National Links: Infrastructure Plans and a Graphic Designer Needed

Every day at The Overhead Wire 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.

Leaked infrastructure plan: An outline for the infrastructure plan the Trump administration would like to pursue was leaked on Monday, sparking questions about how future transportation projects would be funded. Initial reactions to the document are mixed, as more responsibility would be put on states and local authorities to raise money. Later in the week, it was revealed that no new funding would be made available for the program and that it would be taken from existing sources like Amtrak. (Governing)(Route Fifty)

Graphic designer needed: Using Comic Sans font and a paint program, some genius in the City of Los Angeles created a job opening announcement image that spread around social media like wildfire. Whoever thought of the idea should definitely get a raise. (Route Fifty)

NYC value capture fight: Mayor Bill de Blasio’s staff is accusing Governor Andrew Cuomo of a power grab, after the governor’s budget plan included taxing districts around transit stations to fund MTA capital projects. The districts, however, would not need approval from City Council and aides to the Mayor decried the ability of the state to decide local property tax levies. (NYC Patch)

Inside Amazon Go: Last Monday in downtown Seattle, Amazon opened a new kind of grocery store — one without checkout stands. Pull an item from the shelf and your connection to an app pays for the item. Even those trying to shoplift (with permission) were charged for items. Cameras and sensors can detect every item, so no item has to have special sensors. This could be the future of the grocery store. (New York Times)

Modular for the formerly homeless: San Francisco officials are looking for locations to develop a modular housing factory for building units for people who were formerly homeless. Local building trades are powerful and skeptical, but many hope that these new units will be finished faster and for less expense than typical housing construction. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Quote of the Week

“Given the long history of cities enacting policies specifically harmful to people in underserved communities, it seems unscientific for any scientist to trust their intentions by handing over the data and hoping for the best.”

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein in Slate arguing that collecting data is important, but understanding the community underneath matters too.

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