National Links: Build a Better Lego Bike Lane

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.

How transit got traded away in infrastructure bill: In March 2021, the American Jobs Plan set aside $110B for transit, but by the time the group of 10 infrastructure bills passed the senate, that number was reduced to $39.2B. According to Jeff Davis of the Eno Center, transit money was traded away in exchange for lower highway funding levels, and then again for other unknown items. House Democrats hope to get $10B back, but, given trade aways, it might be hard to do. (Jeff Davis | Eno Center for Transportation)

Is walking now part of the culture war?: A new Pew Research survey revealed that 60% of Americans responding to a binary survey question would prefer big housing and shops further from each other over smaller houses and more proximate shops. Political affiliation was connected to the answers more than other indicators. 22% of Conservatives want to live in walkable neighborhoods while 57% of Liberals wanted this urban form. And any way you slice it, the results are an ominous result for climate action. (Aaron Gordon | Motherboard)

True productivity costs of an urban exodus: Data collected by economist Enrico Moretti and other researchers has found that there’s a potential downside to remote work and urban exodus’ down the road- less productivity and innovation. When firms with greater revenue move onto a block, the spillovers are greater and productivity increases. Companies predominantly allowing remote work might see a drop over time as they miss out on chance meetings and exchanges. (Viviane Callier | Wired Magazine)

How has American environmentalism failed: For decades environmentalism in the United States was focused on preservation of natural areas and was promoted by the rich and professional elites. It failed to be inclusive, especially of those who were most impacted by negative environmental impacts. However, that is changing as environmental and climate justice come front and center for a movement that desperately needs to take off. (William Shutkin | MIT Press Reader)

Who knew Lego bike lanes would be political: A Danish bike advocacy group has offered alternative designs for Lego bike lanes after the toy company released designs the organization said were too narrow and unrealistic. As a response to the suggestions, Lego officials allegedly stated that the company does not take part in ideological statements, getting themselves into deeper trouble with advocates who rightfully scoffed at the suggestion. (Rachael Davies | Brick Fanatics)

Quote of the Week

“It is first of all a safety measure, to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable: pedestrians and cyclists. The overwhelming majority of serious or fatal accidents in Paris are caused by cars or heavy goods vehicles.”

Paris deputy mayor David Belliard in RFI discussing the city’s move to make most roads in the capital 30km/hr (18mph)

This week on the podcast, Dr. V. Kelly Turner, director of urban environment research at UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation joins the show to talk about everything HEAT.

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