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Friday’s Headlines Go Bankrupt

America's biggest e-scooter brand is bankrupt — and some are wondering what will happen to the people who keep their fleets running.

12:01 AM EST on December 22, 2023

Photo courtesy of Bird.

  • E-scooter company Bird has filed for bankruptcy. (New York Times) But what will become of the already-vulnerable contractors who manage its fleet? (Wired)
  • A recent Johns Hopkins study found that narrowing lanes to force drivers to slow down is safer than the conventional wisdom that wide, safe roads allow for driver error (Forbes, Streetsblog USA). And the more traffic engineers adopt that mindset, the better (CNU Public Square).
  • The latest edition of the all-important, but boringly named, federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices does swing the pendulum back toward human beings' safety rather than moving cars quickly (Route Fifty), but not far enough, according to Transportation for America.
  • Reuters published a long investigative piece revealing that Tesla knew its cars were breaking down at very low mileage, but it put the blame for flawed parts' failure on the cars' drivers instead.
  • Cities all over the country are lowering speed limits, which not only makes streets safer, but helps the climate by encouraging walking and biking. (Yale Climate Connections)
  • The U.S. DOT is requiring transit agencies to map out steps for protecting their employees from violence. (The Hill)
  • San Francisco pledged to end traffic deaths by 2024, but has failed to make a dent since adopting Vision Zero in 2014. (Standard)
  • Washington, D.C. has struggled to stop speeding and reckless drivers despite its Vision Zero initiative, resulting in a 16-year high of traffic deaths. (WaPost)
  • The D.C. Metro's general manager is calling for a regional tax to permanently fund the transit agency, which is facing a $750 million budget shortfall (NBC Washington). Meanwhile, U.S. senators from Maryland and Virginia are pushing for federal funding (Transportation Today).
  • Proterra's bankruptcy and the difficulty of relying on batteries in subzero temperatures are hampering the Twin Cities' efforts to convert to a zero-emissions bus fleet. (MinnPost)
  • Bridge Detroit convened a focus group to talk about the city's transit challenges.
  • New Orleans' Blue Krewe bikeshare surpassed 300,000 rides in 2023. (Biz New Orleans)
  • Netflix's hit movie "Leave Everything Behind" hits a bit too close to home with its fleet of kamikaze Teslas. (Futurism)

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