National: Parking Industrial Complex, SXSW Complaints, and Rail to the Strip

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.

(Editor’s note: This is being published a bit late, but is still relevant)

The Parking Industrial Complex always wins: GoBoston 2030, a long range transportation plan, launched last week with the goals of reorganizing the city around walking, biking, and transit on a 15 year time frame.  But in the next few years, the total number of parking spaces around an already-congested Seaport District will increase by 4,200.  These two visions of Boston are at odds, and the city will need bigger thinking to bigger thinking is needed to create mobility solutions that work and won’t get new workers stuck in traffic. (Boston Globe)

LA voted for a future with more housing and better transportation: Last week Los Angeles rejected Measure S, a ballot measure that would have paused development in the city.  Along with last fall’s big Measure M transportation win, which that raised $120 billion more for transit, this affirmation of new development in the city means Los Angeles has voted twice in less than five months to support a more urban future where not everyone needs a car (Curbed LA)

This is what happens when you overdepend on ride hailing’s big guns: Last week during the South by Southwest interactive festival in Austin, Texas, a cascade of ride hailing app failures led to a Twitter outburst from technology executives and personalities who lamented Uber and Lyft leaving the city last year. The problems they were upset about, says Slate’s Henry Grabar, are ones  most of us face daily. (Slate)

The suburb of the future future future: New Rochelle was a sleepy suburb in the 1980s, but a big development infusion in its downtown is going to transform the place to be more pedestrian-friendly. This mirrors national changes, where bringing more housing and amenities to older downtowns could blur the lines between urban and suburban.(Business Insider)

Soon you might ride the rails to the Las Vegas Strip: Planners in Las Vegas are discussing an estimated $12.5 billion light rail plan for the region that could include a line between the airport and the Las Vegas Strip.  Long a boon for taxi drivers that are able to charge $45 for a very short trip, casino patrons and thrill seekers could find it easier to get to the infamous gambling and party spot. Whether the state can build a transit network, however, depends on whether they will allow local authorities to levy taxes to pay for it. (Las Vegas Sun)

Quote of the Week

“Why does [the planning map] show a park instead of my business?”

– Industrial business owner Brian Vincent during a Des Moines planning meeting in which his existing business, like many other industrial businesses, is being pushed out of town. (Denver Post)

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