International Links: Seven Ring Roads

Every day at The Direct Transfer we collect news about cities and send the links to our email list.  At the end of the week we take some of the most popular stories and post them to Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Ring around the city: Beijing has completed its seventh “ring road,” a highway that encompasses an area twice the size of New York and connects three major cities. The road stretches 1,000 kilometers and transportation professors say that it will relieve congestion and create new locations for specialized towns. (South China Morning Post)

Suspended animati monorail: A suspended monorail painted like a Panda has captured the imagination of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan.  The hope is that because the train is battery powered and the overhead suspension monorail is cheaper to construct, the system will cost less than conventional rail lines. (Sixth Tone)

Spreading Houston’s bus success in Texas: While Houston has reorganized its bus network and ridership has gone up slightly, that hasn’t happened elsewhere in Texas. Transit agencies in Dallas, Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio want to change that: Austin is currently in the process of reorganizing while Dallas has just put transit advocate Patrick Kennedy on its board, the first order of business being to reorganize bus routes. (Texas Tribune)

Counting people in Portland, not cars: The Portland Bureau of Transportation is going to start measuring “person trips,” meaning not just the trips that cars make, but trips people made on bikes, on transit, and by walking. This will allow the city to look at how new buildings are impacting the transportation system and charge fees accordingly. (Bike Portland)

How to house California: Former San Francisco city supervisor Scott Wiener is now a state senator. Within hours of starting his new job, he filed a bill to support housing construction in places where supply is constrained. The bill doesn’t have specific language yet, but the goal is to push hard on cities to build more housing before the state intervenes.  (Curbed SF)

Quote of the Week

“But for some reason, transit officials see the imitation not as flattery—not as a validation of what they have been doing for years and a hint of how they might do better—but as an excuse to hang it up.”  – Slate writer Henry Grabar on transit agencies deciding to cut service because of their belief that Uber or Lyft will pick up the slack.  (Slate)

Cross Posted at Greater Greater Washington

Jeff Wood

About Jeff Wood

Jeff Wood is an urban planner focused on transportation and land use issues living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jeff blogs at The Overhead Wire and tweets @theoverheadwire. He also shares news links daily from around the country on issues related to cities at The Direct Transfer