Thursday’s Headlines

  • Um, ya think? Congestion pricing could help Americans break their addiction to cars and raise funds for public transit. (Sierra Magazine)
  • A Vice podcast delves into Uber and Lyft’s financial losses and safety scandals since the companies went public earlier this year.
  • A San Diego congressman has introduced a bill requiring local governments that receive federal funds for transit projects to commit to building dense housing nearby. (Union-Tribune)
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is pitching an $18-billion transportation package that includes $9 billion for highway work and $6 billion to modernize the state’s fleet of trains and buses, as well as funding for bus lanes and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. (Salem News)
  • Strong support for bond referendums in Austin and Houston suggests that good public transit is becoming politically viable in purplifying Texas. (D Magazine)
  • Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (Project Q) and Seattle officials (KOMO) say those cities’ rainbow crosswalks are here to stay.
  • Philadelphia police will soon be able to access crash data from cars’ “black boxes,” which they hope will help them better understand the city’s epidemic of traffic deaths (WHYY). (What’s to “understand”? Cars are bigger than ever and drivers are more distracted than ever.)
  • University of Washington researchers showed how Seattle’s failed docked bike-share, Pronto, paved the way for the success of dockless bike-shares to come. (UW Today)
  • After three years, the North Carolina DOT is finally finishing a sidewalk along a Raleigh freeway overpass. (CBS 17)
  • An American traffic engineer would call this Zurich street a failure. And that’s the problem. (CityLab)
  • Do you have $200, live in Manhattan or California and need to get to the airport fast? As Arnold Schwarzenegger might say, “Get to da Uba choppa!” (Vogue). But commuting by helicopter is not all it’s cracked up to be (CityLab, NY Post).

Wednesday’s Headlines

  • Bike advocates often wonder why America can’t be more like the Amsterdam, and opponents often counter that Amsterdam isn’t (insert your city here). A second look at history shows that the anti-car movement in the U.S. was stronger than previously thought, even at the peak of car culture in the 1950s and ‘60s, while an enlightened Dutch government didn’t simply design bike-friendly cities — people had to demand them. (City Lab)
  • The media should stop calling bike lanes “controversial.” A third of Americans rode a bike in the past year, and many more say they would cycle if it were safer, writes Outside Magazine Bike Snob Eben Weiss.
  • Today in autonomous vehicles: A driverless shuttle is ferrying Peachtree Corners shoppers around in Gwinnett County (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Meanwhile, Uber has put self-driving cars on the road in Pittsburgh, and is hoping to do the same in Dallas (Morning News). Most driverless cars have gotten safer, but The Drive contends that Tesla’s, in particular, remain reckless.
  • In Las Vegas — where streets are built for cars, and transit and low-income neighborhoods are mainly located along wide, busy roads — drivers kill an average of 60 pedestrians a year. (Nevada Current)
  • Denver’s transit agency marks the 25th anniversary of light rail. It’s grown to eight lines since 1994 despite multiple hurdles along the way. (Denver Channel)
  • Seattle’s city-owned and privately operated monorail is one of the few transit options in the region that doesn’t accept ORCA cards, but that’s about to change. (KOMO)
  • Are Southern California and Bay Area businessmen and politicians conspiring to redirect funds for what little remains of California’s high speed rail line in the Central Valley? The Fresno Bee is asking. While abandoning the line entirely could adversely affect the Fresno area, it’s also worth asking if the money isn’t better spent elsewhere if the line won’t connect the population centers of Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Provo’s bus rapid transit line is a big success with almost 15,000 riders per day. (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Minneapolis is lowering speed limits and adding safety improvements like bump-outs and pedestrian refuges to its most dangerous streets as part of Vision Zero. (KSTP)
  • Portland has won federal approval to paint bus-only lanes red, which has proven effective in keeping car drivers out of them. (Bike Portland)
  • It’s a common turn of phrase, but one San Francisco poet/cyclist wants to know, literally, “Which Hill Will I Die On?” (Bay City Beacon)

Tuesday’s Headlines

  • Politico unearthed more evidence that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao meets far more often with people from her home state of Kentucky than other states — often at the urging of staffers working for her husband, Kentucky Senator and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • A landmark study by the L.A. Metro found that women use transit more often than men, name safety as the main barrier to riding transit and have a hard time maneuvering with children in tow, among many other findings. (Metro Magazine)
  • We were happy to see The New York Times followed our story last week about the Trump administration’s crackdown on rainbow crosswalks. The Times story had a link to Streetsblog, but Forbes did not.
  • Pinellas County, Florida has a $400-million transportation wish list, including money for new transit lines, crosswalks and filling sidewalk gaps. While many officials are leaning toward asking voters to approve a sales tax to pay for the projects, a gas tax or property tax hike is also on the table. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Richmond’s new transit chief has a five-point plan to boost ridership. (NBC 12)
  • An experimental on-demand microtransit system in Kansas City that costs just $1.50 per ride has been a big success. (Star)
  • A judge has nixed Nashville Mayor David Briley’s plan to privatize city parking — for now. (WSMV)
  • Activists marched down the Atlanta Beltline last weekend demanding that transit officials keep their promise to build light rail along the walking and biking trail (AJC). In Austin, dozens of people marched to remember a teenager who was killed by a driver while walking (American-Statesman).
  • Amsterdam is combining carrots (all-night transit on weekends, and no fares for kids) and sticks (narrowing streets, taking away parking) in an effort to go car-free. The key is the “knip,” or “cut,” a barrier that closes off a street to cut-through traffic but still allows it to be accessed. (City Lab)
  • Meet the Minnesota Twins pitcher who was driving for Uber last spring (USA Today). The guy was just trying to catch a break, but, of course, Yankees fans used it against him (NY Post).

Monday’s Headlines

  • Drivers are killing more pedestrians than ever, and The Guardian wonders if self-driving cars could be a solution. The answer, according to a New York Times columnist, is not smarter cars, but fewer cars.
  • After years of decline, transit ridership ticked up nationally in 2018. Cities that posted gains included Washington, D.C., New York City, Seattle, Sacramento, Denver, Minneapolis, Atlanta and Boston. (Washington Post)
  • Uber and Lyft should start treating their drivers better, regardless of whether they classify them as employees. (Forbes)
  • A main thoroughfare in Manhattan has been wrested back from cars to make a crosstown busway (Streetsblog NYC), but Curbed takes it a step further, calling for forbidding cars on the entire island of Manhattan.
  • Viral photos of a man falling out of a wheelchair are drawing attention to the deplorable condition of Los Angeles sidewalks. (L.A. Times)
  • Denver transit riders are frustrated because a driver shortage has forced the Regional  Transportation District to cancel 200 light rail trips in the past two weeks. (CBS Denver)
  • Philadelphia has a new public database that lets people track where fatal crashes occur. (Philly Mag)
  • Richmond is so stoked about its increase in bus ridership that it’s offering tips. (NBC12)
  • Seattle’s Sound Transit is now offering parking permits to solo drivers, in addition to carpoolers (KIRO). Meanwhile, there’s an apparent racial bias in fare evasion arrests (Seattle Times).
  • A new mural aims to raise awareness of San Antonio’s Vision Zero program. On average, 158 people a year die on San Antonio streets. (Fox San Antonio)
  • We may have reached peak “Uber for _____” with SpotOn, a ride-hailing service for dogs. (Yahoo Finance)
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