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National Links: Self Driving Cars Not Coming Anytime Soon

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.

Not self-driving anytime soon: Waymo CEO John Krafcik recently put the brakes on the fantasy that autonomous vehicles would be ubiquitous anytime soon. He also believes there will never be a time when self driving vehicles will be able to operate in all weather. While self driving cars might not be here soon, trucks might be another story. (Shara Tibken | CNET)

Will people show up to DC’s newest park? New linear parks are popping up all over the country from New York to Miami and Washington DC will join that group in 2023 when it opens the 11th Street Bridge Park. The $60 million park, a cantilevered pathway that will have plenty of active space available, is also at the center of a discussions about the future of the city. But perhaps more important than all these things, author Dan Reed wonders if anyone will show up. (Dan Reed | Washingtonian)

Too soon for retirement homes: Due to reductions in smoking and overall better health, baby boomers aren’t moving into senior housing as fast as previous generations. This means developers that didn’t look at the life expectancy charts have been overbuilding. But when those boomers do move out of thier homes there could be a crash as younger generations might not have the capital to spend. (Lloyd Alter | Mother Nature Network)

The impact of urban supply chain congestion: Several stories last week in Smart Cities Dive looked into the lesser discussed topic of congestion from freight and supply chains. In the United States freight is expected to increase 40% by 2050 and smarter logistics will be the answer for more efficient deliveries and operations in cities like LA, Chicago, Atlanta, and New York City. (Kristin Musulin | Smart Cities Dive)

The rise and fall of the French housing estate: At the end of World War II half of the 14 million homes in France had no running water and 90% had no bathrooms. In an attempt to house people in a more efficient manner, the government built high rise housing estates on the outskirts of the city. But in the 1970s they stopped building them and they came to represent segregation and the related issues of the country as a whole. (Florence de Talhouet | Al Jazeera)

Quote of the Week

We’re seeing urban conflagrations, and that’s the real phase change in recent years. But what’s remarkable is the way they’re plowing over cities, which we thought was something that had been banished a century ago.

-Wildfire expert Stephen Pyne discussing in Wired how wildland fires are now consuming cities.

This week on the podcast, CA State Senator Scott Weiner talks about transportation and housing processes and how to move them forward with policy.

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