Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Realizing they need density to support public transit, make housing more affordable and prevent climate change, a number of cities are rethinking the idea of single-family zoning. (NY Times)
  • Pedestrian deaths rose by 35 percent between 2008 and 2017, according to Smart Growth America’s latest Dangerous by Design report. Things got even worse for cyclists and pedestrians in 2018, according to new federal data (Streetsblog).
  • Quoting Streetsblog, D Magazine takes Texans to task for accepting over 3,600 traffic deaths a year as merely the cost of doing business. The Houston Chronicle wants to end pedestrian deaths in a city where drivers kill more than 600 people each year (New York City, with four times more people, had one-third that number of road fatalities last year). In San Antonio, more than 100 people gathered to discuss the city’s failing Vision Zero program (Rivard Report).
  • New York is extending its year-old freeze on the number of Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. The cap has already helped boost drivers’ wages, and officials hope it will also reduce the amount of time they spend cruising in empty cars. Almost a third of Manhattan traffic is ride-hail vehicles. (Wired)
  • The Philadelphia City Council approved a record-breaking nine new bike lanes last week, part of a push to create 20 miles of protected bike lanes by 2020. The city currently only has four. (Philly Mag)
  • Cambridge, Mass. — which recently became the first U.S. city to mandate separated bike lanes when roads are reconstructed — is updating its bike master plan and adding bike lanes even where road work isn’t scheduled. (Wicked Local)
  • Spokane is ditching plans for light rail in favor of bus rapid transit. (KREM)
  • Winston-Salem officials have decided a streetcar connecting two universities is too expensive, and will convert an old rail line into a greenway instead. (Journal)
  • Jackson, Miss., residents can ride the bus for free on “Try Transit” day Thursday (WLBT). The El Paso streetcar is free all summer if riders download an app (KFOX).
  • Remember that time Baltimore was going to get a subway? (City Lab)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Better public transit doesn’t just provide more transportation options — it might be a hack to actually get Americans to exercise. (Time)
  • Uber and Lyft are pulling out the big guns to oppose a California bill that would grant drivers labor rights (City Lab). And no wonder: One report estimates that making drivers employees, rather than independent contractors, would cost the companies — which are hugely unprofitable already — $790 million a year combined (Quartz).
  • Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8 is by far the deadliest district for pedestrians and cyclists, but its representative on the city council is opposed to protected bike lanes on one particularly dangerous street. (Curbed)
  • The two finalists for Metro Transit police chief in the Twin Cities discuss how they’d deal with homelessness, fare evasion and diversity in the police force. (MinnPost)
  • The Albuquerque Journal endorses the city’s new Complete Streets policy.
  • St. Petersburg Beach is fighting a plan to run bus rapid transit between the beach and downtown St. Petersburg. (Florida Politics)
  • An Oklahoma City councilman says the city’s next round of sales tax-funded capital projects should focus on transit. (Oklahoman)
  • Bergen County, N.J., is running buses every 70 seconds during rush hour, and they’re still overflowing. A driver shortage and lack of space at the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan are to blame. (NJTV)
  • Two Normal, Ill., council members used a wheelchair for a day to see what disabled residents would have to go through if a bus route is eliminated. (WJBC)
  • Seattle is adding more bike parking to help with the problem of renters leaving dockless bikes blocking the sidewalk. (KOMO)
  • London’s cycling commissioner called bike lanes that are merely painted a waste (The Guardian) and excoriated a London neighborhood that rejected a plan for a protected cycle track (Forbes).
  • Comedian Bill Maher had a typically questionable putdown for President Trump over his failure to act on infrastructure. (Deadline)

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Walmart stores’ vast acreage of parking is mostly a waste of space, but their lots do make good places to put charging stations for electric cars. (Curbed)
  • Gas taxes are paid by those who use roads, and good roads are good for business, so gas taxes should appeal to Republicans. But apparently antipathy toward hybrid and electric vehicles outweighs that. (Urban Milwaukee)
  • Dallas Magazine predicts that e-scooters are here to stay. A Forbes contributor predicts that sensible regulation will result in a massive surge in e-scooter use. 
  • The Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority approved a timeline for a $2.7-billion expansion. The region will get two new bus rapid transit lines by 2025, but light rail will have to wait until 2040. (AJC)
  • Cyclists’ outrage at cutbacks to Seattle’s plans for future bike lanes has resulted in only minor tweaks by the city. (Seattle Times)
  • The Federal Transit Administration committed $74 million to Minneapolis’ Orange Line bus rapid transit. (WCCO)
  • Honolulu’s car culture makes it a scary place for people on foot. (Civil Beat)
  • San Francisco won’t issue permits to any new bike-shares until a lawsuit filed by Lyft, which claims it has exclusive rights, is resolved. (Examiner)
  • Uber and Lyft rides in Massachusetts rose 25 percent, to 81 million, between 2017 and 2018. (Boston Globe)
  • As if it were possible to do such a thing to a computer, Uber is complaining that people are “bullying” its self-driving cars. (Business Insider)
  • Happy belated Father’s Day! A New York City dad writes in Outside about how he rides his bike with his son on the sidewalk and resents having to do it. Next year, instead of a tie, how about better bike infrastructure?
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