National Links: Fix It First California, Glass Buildings, and Lyft Shuttle

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 streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the DC region.  They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

California taxes itself for road maintenance:  California recently passed legislation that will increase taxes for the purpose of maintaining existing roads, to the tune of $54 billion. As the federal government pulls back on funding for transportation and the gas tax loses even more purchasing power every year, California is just one of many states raising funds locally.  (Governing Magazine)

Let liberal cities be themselves: Arguing that conservative states should leave liberal municipalities alone, Max Bloom comments that curbing localism likely leads to more liberal federal laws. He says the autonomy conservative states enjoy from a broader federalism is likely to diminish as more liberal national administrations try to push back on heavier handed state laws that curb democratic actions of cities. (National Review)

Glass buildings worsen greenhouse gas emissions:  Cities around the country are searching for climate change solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, of which buildings are a major source. But if cities are so focused on these goals, why are they allowing so many glass buildings downtown with high carbon footprints due to the energy required to heat and cool them? (Boston Globe)

Will a Los Angeles streetcar cut in line?:  Planners for the downtown Los Angeles streetcar want to cut to the front of the Measure M funding. To make it work, downtown property owners will tax themselves by as much as $85 million and a sales tax will cover $200 million.  But local and national transportation advocates question both whether skipping to the front of the line is a good idea and whether a streetcar should be built at all. (LA Weekly)

Is Lyft Shuttle more than just a bus?: Writing at Medium, Lyft’s Director of Transportation Policy Emily Castor discusses the company’s newest offering, Lyft Shuttle.  An offshoot of the existing LyftLine carpooling application, which allows drivers to pick up multiple riders going the same direction, Lyft Shuttle operates in a similar way, but on fixed routes. Those who say this is really just a bus service probably aren’t inclined to think differently. (Emily Castor)

Transit Trends Episode 11

This week on my show, Transit Trends, we talk with Policy Link’s Anita Cozart about transportation equity. If you can’t afford a car but also don’t live near transit, how do you get to school or a job? When you don’t have transportation, your options are really limited.

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