Thursday’s Headlines

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  • Instead of holding meetings at City Hall attended by crowds that skew older, whiter and more affluent, transportation planners who want to engage diverse communities should bring the government to the people. (City Lab)
  • As part of President Trump’s trade war, Congress is considering banning local and state governments from using federal funds to purchase Chinese buses and rail cars. (NPR)
  • Google Maps is integrating transit directions with biking and ride-sharing options. (Venture Beat)
  • More on Tuesday’s light-rail vote in Phoenix: By a wide margin, Phoenix voters rejected a ballot proposition that would have halted light-rail expansion (Arizona Republic). Like Streetsblog, the Phoenix New Times called it a rebuke to the ultraconservative Koch brothers, who’ve funded anti-transit efforts in numerous cities. In podcast form, KJZZ has reactions from pro-transit Mayor Kate Gallego and transit opponent Scott Mussi. Gallego told KTAR that she doesn’t expect a legal challenge, and construction on the South Central line will begin this fall.
  • Des Moines will spend $60 million filling in 180 miles of sidewalk gaps over the next 20 years, focusing on areas near bus stops and schools. (KCCI)
  • Alabama’s higher gas tax will mostly go toward widening roads. (AL.com)
  • A Jacksonville expressway is getting a new sidewalk that will help pedestrians get to a bus stop safely. (Action News Jax)
  • Pittsburgh Bike Share is offering unlimited 30-minute rides to first-year Pitt University students. (City Paper)
  • Uber ads in London claim the service reduces congestion, contradicting its own publicly available data. (The Guardian)
  • Now here’s a road widening we can get behind. (Greater Greater Washington)

Wednesday’s Headlines

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  • Phoenix voters have saved the city’s light rail system from a Koch Brothers-funded onslaught. (Streetsblog)
  • Cities have got to start phasing out cars while improving transit and other transportation options. (Treehugger)
  • Leading tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft have ignored the pleas to add railroad crossings to online maps, even though hundreds of people die crossing tracks each year. (The Verge)
  • Democratic presidential campaigns spent thousands of dollars on Uber and Lyft even as the candidates slammed the companies over their labor practices. (USA Today)
  • Pedestrian deaths are up 54 percent since 2009 in North Carolina, far outpacing population growth and mirroring a national trend. (Raleigh News & Observer)
  • Sound Transit will contribute $60 million to a bus rapid transit line in Tacoma. (Suburban Times)
  • If Michigan is going to spend $2.5 billion fixing roads, it needs to fix them for everyone, not just drivers. (Advance)
  • Atlanta’s top planner drew applause at a town hall meeting when he blamed cars for the city’s dangerous streets. Tim Keane suggested lowering speed limits to make them safer. (AJC)
  • The Denver City Council voted to boot e-scooters off sidewalks and into the streets. (Denver Post)
  • Dockless scooter company Spin is installing docks throughout the D.C. area to reduce sidewalk clutter and keep the devices charged. (Washington Post)
  • Baltimore Sun interns discuss equity and safety concerns about the city’s year-old bike-share program in a podcast.
  • A lawsuit alleges that Philadelphia sidewalks are “riddled with barriers” that make it hard for the disabled to get around. (Voice)
  • Cartographer Jake Berman maps what transit could have been in the 21st century Pittsburgh if it kept its iconic streetcars. (Public Source)

Tuesday’s Headlines

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  • Why do e-bike batteries spontaneously combust? Lots of reasons, including damage, sabotage or cheap construction. (Bicycling)
  • A $1 “safe rides fee” that Uber implemented in 2014 simply padded the company’s bottom line, according to a New York Times excerpt of an upcoming book on the ride-hail giant.
  • Uber will recoup a bit of the $16 billion it’s lost thanks to the state of Texas, which gave the company $36 million in incentives to open a new office in Dallas. (Jalopnik)
  • Election Day is today, but more than 150,000 Phoenix residents have already voted on whether to continue expanding the city’s light-rail system. (Arizona Public Media)
  • Caltrans is fighting a bill that would require the California transportation agency to consider installing bike lanes and crosswalks for every road project. (San Francisco Chronicle)
  • Seattle’s on-demand microtransit app, Via, is exceeding expectations with more than 70,000 rides since it launched in April. (Crosscut)
  • Indianapolis has moved a bike lane to make way for the Red Line bus rapid transit service, which starts on Sept. 1. (Star)
  • The CEO of the Las Vegas monorail denies that the transit line is in financial trouble. (Review-Journal)
  • A Florida man was convicted of manslaughter for shooting and killing another man in a dispute over a parking spot. (USA Today)
  • And, finally, Streetsblog itself was in the news this week, with Streetsblog USA legend Angie Schmitt telling the world what cities can do to help cyclists on NPR’s 1A show. And Streetsblog NYC Editor Gersh Kuntzman telling City & State why the mainstream media has started to “get it” about cyclist deaths.

Monday’s Headlines

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  • British Uber drivers are suing the company for data to see if they’re getting paid what they should be (City Lab). In California, drivers are planning a cross-state caravan to protest Uber and Lyft’s labor practices (Tech Crunch).
  • Arguing that they’re a tech company, not a transportation provider (so they’re not regulated by the Americans with Disabilities Act), Uber and Lyft are leaving potential customers in wheelchairs behind. (NPR)
  • The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a derailment in Sacramento on Friday that injured 13 people (Bee).
  • Reminder: Phoenix voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to kill future plans for light-rail expansion (Arizona Republic). Another reminder: The Koch brothers are behind this effort to kill transit (Streetsblog).
  • Bay Area governments might ask voters in 2020 to approve a regional sales tax for transportation that could raise $100 billion over 40 years for transit improvements (yay!) and more freeway lanes (boo!). (SFGate)
  • The Topeka Metro is cutting back bus service by an hour and raising the price of fares for low-income, senior and disabled riders (Capital-Journal). Birmingham’s transit agency is also considering cutting service because the authority says the city doesn’t contribute enough (WBHM).
  • Thirty-four new buses with low floors, Wi-Fi and other amenities (um, except electric drivetrains!) hit the streets in Cincinnati last week. (WLWT)
  • Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington transit tunnel reopens today after being closed for maintenance since July. (WTAE)
  • The Louisville Metro Council passed a Complete Streets ordinance. (WDRB)
  • Some Philadelphia residents think being able to park a few feet closer to their destination is more important than other peoples’ lives. (6ABC)
  • President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods have delayed the rollout of e-bikes in Burlington. (Vermont Digger)
  • Copenhagen’s goal is to become carbon neutral by 2025, and it’s already cut emissions by 42 percent six years after setting the goal. It did so in part by becoming a “five-minute city,” where all the necessities are just a five-minute walk away. (Fast Company)
  • Short on cash? Some cities let you pay parking tickets in cat food or school supplies. (Washington Post)

 

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