Wednesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

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  • The Senate coronavirus relief bill includes $1 billion for Amtrak and $20 billion for transit agencies, which would be required to recognize unions, maintain benefits and offer unemployment assistance to receive grants. (Bloomberg). Uber also wants its drivers, who are independent contractors in most states, to be eligible for benefits under the bill (Axios).
  • Cities should promote social distancing by taking streets away from cars and giving them to cyclists and pedestrians — and then make those changes permanent. (The Verge)
  • The novel coronavirus could permanently change traffic patterns in congested cities like New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta as more people work from home. (Curbed, Car and Driver)
  • For people living in cities under coronavirus lockdown, transportation options are limited. (Forbes)
  • Biking is OK during the coronavirus pandemic — just make sure you keep your distance. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Charlotte — where ridership has dropped 41 percent — is cutting back bus and light rail service but making it free (Observer). Pittsburgh is also cutting back service (Tribune-Review), and so is Minneapolis (Star Tribune). St. Louis has shifted to a weekend schedule (Post-Dispatch).
  • Bike shops in Washington state are doing fine as other businesses grind to a halt. (Spokane Tribune-Review)
  • Bus routes that serve low-income Boston residents remain busy, so ‘T’ service cuts could put them further at risk for COVID-19. (Streetsblog Mass)
  • John LaPlante, a longtime biking advocate and former Chicago DOT commissioner, died Saturday of COVID-19 at age 80. (WBEZ)
  • Manchester, England, has an ambitious plan to build 1,800 miles of biking and walking paths in the city and surrounding region. (City Metric)

Tuesday’s Headlines From Around the Nation

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  • The coronavirus crisis is an opportunity for the federal government to rethink the way it funds transit. Instead of funding capital projects — supply — at a time when demand is collapsing, it should be funding operations so essential workers can get to work. (Vice)
  • The Green New Deal would put a majority of Americans within walking distance of transit by 2030 — especially important at a time when many people won’t be able to afford to keep their cars. (Curbed)
  • New York’s MTA and nine other transit agencies are asking the feds for a $25 billion bailout so they can get essential workers to work despite decimated revenue. (Streetsblog)
  • Contrary to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s belief (Streetsblog NYC), bike shops are essential businesses (Bicycling).
  • COVID-19 can be deadly. But how many lives will be saved by less congestion, more bike-riding, less pollution and fewer car crashes? (City Lab)
  • At a time when Uber and Lyft drivers are facing coronavirus risks and clamoring for health insurance, a federal judge ruled that Massachusetts can’t reclassify the independent contractors as employees with labor rights. (Bloomberg)
  • How did the suburbs get so sprawling? Cul-de-sacs were originally intended to protect people from traffic, but instead made it harder to walk places. Meanwhile, the auto industry lobbied for expressways and designing busier roads for high speeds. (Planetizen)
  • Coronavirus roundup: Like many transit agencies’, L.A. Metro ridership is down about 60 percent, and it’s cutting back service (LAist). Transit agencies in Houston (Chronicle) and King County, Washington (Patch), as well as the Cincinnati streetcar (Enquirer), are suspending fares. Phoenix also dropped fares and is roping off drivers with caution tape (Republic). The El Paso streetcar is suspending service (KVIA).
  • Pittsburgh is updating its bike master plan for the first time in over 20 years, proposing 226 miles of new bike lanes and trails, tripling the city’s bike facilities over the next 10 years. (Next City)
  • Wannabe Iron Man Elon Musk is going to swoop in and make more ventilators. OK. (City and State New York)

 

 

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