Every day, The Overhead Wire collects news about cities and sends the links to their 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 and international links, sometimes entertaining or absurd but often useful.
EU looks to ban large U.S. vehicles: The European Union is considering whether to close a loophole that allows large American-style pickup trucks to be sold and operated in Europe. In 2022, 6,800 oversized trucks were sold in the EU, and Belgian researchers found that pedestrians or cyclists are three times as likely to be killed by a large truck than in a collision with a car. (Lucien Mathieu | Transport & Environment)
EV charger incentives not being used: As sales of electric vehicles increase, the demand for vehicle chargers grows. In anticipation of this need, the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Bill set aside $7.5 billion for charging infrastructure, much of it to be distributed through states. But 27 states and Washington, D.C. have yet to start soliciting bids from installation companies, and those that have are yet to distribute any funds. States that prepared for charging networks even before the bill, such as Ohio, are way ahead of everyone else. (James Bikales | Politico)
BRT and auto-centric land uses: Plans for a drive-through on Colfax Avenue in Denver where a future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line will run are causing local urbanists to think deeper about zoning changes that were supposed to support more walkable building forms in certain districts. Existing zoning creates restrictions that prioritize pedestrians but still allows auto-based uses — and a zoning overlay might not fix the problem. (Andy Cushen | Denver Urbanism)
Two schemes for fighting poverty: Alan Ehrenhalt discusses two schemes for fighting poverty and wonders which one works better. Does investing in disadvantaged neighborhoods reap rewards with programs like enterprise or opportunity zones, or does moving people to places with more economic opportunity improve outcomes? The place-based investment strategy might be the best way forward, he argues, even if it sometimes fails. (Alan Ehrenhalt | Governing Magazine)
Indoor air pollution deadly: Indoor air pollution around the world is responsible for 3.2 million deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization. It primarily effects people in middle- and low-income countries where residents have open fires in homes or use fuel for cooking. But in the United States, the most common causes of indoor air pollution are cigarette smoke, radon and particulates from sources such as cooking and building materials. (Ana Clara Faria | Salon)
This week on the podcast, we’re joined by author Ben Goldfarb to talk about his book, Crossings: How Road Ecology Is Shaping the Future of Our Planet.
Quote of the Week
“It was suggested that the commissioners of Kitsap Transit take a day and just use the bus system. The immediate response was, ‘Well, we don’t have time to do that.’ “
— Blind advocate and resident of Kitsap County, Washington, Kris Colcock in an Urbanist article wondering why transit boards are full of non-riders.