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 Streets.mn that focuses on urban issues in the D.C. region. They are national links, sometimes entertaining or absurd but often useful.
What Lyft’s possible end could mean for Citi Bike: Since 2018, the ride-hailing company Lyft has invested heavily in bike-share systems and operations. They run the eight largest bike-share networks in the country and also own an equipment provider for bike shares everywhere. But Lyft hasn’t recovered from its recent financial troubles as well as its rival Uber, which leads Alissa Walker to wonder what would happen to bike share around the country if Lyft were to go under, taking many cities’ bike-share operations and equipment with it. (Alissa Walker | Curbed)
The city of the future: Fewer cars, more money: Savings blogger Mr. Money Mustache estimates that if we started designing and retrofitting our cities around people instead of cars, the United States would gain about $770 trillion in wealth over the next five decades. Not only that, we would have more space for housing and amenities that people enjoy. An example of this kind of development is being completed in Tempe, Arizona, where a company called Culdesac is building a car-free neighborhood that could start a journey toward car-free living. (Mr. Money Mustache)
Helping homeowners retire at home: Older people would rather not move out of the home they’ve lived in toward the end of their lives and will be looking for ways to make aging in place possible. Many aging adults are now considering accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that can be used multiple different ways. They can have family move into the main house as they move to the ADU, have caretakers live in the ADU, or rent the unit out for supplemental income. (Meera Pal | Realtor.com)
Remote work could increase costs of government: Remote work is taking off, as some employees and employers prefer the arrangement and the reduced costs. But for the public sector, including government, remote work is a benefit that only a select few will be able to enjoy. Daniel DiSalvo and Michael Hartney argue that, because of the value of part-time work-from-home to employees, it could cost governments more to require full in-person work when union contracts are renegotiated. (Daniel DiSalvo and Michael Hartney | Governing)
The first all-electric city: In the winter of 2018, Ithaca, New York passed its own version of the Green New Deal and started moving to decarbonize all 6,000 buildings in the city, which produce 40% of the city’s emissions. This city has also partnered with private sector companies to provide $100 million in loans for retrofitting residential and commercial buildings. Because of the economy of scale, they expect 30% cost savings overall and hope to meet the city’s goal of being net zero by 2030. (Brian Kahn | Rolling Stone)
Quote of the Week
“I’m trying to tell people there’s a bigger issue here about civil rights. For people crossing the road, [change] only seems to happen when enough people pay for it in blood. … We built this environment, and often, people like me end up with disabilities because of our how we built this environment. But we have the power to change it.”
— Steven Hardy-Braz in Streetsblog USA discussing his fight for ADA access.
This week on the podcast we chat with David Hensher of the University of Sydney about the failures of the “Mobility as a Service” concept, which proposed to reduce emissions by uniting disparate transportation modes under a single service.
Photo by Anthony Fomin on Unsplash