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.
People miss opportunities to reduce emissions: When asked what they can do to reduce emissions, people generally give answers that are good at the margins but typically lack a large impact. The little things help, but actions like owning one less car or skipping a long-distance flight have bigger impacts than eating organic food or changing light bulbs. Wired‘s Matt Reynolds argues that, unfortunately, the biggest impacts aren’t intuitive. (Matt Reynolds| Wired Magazine)
Winnipeg’s potential transit turnaround: Winnipeg has seen a recent drop in transit ridership, similar to those in other North American cities. The Canadian city of about 750,000 is pinning its hopes on its 2025 Transit Master Plan. Approved by the city in 2021, the Master Plan promises to improve service, modernize the network structure and build new bus lanes downtown. (Dan Lett | The Free Press)
Automakers paid Tesla to make EVs: Automakers have given Tesla $8 billion while continuing to build internal combustion vehicles and falling behind on electric vehicles. This is because regulators in states like California have tried to promote zero-emission vehicles through tax-credit schemes. Out-of-compliance companies can purchase EV credits from companies like Tesla to get back in regulators’ good graces. It’s a lot of money, and Tony Dutzik notes that many of those companies might soon wish they had used it for EV development in-house. (Tony Dutzik | The Frontier Group)
Edmonton’s downtown getting back on track: More and more people are coming back to downtown Edmonton after a pandemic-induced slow period. Downtown representatives note that restaurants are busy again, and more people are making their way into the core for purposes other than work. They believe the key is increased perceptions of safety, but more resources are needed for the city’s homeless as well. (Edmonton Journal)
Embracing manufactured housing: In the 1970’s, Congress passed building code regulations for manufactured homes — historically associated with trailer parks but now much more widespread — which made them cheaper and more affordable to mass produce than modular housing or custom-built homes. Some cities around the country are taking advantage of this to allow the construction of lower cost homes for first-time buyers. While the stigma still remains for “mobile homes,” builders have been able to convince many local officials and buyers that their quality has improved. (Adele Peters | Fast Company)
This week on the Talking Headways podcast we’re joined by Accessible Avenue founder Ron Brooks to talk about service animal etiquette, the negotiation and implementation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and including people with disabilities in conversations about equity.
Quote of the Week
“With ridership still below pre-pandemic levels in many U.S. cities, such transit-oriented development isn’t just important for housing affordability — it could also lock in many hundreds of thousands of new riders, bailing out cash-strapped transit agencies.”
— M. Nolan Gray in Bloomberg CityLab, discussing a new bill that would make development near transit score higher on transit project evaluations