National Links: Problem with Curbside Bus Lanes

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 D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Curbside bus lanes aren’t great for buses: As cities implement more bus lanes to speed riders’ trips, officials are finding that the rules of the bus lane are hard to enforce and drivers often flout the rules. This is especially true in curb bus lanes that are closest to businesses and destinations. So why do we keep building them? Because it gives the impression that political leaders are getting things done and they are cheaper than tried and true lanes. (Annie Weinstock | Reorientations)

County Sues TXDOT, FHWA says pause freeway plans: Harris County, home to the City of Houston, has sued the Texas Department of Transportation over freeway expansions through downtown that would displace more than 1,000 homes as well as businesses and park land. The Federal Highway Administration also announced it would ask TXDOT to halt any work on the project until they can review concerns they had received about civil rights violations under Title VI. (Paul Debendetto | Houston Public Media)

President’s agenda runs through cities and suburbs: The previous administration and state governments have often been hostile to urban agendas by targeting cities with new restrictive laws. But the current administration has a policy agenda that aligns with what cities are doing and could set a new model for federalism by working directly with them. On climate especially, partnering with cities could be the best way to achieve larger goals and build new coalitions. (Ronald Brownstein | The Atlantic)

Cities are made for men, Sarah Everard’s death made it clear: In a world designed by a majority of male architects and urban planners, women often have to adapt to a world in which they don’t quite fit. This reality has come to the forefront after the death of Londoner Sarah Everard at the hands of a Metropolitan police officer last week. While violence against women is a long term societal issue, planning can help elevate awareness and knowledge about needed cultural change. (Leslie Kern | Vox)

A crisis of sand: Sand as a construction material is used in everything from concrete to glass to silicon chips. However, we aren’t sure how much supply we have or whether we’re going to run out of the material soon, because it’s not measured or monitored like other commodities. Additionally, the mining of sand has created a human crisis in countries like India where mafias have control over the mining process, which also creates environmental damage due to limited regulations. (Ajit Niranjan | Deutsche Welle)

Quote of the Week

“It is incongruous with our intent … that an agency would take federal support from the taxpayer and then cut services to those same taxpayers. That doesn’t work for us.”

Mass. Congressman Stephen Lynch in the Boston Globe discussing MBTA’s service cuts in light of the large amount of money given to them to save service and jobs.

This week on the podcast, Angie Rivera-Malpiede, board chair of the Regional Transportation District in Denver, has a direct conversation with Cindy Chavez, former board chair of the VTA and current Santa Clara County, California supervisor about Latina leadership in transit.

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