- Senate Dems Make Transpo/Housing Bill a Centerpiece of Their Budget Fight (Politico)
- Amtrak Just Had Its Best June Ever, Second-Best Month Ever (WNYC)
- Systemic Failure Challenges Mica‘s “Soviet-Style” Analogy for Amtrak
- Maryland Asks for More Federal Rail Funding (Frederick News-Post)
- Infograph: Gas Prices Have Tripled, Yet Tax Remains Flat (via Transport Gooru)
- Have Parking Space Requirements Met Their Expiration Date? (WSJ)
- What Portland Learned from the (Now Dead) CRC Project (Bike Portland)
Posts from the "Streetsblog" Category
Is the city center of your metro area shrinking or growing? The answer could be related to the strength of the local transit system, according to a study released this spring by the Center for Neighborhood Technology.
CNT’s “Transit-Oriented Development in the Chicago Region” [PDF] focused on Chicago’s progress with TOD compared to similar metros. Of the five metropolitan American regions with “extensive transit systems” that CNT examined, the areas within one half mile of rail stations — the “transit-shed” — grew more quickly than the areas outside the transit-shed in four regions, Chicago being the exception. CNT defined cities with “extensive transit systems” as those with between 325 and 981 stations.
CNT’s underlying conclusion was that Chicago is not performing as well as its peer cities on transit-oriented development. The Chicago region grew 5.8 percent, while the transit shed grew only 2.1 percent.
“Urban sprawl has continued to be the dominant development pattern in the Chicago region,” report authors found.
This may be largely due to a Chicago Housing Authority plan that eliminated more than 18,000 units in the city of Chicago, many of them within the transit-shed, according to CNT. Another factor could be that Chicago’s transit-shed attracted smaller families, perhaps because of a lack of child-friendly housing by transit.
Around the country, the organization found, incomes for people living in transit-sheds increased more quickly than for the general population of the region. The report also found that combined housing and transit costs are lower within transit-sheds, but are increasing more quickly than outside of them.
This is the last time I’ll ask.
Our Parking Madness tournament in March shone a harsh light on some of the most city-deadening expanses of surface parking in U.S. downtowns – and our “winner,” Tulsa, is already taking steps to ensure that they won’t win again next year. Since then, we’ve had some rich, and sometimes raucous, discussions on the blog about self-driving cars, sexism and racism in the bike community, and more. Where else would these conversations happen, if it weren’t for Streetsblog?
Streetsblog’s continued existence depends on your support. We’re a reader-powered news source. If we don’t raise all the money we need to keep going, Streetsblog might not be here in 2014.
And we have to be here in 2014. That’s when MAP-21 expires and Congress will need to pass a new transportation bill. Will lawmakers enact real reforms that change how we prioritize different modes of transportation? And will they finally find a sensible way to pay for it? We look forward to bringing policymakers together with advocates, all of whom read Streetsblog daily, to chart the path forward. But we need your help to make sure we’re still around.
Thanks for reading, thanks for donating, and thanks for all you do to make our streets safe and our cities exciting.
We’re extending our spring pledge drive til the end of the week to reach our target of $40,000 in reader donations. If you haven’t given already, please make a tax-free gift today and help keep Streetsblog and Streetfilms going strong this year.
Streetsblog and Streetfilms rely on individual donations, foundation support, and sponsorships and ads to produce content that makes the case for safer streets and more effective transit — and to pay our internet bills and keep the lights on. To sustain this media enterprise, we need to hit all of our fundraising targets. We’re not there yet this spring but the goal is within sight. If 100 readers make a contribution by Friday — less than 1 percent of our daily unique visitors — we’ll wrap up this pledge drive in good shape. Please contribute.
For extra motivation, we have two more prizes to give away. In addition to the grand prize of a Dahon folding bike for one lucky reader who gives $50 or more, one reader who gives before Friday at midnight will win a beautiful Belle Helmet, handpainted by Danielle Baskin, and another donor will win a Yardstash tent to keep your bike gear dry and outside (if you have the yard space).
Note: Image not to scale.
If you’ve been holding out on donating until just the right moment — now’s the time! Thanks for reading and for supporting Streetsblog and Streetfilms.
Back in the day, we beheld the future, and in it, we were zipping about in electric cars. Yes, on that day way back in the aughts, we beheld a future in which a passel of problems were about to become passé: crippling gas prices, entanglements with oil-rich frenemies, dirty air, and climate-changing emissions would all disappear through the magic of automotive engineering. Chevy’s Volt, Nissan’s Leaf, and next generation EVs would mitigate car culture’s costs. And we would still get to drive all over kingdom come.
What happened to the fantasy of EVs should provide a reality check to our understanding of self-driving cars — but that doesn’t seem to be happening.
Just over 71,000 of the vehicles now traversing America’s roads are electric — less than 0.03 percent of the total. Their share is likely to remain in the single digits through 2035. The revolution so heavily televised hasn’t happened.
New CAFE standards championed by environmentalists and set by the EPA have had a more profound effect, forcing incremental improvements to models across automakers’ fleets. Model year 2012 saw the greatest annual boost in fuel economy since 1975; from MY2006 to 2011, emissions dropped 10 percent as fuel economy improved 11 percent. Still, overall fuel economy remains under 24 mpg, far from the triple-digit dream that electric cars presented when rolled out. Experts also caution that the used-car market could undermine these standards, keeping old gas-guzzlers on the road longer as people avoid buying pricier new cars.
The evolution toward a less gas-guzzling car fleet is a slow one, nudged along by force of advocacy and regulation, and so too will be the evolution toward safer, self-driving cars.
It’s hard to tell this, though, from the coverage of self-driving cars in the media, which might be even more breathless than the coverage of EVs. Hopped-up headlines blare that self-driving cars will “change our lives.” They are going to “change everything.” Crash rates and insurance and medical costs will go down! Fuel efficiency up! Pollution and traffic congestion down! Productivity up! And everything’s going topsy-turvy “faster than you think” — our dramatic new future is once again moments away. Get ready.
Of course, self-driving cars have their critics. Some say consumers will resist them, distrusting their new technology or disbelieving they’d be fun to drive. Others claim that consumers should resist them because they are part of a government plot. Still others worry whether or not regulators can keep up with technology well enough to protect the public interest. NHTSA’s policy statement on “automated vehicle development,” released last week, gives credence to this concern, explaining that the agency “is conducting research on self-driving vehicles so that [it] has the tools to establish standards for these vehicles.”
EVs faced similar charges pre-launch. Yet one argument used against electric cars has not been employed against self-driving cars, though it is among the most compelling: that they benefit only elites.
We are rolling right along with our spring pledge drive. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far — your donations will be converted into Streetsblog posts making the case for more livable streets and Streetfilms videos showing success stories and ideas from cities around the world.
But we need more readers to step up and contribute. Streetsblog and Streetfilms cannot continue to produce the level of content we currently churn out unless we hit our fundraising targets. If you value the media we make and you haven’t given to our spring pledge yet, please donate today.
All donors who contribute $50 or more will be in the running to win a new Dahon folding bike, and everyone who gives between now and Saturday at midnight will also be entered to win one of these handmade messenger bags courtesy of Forest City Portage, a one-man shop operating out of Cleveland, Ohio.
Here’s a look with the flap down, and with the flap up:
More people are reading Streetsblog now than ever before. If our regular readers all pitch in, we’ll be able to make media that supports streets for people, not cars, for a long time to come. Please make a contribution today.
Have you given to Streetsblog’s spring pledge drive yet? If not, may I suggest that this is the week to do so. In addition to supporting livable streets journalism and putting yourself in the running to win a Dahon folding bike, you could take home a sweet collection of books and zines courtesy of eminent bike-ologist Elly Blue.
If you make a habit of reading Streetsblog and you value the work we do to make the case for transforming our streets, please make a tax-deductible donation so we can keep on doing it.
We’ll send one donor who gives by midnight Friday this Elly Blue library, including Bikenomics, Taking the Lane, and the brand new Bikes in Space: A Feminist Science Fiction Anthology (sample story: “in Elizabeth Buchanan’s classic pulp tale of postapocalyptic Appalachia, a gripping bicycle-truck chase gives a young woman a surprising new hope”).
Our coverage has sparked some pretty raucous debates over the past couple weeks. With your help, we’ll continue to provide one-stop shopping for information about transportation trends and policies, discussion about best practices, and accountability for decision-makers. If you’re into that sort of thing, you can help make it happen by making a generous donation to Streetsblog. Thanks!
- Why Was NJ Transit So Unprepared for Sandy? (WNYC, NorthJersey.com)
- Fuel-Efficient Cars Could Get Road Use Fees in Oregon… (Statesman Journal)
- …And Consumer Reports Questions Whether That Type of Thing Is Fair
- The Cheat Sheet on Anthony Foxx’s Bio (AllGov)
- A New Pitch for the Charlotte, NC, Streetcar Could Break Standoff (Charlotte Biz Journal)
- Bacon’s Rebellion Takes Issue With Kotkin’s Claim That Americans Prefer Sprawl
- Human Transit on Atlanta Streetcar: It’s Fun, It’s Sleek, But Is It Useful?
- Dallas to Debut Downtown Bike Network June 1 (Pegasus News)
- Virginian-Pilot: Keep Going with the Cycling Progress in Hampton Roads
No one can deny the tides are turning when it comes to how people in this country get around. While the majority still drive everywhere, they number fewer every day, with more people joining the ranks of the straphangers, bicyclists, and walkers. This country is waking up to what we can gain by investing in healthy, sustainable transportation and vibrant urban development.
Federal transportation officials recognize this and are trying to re-think the country’s transportation networks to fit the future, not the auto-centric past. But Congress is still writing blank checks to states, which spend the money without regard for key national priorities.
We hold state and federal officials accountable by keeping a tight focus on how transportation decisions either add transportation choices or allow sprawl to metastasize, reduce carbon emissions or contribute to the obesity epidemic, create public space or choke our cities with automobile traffic. No other media outlet does what Streetsblog does — and today, we’re asking you to give us your support.
In the halls of Congress, in state DOTs, in metropolitan planning agencies, people are reading Streetsblog to get the inside, in-depth story about sustainable transportation and urban design. We’re grateful to you for reading, too. And we hope you’ll consider donating to our spring pledge drive. We’re trying to raise $40,000 by June 1 and we know that we can count on our committed and generous readers to get us there.
If you give $50 or more (or sign up as a monthly donor of at least $5) during the pledge drive, you’ll be entered to win this Dahon folding bike. Tell me this doesn’t make you swoon:
Best of all, your gift helps us keep bringing you the news, commentary, and analysis you count on. And it lets us know you’re out there, you’re paying attention, and you’re fighting the good fight.
Thanks for making Streetsblog possible. Your tax-deductible gift will help keep us going through 2013 and beyond.
- Florida Looks at Bike Safety Problems as Summit Takes Place (Tampa Bay Times, News Press)
- NRDC Switchboard: The Biggest Sprawl Isn’t Necessarily Where You’d Expect
- California Governor Rides China Bullet Chain, Looking for Inspiration and Investors (LAT, AP)
- Truck Industry Heaps Scorn on Obama’s Budget (FleetOwner)
- Reconciliation Could Be Possible on Massachusetts Transpo Funding (Boston Globe, AP)
- Maryland Looks for Private Funds for D.C. Purple Line, Baltimore Red Line (WaPo)
- It’s “Walk to Work Day” in San Fran (Streetsblog SF)
- Should the Public or Private Sector Run DC’s Streetcar? (GGW)
- Which Cycling Project Is Most Visionary? (Atlantic Cities)