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 D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.
Measuring transportation insecurity: One in four people in the United States have experienced transportation insecurity, meaning they lack the means to move about freely in order to access jobs, health care or other important destinations. More than half of people with incomes below the federal poverty line experience transportation insecurity, researchers found, and it’s prevalent specifically among Black and Hispanic communities. (Alix Gould-Werth | Washington Center for Equitable Growth)
Abolish jaywalking laws: As our cities and public spaces grow, it’s time to rethink outdated bike and pedestrian laws — including jaywalking — argues Kyle Rowe. Laws such as jaywalking allow disproportionate policing toward people of color and historically have proven to be ineffective. Instead, cities could refocus their approach on infrastructure that promotes safe riding, walking and rolling. (Kyle Rowe | Traffic Technology Today)
Fayetteville’s preapproved pattern books: Fayetteville, Arkansas is deciding whether to sign a contract with architects to create a pattern book of pre-designed homes that would be fast-tracked through the city development process. The designs aren’t required but will be pre-vetted by neighbors and reduce development costs for both the homeowner and construction companies. The pattern books were promised as part of the 2040 Plan passed in 2018. (Stacy Ryburn | Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
Forced flood buyouts and breaking up neighborhoods: In Houston a neighborhood has flooded 12 times in the past 40 years and now residents are subject to mandatory buyouts to keep it from happening again. But the process is complicated and full of surprises, including extra closing costs and red tape that shouldn’t exist for residents in these lower income areas. (Amal Ahmed | Grist)
Nashville’s main streets too dangerous for retail: In Nashville developers have decided to build retail frontage on the interior part of a block for a major redevelopment project instead of on Gallatin Road, an arterial street. Because of pedestrian safety issues along with noise, pollution and a lack of transit connection, developers felt that dense commercial wouldn’t be viable in a campus-type setting with pedestrianized streets. (Connor Daryani | Nashville Scene)
Quote of the Week
“Most colleagues thought as Americans, probing into a project right in front of the Kremlin and the Red Square, we didn’t have a chance. A lot of Russians thought the same. We had ethical considerations too. But ultimately, we felt it was a project intended for the residents and the city, not for the government. Regimes come and go, while architecture remains for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years. If we have the opportunity to do something significant for the city, why not try?”
Elizabeth Diller in Haaretz on winning a competition to design the 35-acre Zaryadye Park in Moscow
This week on the podcast, we celebrate 400 episodes! with a 13-clip show from some of our guests from the first 399.