Friday’s Headlines

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  • According to the latest Census figures, the number of Americans who bike to work fell by 3 percent from 2016 to 2017. Experts blamed a lack of safe and connected bike infrastructure, although your mileage may vary depending on where you live: Some cities, like Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., saw an increase in bike commuting. Others, including Seattle and San Francisco, saw it tumble. (USA Today)
  • Bike-shares are suffering from a persistent perception that they don’t serve low-income neighborhoods. (Smart Cities Dive)
  • New York’s plan to shut down a critical subway line for 15 months starting in April was just jettisoned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, despite three years of planning for this vital infrastructure fix. (StreetsblogNYC)
  • Phoenix businesses have been whining for some time that light rail expansion will, um, drive away customers, but here’s a reminder that transit equals jobs: A construction contractors’ group has filed a lawsuit seeking to stop rail opponents from putting a repeal of future projects on the ballot. (Arizona Republic)
  • The average Atlanta worker will spend 484 days and $183,000 commuting in a car over his or her career — the most of any American city. (AJC)
  • Uber drivers in Massachusetts have joined their counterparts in California, London and elsewhere in filing a lawsuit alleging the company is skirting federal minimum-wage and overtime rules. (Boston Herald)
  • The supermarket chain Kroger — not Uber, Lyft or Tesla — might be the first company to put autonomous vehicles on the road. (Forbes)
  • Boston’s transit agency is bringing back a popular $10 all-you-can-ride weekend fare. (Globe)
  • Buffalo officials have bowed to backlash (parklash?) over the removal of free parking on nights and weekends. (News)
  • Drivers keep parking in San Diego’s new bike lanes. (KPBS)
  • More cities will go car-free, plus 18 other experts’ predictions for the next 15 years. (Next City)

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • After an uptick in traffic deaths, the Washington Post editorial board called on, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration to get serious about Vision Zero.
  • Seventy years of taxpayer-subsidized, auto-centric sprawl have created a nation of clogged highways, urban decay, segregated neighborhoods, obesity, loneliness, isolation and ugliness. (AMP)
  • Houston keeps on building freeways, freeways and more freeways, and by 2020 they’ll include special lanes for autonomous vehicles, according to the founder of a conservative think tank. (Chronicle)
  • Although Gwinnett County has yet to formally join the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority after decades of resistance — a referendum is scheduled for March — the suburban county has already purchased land for its first MARTA train station. (AJC)
  • Officials in Fort Worth, Texas (Star-Telegram) and Spokane, Wash. (Spokesman-Review) are worried about the federal shutdown’s effect on transit service.
  • Mobility Lab’s top five articles of 2018 covered Danish biking habits, transit in pop culture, how people make transportation choices, demolishing freeways and a bus redesign in Seoul.
  • Seattle will add 800 new bike racks in 2019. (KIRO)
  • The Washington Post offers 11 ways to solve climate change — but the long read is being slammed for ignoring the biggest positive change: transit! (WashPo)
  • Oslo, Norway, is the latest city to restrict cars in the city center, and much like smoking inside, the New York Times suggests we’ll look back and wonder why it was ever allowed in the first place. Our friends at Streetsblog NYC offered a look back at the good ol’ days before on-street car storage.
  • ICYMI: Frustrated with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s trains, a group of Boston residents formed a group called TransitMatters to push for improvements — and it’s working. (Politico Magazine)
  • A Cincinnati driver was charged with aggravated vehicular assault and leaving the scene after jumping the curb and hitting a 2-year-old in a stroller, putting the boy in a coma. (WLWT)

Wednesday’s Headlines: The ‘ICYMI’ Edition

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Welcome to 2019. But before we start the year, let’s review a few stories you might have missed in the waning days of 2018:

  • The New York Times ran a story about how bad traffic is in NYC — yet never mentioned the root cause is a pro-car political culture. In the same issue, the editorial board basically capitulated to the Yellow Vests in France on carbon taxes and climate change.
  • The Paper of Record also ran a story about how people in Arizona are pelting driverless cars with rocks and garbage. (NY Times)
  • In Pittsburgh, where state transportation officials recently allowed Uber to restart autonomous vehicle tests, the city is crafting rules requiring companies to report traffic incidents involving self-driving cars. (Post-Gazette)
  • Maryland commuters awaiting the D.C. Metro’s  Purple Line can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel. (WTOP)
  • St. Paul’s first-ever pedestrian plan keeps it simple, stupid: Build more sidewalks and do a better job of keeping them clear. (Next City)
  • A new study found that public transit is 10 times safer than driving cars, and inter-city rail is 18 times safer. (Safety and Health)
  • Charlotte is sprucing up its South End rail-trail with some colorful public art. (Observer)
  • The San Antonio Express-News endorsed Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s plan to for bus rapid transit and 40 miles of bike and scooter lanes.
  • Seattle is considering using automated cameras to catch drivers who block bus lanes. (Times)
  • New Orleans officials have a decision to make, as Connect the Crescent’s temporary bike lanes are coming to an end. (Times-Picayune)
  • Somebody turn this into a Drake meme: Four States Homepage reports that Missouri legislators want to let drivers turn left on red (gee, what could go wrong?), and according to WTOP, D.C. transportation officials want to ban right turns on red (yep).
  • Rolling coal is so 2014. (Ottawa Citizen)

Monday’s Headlines: Year-in-Review Edition

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Streetsblog hopes your holidays were as happy as ours. But before we fully drum out 2018, here are a few year-end headlines recapping 2018 and looking ahead to 2019 as we ring in the new year.

  • Tech Crunch looks back at the massive funding rounds, acquisitions and legislative battles that made 2018 the Year of the Electric Scooter.
  • E-scooters: Threat or menace? (Forbes)
  • San Francisco’s goal of zero traffic deaths by 2024 is slipping away. Drivers killed 22 people in 2018, four more than the previous year. (Examiner)
  • It took over 20 years for Oklahoma City to build the streetcar that opened last month because local congressmen kept quashing requests for federal funding. Rep.-elect Kendra Horn won in November partly because she supports the streetcar. (Oklahoman)
  • A Duke Chronicle FAQ will get you caught up on the Durham-Orange, N.C. light rail project.
  • The Globe ranks Boston’s transit lines by reliability, and let’s just say Green Line riders aren’t so lucky. In related news, CommonWealth magazine makes the case for increasing funding for regional transit in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Boston Herald suggests that the marketplace, not “utopian” schemes, will solve congestions problems. If that were true, wouldn’t the invisible hand have worked its magic already?
  • The Tampa Bay Times lists 10 upcoming road projects that will make commuters’ lives easier — at least until induced demand kicks in. To be fair, a few do involve bike lanes, crosswalks and sidewalks.
  • WKRN in Nashville recaps how voters rejected a $5-billion transit plan, blaming the failure on the cost. (Not mentioned: then-mayor Megan Berry’s affair and subsequent resignation or Koch brothers dark money.) The fallback plan apparently includes doubling down on freeways, and it’s hard to imagine how that would be cheaper, let alone reduce congestion in the long run.
  • Half of King County, Washington’s $4.8-billion transportation spending goes to transit, according to a Seattle Times breakdown of county agencies’ budgets.
  • Seattle is the first U.S. city to hit 2 million Lime bike rides. (KIRO)
  • Memphis’s Explore Bike Share is poised for growth in 2019. (Commercial Appeal)
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