National Links: Amazon’s Reconnaissance

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.

Amazon’s search for HQ2 was reconnaissance: In the search for a second home, Amazon sought proposals from cities that would shower the company with potential tax breaks and new infrastructure. But Nick Tabor believes there was another reason for starting a bidding war, to gather as much intelligence about the state of infrastructure and more in major cities around the country as possible in order to out compete other companies. (Nick Tabor | New York Magazine)

Design Principals for Living Streets: Based on findings from their National Street Service program, Ford’s Greenfield Labs and Gehl are releasing Design Principles for the Living Street of Tomorrow. The hope is to help design streets that help unite people rather than drive them apart by evolving streets along with rapidly changing technology. (Ryan Westrom | Greenfield Labs Medium)

Los Angeles increasing speed limits on neighborhood streets: California laws do not permit police to ticket speeding drivers on streets with speed limits lower than the “targeted design speed”. The current laws were supposed to protect people from speed traps but now it’s leading to the City of Los Angeles to think about increasing speed limits in neighborhoods that keep them low for safety so police can ticket scofflaw drivers. (Laura Nelson | Los Angeles Times)

An Interview with NYC Planning Director on rezoning: In a wide ranging interview about using zoning to get people living closer to jobs in the city, New York’s Planning and Development Director Marisa Largo discusses building job centers outside of Manhattan Island. She also discusses waterfront development and resilience as well as the Gateway tunnel project. (The Planning Report)

Adapting the city for slower mobility: As more and more technologies bring about a slower yet greater capacity mobility to city streets, it’s time to start thinking about lanes that cater to these options old and new. From bikes to scooters and everything in between, we need something bigger than the traditional bike lane to separate slower traffic from larger more dangerous vehicles. (Gabe Klein | Forbes)

Quote of the Week

The heart of the [CA Senate Bill 50] is really the same. We have a 3.5-million-home deficit in California. It’s undermining our economy. It’s undermining our climate goals. We have to be bold in solving this problem.

-CA State Senator Scott Wiener on his bill to upzone properties near transit and in high income neighborhoods. (Los Angeles Times)

This week on the Talking Headways Podcast we’re joined by Virginia Tech professor Ralph Buehler to talk about Verkehrsverbund and the seamless connectivity of transport networks in German speaking countries.

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