Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Even in car-happy California, people looking for housing in Los Angeles increasingly want to live near transit — which is reflected in real estate listings that emphasize proximity to Metrolink rail and subway stops. (Housing Wire)
  • Younger Republicans are breaking with President Trump over climate change. Most believe that the climate is already changing, and less than half agree with the GOP’s “drill, baby, drill” mantra. (The Guardian)
  • Uber says it found and fixed a similar brake problem that caused Lyft to pull e-bikes from several cities earlier this week. Both companies’ bikes use brakes from the same Japanese company, Shimano. (Washington Post)
  • President Trump and Democratic leaders are planning to sit down yet again to talk infrastructure. It remains doubtful that a gas-tax hike could pass, but some congressmen are pushing a vehicle-mile fee as an alternative. (The Hill, Politico)
  • Greater Greater Washington has an easy way to keep bike tires from getting caught in streetcar tracks. It’s called a flange filler, and it’s malleable enough for streetcars to move along the track, but sturdy enough for bikes to go over it.
  • Phoenix’s first light-rail stop designed specifically for disabled riders opens this week, and could be a model nationwide. (12 News)
  • A major Minneapolis thoroughfare, Hennepin Avenue, is getting protected bike lanes and wider sidewalks. (Star Tribune)
  • The Boston area’s ValleyBike Share no longer takes gift cards because they make it impossible to figure out who damaged a bike. (MassLive)
  • Denver police say they’re re-emphasizing traffic enforcement as traffic deaths are on pace to exceed 2018. But their hands are somewhat tied, because enforcement cameras aren’t allowed on state highways. (Denverite)
  • San Diego is rolling out parking spots for e-scooters, hoping they’ll reduce sidewalk clutter. (Fox 5)
  • European researchers envision a system of electric autonomous vehicles that pick people up, link up into high-speed, train-like “platoons,” then pull off to drop off their passengers. (Architect’s Newspaper) Maybe they’ve seen “Minority Report” one too many times.

Tuesday’s Headlines

  • Traffic fumes cause as many as 4 million cases of asthma a year among kids, according to a new study. Experts hope the study will spur cities to curb air pollution by improving transit, replacing bus fleets and incentivizing electric vehicles. (QZ)
  • More Uber IPO hot takes: Uber spends a big chunk of its IPO filing talking about how dangerous bikes and scooters are, yet throws good money after bad on jet packs (Forbes). It’s essentially a charity where tech billionaires subsidize taxi rides for young professionals, and cities could destroy it they want to — but it’s so unprofitable, that might not be necessary (NY Mag).
  • But investors seem to like what they see, at least compared to Lyft, whose stock has taken a hit since Uber filed for its IPO. (CNBC, Market Watch)
  • Phoenix’s South Central light rail line has secured a $500-million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (Fox 10). Meanwhile, a judge threw out a challenge to a petition putting Phoenix light rail back on the ballot (Arizona Republic).
  • Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is stepping up pedestrian safety efforts after a hit-and-run driver killed a man in a wheelchair and a woman who was helping him cross the street. (Chronicle)
  • About 100 cyclists slowed rush-hour traffic to a crawl on Atlanta’s DeKalb Avenue in response to news that the city won’t add bike lanes to the busy street. (WSB-TV)
  • The Memphis Flyer talks with the executive director of Explore Bike Share about the service’s new pricing plan.
  • More on Lyft pulling e-bikes from three cities over safety concerns (StreetsblogNYC, WTOP). The same brake problem was reported in Atlanta in February (Curbed).
  • Auckland, New Zealand has discovered the trick to boosting transit ridership: More bus routes, more frequent service and free transfers. Who knew? (Hint: Everyone.) (Fast Company)
  • Anybody who drives — let alone rides a bike — ought to know that drivers are the absolute worst. (Outside)

Monday’s Headlines

  • Uber filed paperwork for its long-awaited initial public stock offering. Despite the company’s claims that it complements transit, the IPO reveals what we’ve suspected all along: It’s competing with public transportation. The goal is to operate at a loss until it achieves dominance, then jack up prices. (Jalopnik)
  • More on the Uber IPO: The company lost $1.8 billion on $11.3 billion in revenue last year, and growth is beginning to slow (NY Times). That’s less of a loss than in 2017, but revenue growth also fell by half (Wired). Its biggest vulnerability may be that a quarter of its rides came from just five cities: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Sao Paulo (Slate). The losses make Uber seem like an essential service investors want to exist, rather than a typical business that’s forced to turn a profit, says City Lab. Some of those losses are self-inflicted, for example spending nearly half a billion on pie-in-the-sky autonomous- and flying-car research (Tech Crunch).
  • Meanwhile, competitor Lyft is partnering with a nonprofit to invest $50 million in parks and transit. (Curbed)
  • Lyft-owned Citi Bike, Capital Bike Share and the Bay Area’s Go-Bike had to ground their entire e-bike fleets because of a front brake problem, a story broken by our StreetsblogNYC colleagues.
  • Las Vegas officials have opted for bus rapid transit over light rail for a transit line from downtown along the Strip to the airport, mainly because it’s only a third of the cost. However, the vast majority of citizens who commented on the project preferred rail. (Nevada Current)
  • Although Kansas City missed out on a federal grant to extend its streetcar this year, officials are hopeful they’ll get ’em next time. (Star)
  • Honolulu will also have to wait another year for federal funding for a light-rail line. (Civil Beat)
  • After a successful pilot program, San Francisco is considering doubling the number of e-scooters allowed in the city. (Chronicle)
  • Missouri is one of just two states that hasn’t fully banned texting while driving, but that could change soon. (KROG)
  • A bill to let Seattle install cameras to catch drivers blocking intersections and bike lanes has a second life. (KIRO)
  • An SUV driver who ran over two pedestrians has residents in Washington’s Tri-Cities area talking about how streets are designed for drivers’ convenience. (KEPR)
  • A Washington, D.C. elementary school has a new “traffic park” where kids can ride bikes and play on miniature city streets. (WAMU)

Friday’s Headlines

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  • All over the country, bike-share companies are pulling out of cities or switching their focus to e-scooters. (Smart Cities Dive) But not everywhere: Vancouver is among the cities where e-bikes are growing in popularity (Sun); Ann Arbor, Michigan, is about to start a program (MLive); and in Houston, bike-share ridership is up 65 percent this year. (Public Media)
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts’s new law mandating protected bike lanes on every street when they’re reconstructed is bikelash-proof, and other cities should copy it. (City Lab) And that applies to St. Petersburg, Florida, where car-loving residents are waging war against Complete Streets. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • President Trump’s new Federal Highway Administration chief, Nicole Nason, tried to delay EPA regulations on greenhouse gas emissions when she worked for George W. Bush. (E&E News)
  • The Federal Transit Administration signaled it’s likely to fund Sound Transit’s Federal Way light rail extension in the Seattle area. (Kent Recorder) The FTA also funded bus rapid transit in Reno, Nevada (News 4) but not a Kansas City streetcar extension. (KMBC)
  • San Jose’s Valley Transportation Authority is stuck in a death spiral where ridership loss leads to service cuts leads to more lost riders. (Mercury News)
  • New Orleans’s bike master plan, due this summer, could include everything from protected “bike boulevards” to more racks around the city. (The Advocate)
  • Entitled, intoxicated or both? A Houston woman was charged with DWI after driving her Escalade along passenger rail tracks. (Click 2 Houston)
  • Try doing this on Amtrak.

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Pedestrian deaths are at a 30-year high because drivers are more distracted than ever. Almost half of drivers are “phone addicts” who are more dangerous on the road than drunk drivers. (Fast Company)
  • Self-driving vehicles are a delusion that, in 50 years, will be looked upon as a “futile, antisocial endeavor,” an expert on artificial intelligence writes in Vox.
  • Medium-sized cities like Nashville are mostly over-paved and car-centric. Here are some of the little things they can do to improve their transportation systems, without breaking the bank on infrastructure. (Mobility Lab)
  • An $88-million Federal Transit Administration Grant will pay to upgrade a bus rapid transit line in Portland (Oregonian). In addition, Spokane won a $52 million federal grant for its first BRT line (Spokesman Review). But the paper also reports that the Washington state government is spending almost $200 million on a new freeway.
  • The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a bill requiring Uber and Lyft drivers to display illuminated signs in their vehicles after a college student who mistakenly getting into the wrong car was murdered. (The State)
  • Since it opened in 2007, Charlotte’s Blue Line has drawn 58 million riders and $3.5 billion in development — a major success that proved transit doubters wrong. (Agenda)
  • Ohio is boosting state funding for transit by nearly $40 million, but that won’t be enough to fix Cincinnati’s struggling system. (WCPO)
  • Los Angeles will create permanent memorials to cyclists killed by drivers — “a place where the realism of death hits you,” as one bike advocate put it — as part of its Vision Zero initiative. (Curbed)
  • Australia is spending $500 million on parking near train stations, but The Conversation points out that park-and-ride lots waste land and do little to boost transit ridership, and says there are better ways to spend the money, like buses connecting universities to city centers.
  • If Duke University killed the Durham-Orange light rail line and GoTriangle said it had no pulse, the Durham County Commission just took it off life support. (INDY Week)

Wednesday’s Headlines

  • A California law that would aim to fix the state’s housing crisis by banning single-family zoning near transit, job centers and schools is getting bashed by suburbanites and low-income city dwellers who fear displacement. But the bill still has stronger support than a previous effort to encourage high-density development around transit. (City Lab)
  • Houston Metro should nix plans for one of two light-rail lines to the airport and focus on service in neighborhoods instead, opines the Chronicle.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wants to restore local governments’ ability to use eminent domain for walking and biking trails, which Republicans prohibited in 2017. (CBS 58)
  • The director of Walk Bike Nashville says the city needs a designated transportation department. (Tennessean)
  • New Orleans has scheduled a series of seven meetings to discuss bike safety as the city prepares to embark on a $2-billion infrastructure improvement program. (The Advocate)
  • Northern Virginia is asking for input on a menu of 32 bike and transit projects that could be funded with I-66 toll revenue. (Greater Greater Washington)
  • With Seattle scaling back bike infrastructure construction, a KUOW podcast explores how to commute by bike in a town that’s light on lanes.
  • A San Diego man who is in a wheelchair since he rode his bike into an open construction trench has won a $20 million settlement. The lawsuit alleged that the city, the construction company and the engineering firm were negligent. (NBC 7)
  • A construction crew uncovered an old streetcar line beneath an Akron, Ohio, road. As in many cities, the streetcar system was built in the late 19th century, but replaced by buses in the mid-20th century during a “modernization” program. (Beacon)
  • Sidewalk Labs is behind schedule on a “smart neighborhood” in Toronto as residents continue to raise concerns about the plan. (Engadget)
  • It looked like President Trump was taking notes during a meeting on infrastructure last year, but instead he was jotting down new insults to hurl at “Sloppy” Steve Bannon. (Talking Points Memo)
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