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DOT’s Smart City Challenge Aims to Jump Start Driverless Cars in US Cities

March 8, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Given all the advances being made in driverless cars, America’s cities have been startlingly slow to incorporate the technology into their plans. A recent analysis found that, as of mid-2013, just one of the 25 largest U.S. metropolitan planning organizations bothered to mention autonomous vehicles in its long-term outlook—that single...

A Bold Transportation Plan for Urban America—Dead on Arrival

February 10, 2016 The U.S. Department of Transportation’s newly released fiscal 2017 budget is about 70 pages long, but you need only look at the cover to catch its drift. The lead image shows the pedestrian-friendly, tree-lined Long Street Bridge in Columbus, Ohio, which reunited two neighborhoods separated in the 1960s by an...

Why Are States About to Get $2 Billion in Extra Road Money?

January 28, 2016 It’s been several years since Congress banned earmarks, but they’re still paying off for state transportation departments in a big way—up to $2 billion big. The 2016 omnibus spending bill included a provision that gives new life to funding originally earmarked for transportation projects more than a decade ago. (Congressional...

Where Sprawl Makes It Tougher to Rise Up the Social Ranks

January 27, 2016 For the land of opportunity, America ranks dismally low on upward mobility among the world’s developed countries. But what the groundbreaking work of Raj Chetty and others at the Equality of Opportunity Project has found in recent years is that even within the U.S., rates of upward mobility vary widely....

How the Computer Revolution Changed US Cities

January 5, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The rise of computer technology led to all sorts of winners and losers in the modern labor force. Some jobs (bank tellers, telephone operators, typists and the like) became easier to replace with machines; others (programmers, engineers, data analysts, etc.) became more valuable with their arrival. But it wasn’t just...

Where the Fight Against Excess City Parking Is Happening

November 24, 2015 It’s getting hard to keep track of all the U.S. cities taking aim at parking minimums—policies that require developers to build a certain amount of parking spaces, leading to higher rents and more congested drives to work. Fortunately the good folks at the Strong Towns blog are tracking this progress...

Stop Complaining About Your 'Long' Work Week, in 2 Charts

October 28, 2015 The Transportationist blog points us to data showing the long decline ofannual work hours among developed Western nations. CityLab charted a handful of the labor-hour trajectories below. The trends are remarkably consistent across countries: people have been working less and less since the Industrial Revolution, with total hours falling from...

Religious Opposition to a D.C. Bike Lane?

October 16, 2015 Some drivers and retailers will use just about any excuse to oppose a bike lane, but the United House of Prayer in Washington, D.C., just took things up a notch by bringing God into the mix. The church recently denounced plans for a protected bike lane along 6th Street NW...

Where Telecommuting Is on the Rise

October 1, 2015 Joseph Kane and Adie Tomer at Brookings break down the latest Census data release to bring us a map of where telecommuting is on the rise among U.S. metros. The short answer is basically everywhere (except Omaha): Brookings No commute mode has grown in popularity more than telecommuting in recent...

Volkswagen Sued for $100 Million Over Its Emissions Scandal in Texas

September 30, 2015 Volkswagen is about to learn just what it means to mess with Texas. Harris County, home to Houston, is suing the car giant for more than $100 million in what officials are calling the “first” local government suit against VW following its emissions scandal. Here’s county attorney Vince Ryan, via...

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