Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Outside of a few urban areas, it’s tough for Americans to live without a car. Lyft makes it possible, largely because venture capitalists are subsidizing rides, but can the now-public company continue to do so once it has to turn a profit? (MarketWatch) Its survival may depend on working with city transit systems to provide “last mile” service (Curbed). As Jalopnik points out, though, using Lyft instead of driving doesn’t take cars off the road, and it actually cuts into transit ridership.
  • The tanker crash that shut down the Beltway for 12 hours shows the need for more transportation options and less auto-centric development in the D.C. area. (Washington Post)
  • Gwinnett County leaders want to hold another referendum on expanding transit in the Atlanta suburb in November 2020 — when it’s more likely to pass — after it failed at the ballot box earlier this month, but Republicans in the Georgia legislature are trying to delay the next vote until 2026. (AJC)
  • St. Petersburg officials chose to nix on-street parking rather than a bike lane to make room for a bus-only lane downtown (WFTS). Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh did the opposite, replacing a protected cycle track with a painted bike lane in order to restore parking (Sun).
  • A startup called Koloni is bringing bike-shares to small towns where other mobility companies don’t see the population to turn a profit. (Fast Company)
  • NPR jumps on the dockless-scooters-cause-injuries-and-block-sidewalks bandwagon.
  • After almost two years, the verdict on Portland’s Biketown bike-share program is in, and it’s … meh (BikePortland). Meanwhile, Richmond, Va., is trying to turn around its failing bike-share by replacing traditional bikes with e-bikes (Free Press).
  • Los Angeles is revamping its Vision Zero program after drivers killed 242 people last year, more than half of them pedestrians. (LAist)
  • Orange County, Fla. Mayor Jerry Demings says he’s close to announcing a funding plan for mass transit, potentially including Lynx buses and SunRail. (Orlando Sentinel)
  • A beloved San Antonio cyclist was seriously injured by a drunk driver. (KENS)
  • Amsterdam is removing 11,000 parking spaces from the inner city to make way for more trees, bike parking and wider sidewalks. (City Lab)
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liar

Mayor Won’t Say The Words ‘Bike Lane’

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He won’t say the words “bike lane.” Mayor de Blasio declined to commit to installing a protected bike lane — which is his own administration’s plan— as part of the long-delayed final phase of the Queens Boulevard safety redesign. Under questioning from Streetsblog on Thursday, de Blasio apparently felt he could not even utter the […]
pike vs indy

Parking Madness 2019 Round 1: DC Pike vs. Indianapolis

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We’ve got a barn-burner for you today, but first, let’s look back at where we are in our first round matchups: We’ve closed the polls on some earlier matchups, with Houston narrowly defeating Boston, Pittsburgh also squeaking by Portland, and Providence absolutely destroying Austin (we suppose that happens when an entire city is completely reimagined […]

Monday’s Headlines

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  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is the first Democratic presidential contender out of the gate with an infrastructure plan. The somewhat vague $650-billion proposal — paid for by raising corporate taxes — includes expanding public transit in low-income neighborhoods. (Politico)
  • Lyft went public on Friday, with stock trading at $72 per share, valuing the company at about $24 billion (CNN). The company’s founders did a long interview with CNBC before the IPO (ValueWalk).
  • The D.C. Metro board approved a budget that includes increased service on two subway lines and no fare hikes, but doesn’t extend nighttime operating hours. (Washington Post)
  • While the Durham-Orange light rail line is dead, the tax that was paying for it is not. What should Research Triangle do with the money? (WRAL)
  • Only a small fraction of funding in the gutted Renew Atlanta road-repair program will go toward Complete Streets. (Curbed)
  • A bill that would boost penalties for drivers who hit cyclists or pedestrians is stuck in a Maryland Senate committee. (Baltimore Fishbowl)
  • The New Orleans City Council beefed up the fine for blocking a bike lane from $40 to $300. (WGNO)
  • The Phoenix City Council votes Wednesday on a deal to build a $231-million transit-oriented development on the site of an underutilized rail and bus station. (Arizona Republic)
  • Birmingham, Ala., buses are late almost half the time, which the city’s interim transit director calls unacceptable. (Birmingham Times)
  • By a 95-1 vote, the Senate confirmed Nicole Nason to lead the Federal Highway Administration. (Transport Topics)
  • “Tremendous growth” in cycling tourism led Essex County, Ontario to budget $6 million for bike lanes and paved shoulders in rural areas — part of a 20-year plan to create 800 miles of biking infrastructure. (Windsor Star)

 

Friday’s Headlines

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  • Instead of relying on the rush-hour level of service for cars when weighing transportation projects — which induces demand and creates sprawl — cities need a broader metric that takes safety, walkability and sustainability into account. (Brookings)
  • Federal infrastructure funding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and maybe it’s best off left to state and local governments. (Politico)
  • Transit should be part of any Green New Deal to curb climate change, according to a Data for Progress article co-written by former StreetsblogNYC editor Ben Fried.
  • GoTriangle officially pulled the plug on the Durham-Orange light rail line after spending $130 million on planning. Cause of death: Lackluster legislative support and private fundraising, cost overruns and Duke University’s decision to pull out of the partnership led to its demise. (WRAL)
  • Greater Greater Washington lays out how the D.C. DOT can improve bus service and effectively manage curb space.
  • A Texas bill would set a uniform speed limit of 25 mph on residential streets, but has gained no traction in the legislature, despite support from Fort Worth officials. (Star-Telegram)
  • A Michigan think tank argues that the state and metro Detroit need to start thinking about transit as a public utility and economic development tool, rather than something for people who can’t afford cars. (Free Press)
  • Milwaukee declares war on snow-covered sidewalks. (Next City)
  • Should Chicago accept Lyft’s offer of a $50-million investment in bike-sharing in exchange for a monopoly, or would neighborhoods benefit more from competition? (Tribune)
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan wants to take take over regional railways so he can boost the frequency of transit service. (The Guardian)

Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Millennials hating to drive is a myth, according to one study. While it’s true that millennials drive less and own fewer cars than previous generations, when adjusted for factors like income, education and number of children, they actually drive more than baby boomers did at the same point in their lives. Their love of cars was merely postponed by a bad economy and high gas prices. (City Lab)
  • Slate has more on Uber and Lyft drivers’ recent strike over low pay. Meanwhile, Lyft is offering drivers bank accounts and debit cards to help them manage their finances, plus discounts on car repairs (CNN). OK, but why not just pay them more?
  • With New York likely to implement congestion pricing (as Streetsblog has reported), Curbed wonders if Boston will follow suit. City Observatory also suggests congestion pricing in downtown Portland as an alternative to widening I-5.
  • Making a St. Petersburg circulator and a Tampa streetcar free cost the cities revenue but brought other benefits — like increased ridership, heavier use by commuters instead of just tourists, taking cars off the road and an economic boost for businesses. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • Transit ridership in Philadelphia was down for the fourth year in a row last year, dropping to its lowest level since 2002. Ironically, part of the blames lies with congestion caused by drivers, which is slowing down buses. A bus network redesign is planned, but it won’t happen for another several years. (Inquirer)
  • The University of Texas has found a unique way to combat the menace of e-scooters: using geofencing technology to limit them to 8 mph on the Austin campus. (Texas Monthly)
  • Kansas City’s Main Street streetcar extension received a positive rating from the Federal Transit Administration, clearing the way for federal funding. (KSHB)
  • The Federal Highway Administration green-lit widening I-30 through downtown Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)
  • The Seattle DOT bowed to bikelash and removed bike lanes from plans for 35th Street. (MyNorthwest)
  • Just in time for summer, a new study found that a 40-percent tree canopy  keeps pavement cool and counteracts the heat island effect. (Popular Science)
  • Streetsblog’s Angie Schmitt gets some deserved love from Governing magazine.

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • U.S. motorists set a record by driving 3.225 trillion miles last year — and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao thinks that’s a good thing. (Transportation Today)
  • In Houston’s immigrant communities, many people walk to bus stops. But a third of streets in one such neighborhood lack sidewalks, and the ones that do exist are often obstructed, forcing people to carve out their own unsafe paths. (Houston Public Media)
  • Ohio keeps widening highways, even though it can’t afford to maintain the ones it’s already built. (WCPO)
  • The average Detroit driver spends as much on car insurance as some people do on rent. It’s so expensive because in Michigan benefits for crash victims are unlimited, combined with some of the worst roads in the country. (Jalopnik)
  • In South Carolina — one of the most dangerous states to walk or bike — a Charleston lawmaker is pushing a bill to force SCDOT to adopt Complete Streets. (Post and Courier)
  • Oregon legislation would protect cyclists from liability if drivers hit them while they’re passing through an intersection. (Portland Tribune)
  • Washington, D.C. is seeking proposals from nonprofits to plan and execute a car-free “open streets” event this fall. (Curbed)
  • Meet the new head of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. (Tampa Bay Times)
  • A Vancouver study found that people who live near bike lanes are more likely to be physically active. (Daily Hive and Streetsblog)
  • London’s congestion pricing zone may undertake a radical plan to keep out polluting vehicles and improve air quality. (BBC)
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