  • Black Philadelphians face longer commutes than white residents, according to a Federal Reserve Bank study. (Inquirer)
  • The D.C. Metro was one of the first transit systems built with disabled riders in mind. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • Virginia's Hampton Roads Transit is seeking public input as it ponders bus rapid transit and light rail. (Pilot)
  • Mumbai is a global example for how to roll out and manage a fleet of zero-emissions buses. (The City Fix)

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