National Links: Changing the Fire Code

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

San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal opens soon: On August 12th buses will finally take and deliver passengers to the new $4.2 billion Transbay Terminal in San Francisco. The terminal includes a basement where high speed and regional trains will come in 2029 at the earliest and a rooftop park. The project took 8 years to complete but looks to be a welcome addition to the city. (John King | San Francisco Chronicle)

Transit and ride hailing hand in hand: According to a new report 27 transit agencies have joined forces with ride hailing companies since 2016 to provide service in areas that are relatively bare. These partnerships come in all shapes and sizes including subsidized rides and substituting for paratransit services. But questions about whether they are helping or hurting transit ridership continue to be asked. (Laura Bliss | CityLab)

The Roman that shaped our cities: Unfortunately an estimated 95% of manuscripts and books from Greek and Roman times were destroyed by war and fire. Fortunately this didn’t include the work of Vitruvius whose work helped shaped the way modern cities are designed. Determining a site for a new town, building types for civic events, and organization of trade were all revealed in his work De architectura. (Theo Mackey Pollack | The American Conservative)

Old roads to economic prosperity: Roadways built by the Romans 2,000 years ago are a good predictor of whether a place will be economically prosperous in current times. Danish economists who did the research say this is proof that infrastructure has always been a driver of economic development. (Christopher Ingram | Washington Post)

Changing the fire code: Baltimore City Council voted to repeal the part of the international fire code locally that restricts the widths of new streets. The Baltimore Fire Department had been using the rules to block bike lanes and development. The city will now look to use NACTO standards. (Luke Broadwater | Baltimore Sun)

Quote of the Week

I was talking last week with a zoning and planning lobbyist in Charlotte – a guy whose planning background doesn′t stop him from generally hewing to a basic free-market approach. He said he′s starting to believe cities should consider housing affordability as part of the basic package of infrastructure the local government provides.

Mary Newsom discussing changing thoughts about providing affordable housing around the country. (Naked City)

On this week’s podcast, Susan Henderson talks to us about connecting form based codes and transportation.

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