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Wednesday’s Headlines About the Biggest Boondoggles

Why are we still expanding highways in the year of our lord, 2023?

12:31 AM EST on November 15, 2023

Wayne Hsieh|

U.S. PIRG listed replacing the Interstate Bridge over the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington as one of its 2023 boondoggles.

  • U.S. PIRG released its annual list of highway boondoggles, including several projects being pushed forward by the Biden administration's infrastructure act. An ongoing Streetsblog series breaks down each project in-depth.
  • The Biden administration's "fix it first" infrastructure philosophy primarily benefits whiter, rural states because it pays to maintain roads that, under a more equitable approach, would never have been built in the first place, Eno Center for Transportation argues.
  • Rather than the proven approach of designing safer streets, state officials are leaning on police and automated traffic enforcement to curb rising road deaths. Both pose problems, like disproportionately punishing low-income drivers. (Stateline)
  • Various billionaires' plans to build "smart cities" from scratch haven't gone anywhere. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • Car dealers really do not want to sell electric vehicles. (Clean Technica)
  • Los Angeles is bracing for a traffic nightmare — when is L.A. traffic not a nightmare? — after arson shut down a portion of I-10 (City Lab), However, when such things happen, people generally figure out other ways to get around. Meanwhile, apparently setting freeways on fire is the best way to convince L.A. to boost transit service.
  • Miami's new bus routes prioritize connecting people and jobs. (Human Transit)
  • Houston is planning to build 2,000 new bus shelters over the next five years. (Mass Transit)
  • Decatur, Georgia is a pedestrian-friendly town, but drivers injured four people in four separate crashes there in one day. Authorities blamed distracted driving. (AJC)
  • Seattle Transit Blog took a deep dive into the West Seattle light rail line.
  • British Columbia is considering a bill to provide 100,000 new homes near transit stations. (CBC)
  • Overnight trains are making a comeback in Europe as an alternative to flights. (CNN)

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