Dominoes Pothole

National Links: Paving Potholes with Pizza Money

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.

Newspaper urges ditching parking standards: The Houston Chronicle editorial board is calling for the City of Houston to eliminate parking requirements. Calling for the city to reduce red tape for development, the editorial also questions the city’s free market status if it’s going to have such rules and the need for these regulations near good transit. (Houston Chronicle)

Is it sprawl or smart growth: An interesting question arises when thinking about a new urban neighborhood such as Stapleton in Denver. If you were to look at the former airport land now after neighborhood build out, would the growth of homes there be considered sprawl or smart growth? (Colorado Real Estate Journal)

Filling potholes with pizza money: Dominoes Pizza has been advertising it’s pothole filling program with commercials on national television. The program, which gave $5,000 to certain municipalities in each state willing to take it, showed to mayors that the idea of filling a pothole to get a pizza to its desintation resonated with residents. But it’s also an indictment of our current system that people are more than happy to have a pizza chain give money for much needed repairs rather than raise taxes or other revenue. (Eater)

Five types of residential architecture to address housing needs: In Seattle, architecture couple Mary and Ray Johnston reflect on several trends that are changing the way we think about housing; well transitioned and scaled buildings on a single block, accessory dwelling units, modular housing, high end design in high rises, and green building. (Seattle Times)

The chasm between cities is growing: Cities like Dayton were not that far behind coastal peers in per capita income at the start of 1980, but that has since changed into an ever growing gap in income. As cities with traditional economies were left to fend for themselves against similar cities around the world, those with knowledge economies thrived. Now these cities must forge thier own ways forward and the author wonders whether such an income concentration is a good thing? (Stateline)

Quote of the Week

“In ways, the micromobility companies in the U.S. that made calls from the Uber playbook were punished for arriving on the scene just as Uber was reining itself in—and cities would not get caught flat-footed again. By this summer, the entire footloose scooter experiment was grinding to a halt as cities threatened to seize the vehicles.”

Henry Grabar in Slate discussing whether the Uber strategy of asking for forgiveness instead of permission has hurt the micromobility movement.

This week on the podcast we read Lewis Wirth’s article “Urbanism as a Way of Life” from the 1938 Journal of Sociology. You can listen here.

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