National Links: Sprawl vs Density in Colorado

Every day, The Overhead Wire collects news about cities and sends the links to our email list. At the end of the week they 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.

Car culture leaves Britons in transport poverty: An extreme focus on automobility doesn’t just affect people in the United States. In other countries like England where car infrastructure has been emphasized, many are suffering from transport poverty. Those who own a car spend 13% of their gross income on it. And because of those car investments, biking is seen as an unsafe alternative. The endless cycle of bad investments and choices feeds itself. (Peter Walker | The Guardian)

Colorado governor wants state to grow responsibly: Speaking at a legislative policy breakfast, Colorado governor Jared Polis said that he wants to focus on the state’s housing affordability issue by changing the way cities in the state grow. By moving away from sprawling development that creates longer commutes and lowered quality of life, the governor hopes to focus on more compact development and access to transit. (Nathaniel Minor | Colorado Public Radio)

Why do we keep widening highways if it doesn’t work: After widening the 405 Freeway, Los Angeles learned the hard way that widening highways only leads to more traffic and congestion. Same with the Katy Freeway in Houston. A new 710 expansion in LA would have widened another highway in the region but was canceled in part because the Environmental Protection Agency said it would violate the Clean Air Act. With so much funding coming to states from the infrastructure bill, it is hoped that these lessons are realized and money is spent not on highway widenings, but transportation access. (Eden Weingart | New York Times)

Walgreens admits exaggerations on shoplifting: Walgreens’ Chief Financial Officer James Kehoe admitted on an earnings call with investors that the company had overstated the impact of shoplifting on business. He said this after admitting to investors that they spent too much on store security. After the admission, it’s clear the media and the public should be more skeptical about corporate claims about crime or anything like inflation or pricing for that matter. (Amanda Holpuch | New York Times)

Copenhagen’s controversial climate change project: To protect the City of Copenhagen in Denmark from rising seas, officials have started construction on a wide 271-acre man-made island that would absorb waves and storms. Architects hope an adaptive design will be much more resilient than a seawall and will become a natural part of the environment. However, environmentalists in opposition believe that the project is already messing with wildlife habitat and saline balance in the area. (Leah Dolan | CNN)

Quote of the Week

“The more I thought about it and looked at the grades going into the structure and going out, and how much land would actually be opened up and the way you could reduce the freeway impacts downtown, it started to seem so obvious that yes, this is the right thing to do.”

Christian Lenhart in Salt Lake Weekly discussing his 60-page proposal for rethinking the Rio Grande district.

This week on the podcast, we’re joined by Sarah Kaufman of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation.

Photo at top courtesy of mana5280 on Unsplash.

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