New York Magazine thinks that Uber, which has been hemorrhaging money for nine years, is going under. Streetsblog would like to avoid the same fate — and just like Uber drivers, we accept tips! Our annual December donation drive is real. And it’s spectacular.
Now, the news:
- Climate change has made it more urgent than ever to get people out of their cars. Taking the “road diet” concept one step further, a former D.C. and Chicago DOT chief says the easiest way to do that in the short term is create “slow lanes” that prioritize non-car vehicles. (Forbes)
- A new transportation plan for Atlanta aims to move the notoriously traffic-choked city away from automobiles. The questions, as always, are: Will city officials stick with it? How many projects can they afford to build, and how will they be chosen? (Curbed) Meanwhile, the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority has approved a commuter rail line and bus rapid transit in suburban Clayton County, which joined MARTA in 2014, but it will be a while before the rail materializes. (Saporta Report)
- Plans for light rail between Durham and Orange, N.C., continue to fall apart. First Duke University threatened to pull out, and now the head of the local performing arts center opposes closing a street for a railroad crossing, saying it would block vehicular and pedestrian traffic. (Herald Sun) On the bright side, Chapel Hill approved an agreement to vote the $2.5-billion project forward. (CBS 17)
- A longtime associate of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin has received a $720,000 no-bid contract from the city to consult on light rail expansion. (Seattle Times)
- Brace yourselves, winter is coming — which means Cincinnati’s streetcar is about to start breaking down. This year, the city is making preparations to ensure it can operate in cold weather. (WCPO)
- Tulsa is lobbying the Oklahoma state government to increase funding for transit. (KWGS)
- New Orleans has replaced mandatory bike registration with a voluntary program that could help reunite stolen bikes with their owners. (Times-Picayune)
- Digital Trends has the most in-depth story we’ve seen yet on Quayside, Google’s planned “smart neighborhood” in Toronto.
- Bike-share roundup: Honolulu adds 33 new stations. (Star-Advertiser) Waco, Texas, adds scooters. (KCEN) Memphis’s boasts 25,000 trips in six months. (Flyer) Baton Rouge, La.’s will launch on St. Patrick’s Day. (Advocate)
Streetsblog’s annual December donation drive is ongoing. We need your help to continue bringing you the day’s transportation top headlines, great stories, op-eds and more. Give ’til it hurts!
On to the headlines:
- Lots of news out of Tampa recently: The Tampa Bay Times runs down the 11 most dangerous intersections for people on bikes, and — get this — most of them are in areas where many people can’t afford cars. One mayoral candidate wants to use the city’s share of a recently approved sales tax to extend a streetcar line. (Florida Politics) And WFTS reports on Tampa’s Critical Mass rides and a viral Facebook post asking for more sidewalks.
- With Lyft now the nation’s largest e-scooter rental provider, Uber is looking to acquire either Bird or Lime. It already owns a minority share in the latter. (The Verge)
- Manufacturers are launching an ad campaign to urge Democrats and Republicans to work together on infrastructure in 2019. (Bloomberg)
- In response to Albuquerque drivers killing 67 pedestrians so far this year, police are cracking down, not on drivers, but on people crossing outside a crosswalk — even at intersections where there are no crosswalks. (KOAT)
- San Diego politician and talk-show host Carl DeMaio — one of the most vocal critics of California’s recent gas-tax hike — is gathering signatures to put ending state funding for high-speed rail on the ballot in 2020. (Curbed)
- After a bumpy start, Pittsburgh’s bike-share is expanding next spring to 175 stations and 750 bikes. (Post-Gazette)
- Acknowledging that bike and pedestrian interests are often intertwined, the Savannah (Ga.) Bicycle Coalition has changed its name to BikeWalk Savannah to better reflect its mission of safer streets for all users. (Connect Savannah)
- West Palm Beach, Fla. (WPTV) and Macon, Ga. (NBC 41) are the latest cities to embrace Vision Zero.
Streetsblog’s annual December donation drive is ongoing. Take all that money you’re saving by not making car payments or paying for gas or insurance and give it us (please!) so we can continue to give you the day’s top headlines, great stories, op-eds and more.
For now, though, the news:
- Coloradans probably doomed themselves to a future of more traffic congestion when they rejected two referendums to fund road improvements and mass transit. Even with progressives now controlling the state government, there’s little appetite to shift funds away from health care or education to infrastructure, and voters made it clear they’re not interested in raising taxes or going into debt. (Watchdog)
- But least one minor project in Colorado is moving forward: The Denver Regional Council has approved funding for three bus lanes between Boulder and Longmont. (Daily Camera)
- Senate Republicans are making a push during this month’s lame-duck session to ease restrictions on self-driving cars. (The Verge) While that’s a bad idea, the bill would also require the feds to collect crash data — which is something autonomous vehicle companies ought to be sharing already, says Tech Crunch.
- Consider us still skeptical, but Curbed is sold on Sidewalk Labs’ plan for Quayside, its “smart neighborhood” in Toronto, praising its walkability, transit access, affordable housing and sustainability — even its commitment to data protection, which is a concern given that Sidewalk Labs is owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet.
- The Federal Transit Administration has signed off on Milwaukee’s first bus rapid transit line, part of a wave of grants that have finally crashed. (Daily Reporter)
- The Twin Cities’ Metropolitan Council is accepting public comment on a proposed Seventh Avenue streetcar in St. Paul. (Pioneer Press)
- Conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch are launching an ad campaign at gas stations in an effort to squelch a gas-tax hike in Louisiana. (WBRZ)
- The company that contracts with Cincinnati Metro to provide transit service for the disabled agreed to a new contract that will pay employees up to $22 an hour. (Enquirer)
- New York City set a minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers at $17.22 per hour on Tuesday. (amNY)
- Will Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin side with cars or people on 35th Avenue? (The Stranger)
Streetsblog’s annual December donation drive continues — so we’ll start by asking for a small contribution, but also give you something in return: Today’s headlines!
Enjoy all the news:
- Big idea of the day: With today’s plethora of transportation options — transit, ride-hailing, bike shares, etc. — all modes should be overseen by one regional transportation authority, rather than the Balkanized system most cities have now. (City Lab)
- Officials broke ground Friday on the Twin Cities’ Southwest Light Rail project, a 14-mile extension of the Green Line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul that will serve several suburban communities. (WCCO)
- As Duke University dithers on whether to pull out of a Research Triangle, N.C., light rail project, the heads of the project and the local housing authority penned a Herald Sun column on the importance of light rail to the city’s affordable housing. More than 1,000 public housing units are within a short walk of a proposed light rail station, offering those residents access to jobs and education opportunities.
- This may come as a shock to New Yorkers, but Philadelphia officials recently visited the Big Apple to find out why its streets are so safe and uncongested. In particular, Philly is looking to replicate NYC’s 3,400-strong traffic enforcement bureau — except, of course, the part where officers are constantly illegally parked, we hope. (Inquirer)
- The Stranger says Seattle should ban cars from its frustratingly slow streetcar’s tracks to speed things up a bit.
- Jacksonville’s third bus rapid transit line started running Monday — this one connecting the city to nearby beaches. (WOKV)
- Streetsblog already covered it, but it bears repeating: Half of all parcels in downtown Detroit are surface parking lots, far more than most cities with good transit, and far more than a city that needs to wean itself off the automobile should have. The Free Press delves into who owns them — and how the money they make off them warps planning and development decisions.
- Another ICYMI: As covered by Streetsblog here and here, the Long Beach Post reports that people are driving too much for California to reach its 2030 climate change goals.
- A powerful real estate firm is quietly lobbying to have London’s flagship bike superhighway ripped up. (The Guardian)
- We advocate flushing parking down the toilet, but we didn’t know Santa Fe, N.M., would take us literally. Santa Fe is planning to build 40 public restrooms on the site of a city-owned parking lot. (New Mexican)