National Links: Fast-Food Manager Opposes Drive-Through

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.

Chick-fil-A fires store manager for rezoning opposition: A manager at a local Chick-fil-A restaurant, and master’s student in public administration at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, was fired after he expressed concern in a now deleted Facebook post about changing the transit-oriented development (TOD) zoning designation on a property to allow for a drive-through. He said it was frustrating the city worked so hard to get to a TOD plan, only to have it changed when convenient. (Paige Masten | Charlotte Observer)

Paris may daylight a city river: The last stretch of Paris’ Bievre River was sealed up in 1912, when pollution from tanneries was rampant and the stench from waste was unbearable. But because of climate change and the heat island effect, this urban river might see the light of day once more. Paris’ Green Party proposed daylighting the river. After a feasibility study the first section is expected to be open in 2026. (Ciara Nugent | Time Magazine)

Openings and construction starts planned for 2022: For 13 years Yonah Freemark has been cataloging transit projects around the United States and the world. This year he is expanding his list as part of his Transit Explorer 2 database to include the United Kingdom. Overall, the project includes 21,300 transit stations and 5,500 transit lines. (Yonah Freemark | Transport Politic)

Is France’s ‘slow train’ revolution the future of travel?: A new railway cooperative with 11,000 members in France will begin using secondary rail lines to provide passenger service in underserved areas of the country. The program is made possible after the EU opened monopoly rail services to competition and will cost much less as well. A trip from Caen to Toulouse is expected to cost €30 for the 10-hour journey. (John Lichfield |

Building up the “Zoning Buffer”: In a recently released paper, UCLA researcher Shane Phillips writes about the gap between existing housing stock and the number of homes allowed by existing zoning, which he calls the “zoning buffer.” He argues that extensive downzoning in the middle and late 20th century led to a shortage of homes and high prices, and the solution is to increase the zoning buffer such that six to 10 units per parcel are allowed on up to half of a city’s land area. (Shane Phillips | UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies)

Quote of the Week

“People think it’s just about recycling. But really, it’s about rethinking everything—products, material development, how we consume.”

Nani Pajunen in Time Magazine discussing Finland’s plans to end waste and create a circular economy.

This week on the podcast, Anna Zivarts from Disability Rights Washington and Paulo Nunes-Ueno from Front and Centered join us to talk about the Disability Mobility Initiative and the Mobility Bill of Rights.

Feature photo courtesy of the St. Cloud Times.

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