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San Francisco's New Bike Racks Are Self-Aware

June 23, 2017 Bike theft is a huge problem at San Francisco Bay Area BART stations. The floors of some look like a maniac dynamited a Kryptonite factory. But the newfangled bike racks the agency is rolling out as a pilot project might deter at least a bit of the crime. They have...

How to Get the City to Notice Your Damn Pothole

June 19, 2017 Winter’s long over but its corrosive effect on roads—coupled with drenching warm-month rains—survives. Municipalities across the U.S. are still struggling to deal with persistent, pernicious potholes. In places like Washington, D.C., and Seattle, work crews have turned out in swarms for ”potholepaloozas,” blitz events to fill as many voids as...

Mapping Amtrak Service, Before and After the Trump Budget

April 20, 2017 Among the many groups of Americans who are eyeing President Donald Trump’s proposed budget with acute anxiety: rail travelers. The 2018 budget outline includes a 13 percent cut to the Department of Transportation, which would eliminate federal subsidies for long-distance Amtrak routes and likely erase train travel among hundreds of...

SFMTA 'Never Considered' Paying Ransom to Hackers

November 29, 2016 It’s never a good sign when your transit agency’s work terminals start saying, “You Hacked,ALL Data Encrypted,Contact For Key.” And indeed news surfaced this weekend that the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s computer network had been infected with ransomware, with hackers demanding 100 bitcoins (about $73,100) to decrypt locked files....

Watch the Grim, Ongoing Loss of the Arctic's Historical Ice

November 4, 2016 The Arctic’s sea ice has been diminishing so much there’s a good likelihood in future summers the region will be completely liquid, allowing the ocean to absorb more sunlight and accelerate global warming. While 2016 hasn’t been the worst year, it’s certainly close to the record lowest-extent for sea ice...

NASA: The Earth Gets Scorched With Back-to-Back Hottest Months

September 15, 2016 The planet’s transformation into an oven in which you could steam a ham draws closer with news that August tied for the warmest month in known history. The global average temperature was 0.98 degrees Celsius above the mean temperature for August, and 0.16 degrees warmer than the last record-hot August...

What Peak Hurricane Season Looks Like From the Space Station

September 2, 2016 The Atlantic and Pacific are in their peak hurricane seasons, windows within the normal seasons with high chances of frequent, dangerous storms. And true to history, there’s great violence in the waters, as seen in these time-lapse shotsfrom the International Space Station. The footage first shows Hurricane Lester on its...

San Francisco Begs People Not to Assault Muni Drivers

September 1, 2016 If you had been aboard San Francisco’s inbound Muni 47 bus at 4 p.m. last Tuesday, you would’ve seen a man smash the driver in the head with a skateboard, causing havoc among the passengers and ultimately sending the bleeding victim to the hospital. The incident was the latest in...

San Francisco Wants You to Design Its Future Transit System

August 19, 2016 A subway station near the buffalo paddock in Golden Gate Park, a tunnel to Alcatraz Island—feasible or not, you can have San Francisco review your ideas for transit expansion, thanks to a tool that lets you design and submit your “dream” subway system. The “Subway Vision” map plots existing major...

NASA: July 2016 Was the Hottest Month in Recorded History

August 17, 2016 There might’ve been a time, back in the mists of prehistory, when the oceans boiled and the ground was hot enough to render bacon. But in the modern era, it’s safe to say we’re living in the warmest period known to humankind, with July 2016 going down as the hottest...