Transportation

August 17, 2007, 9am PDT
<p>Despite the federal government's recently-awarded grants to support toll roads and other measures to reduce traffic congestion, many subsidies still exist that encourage car use.</p>
The New York Times
August 16, 2007, 11am PDT
<p>Thanks to recently acquired federal funding, commuter lanes along Miami's Interstate 95 will soon be replaced by toll lanes.</p>
The Miami Herald
August 16, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>The Bay Area received $158 million from a federal congestion pricing program for improvements to traffic, transit, and parking, but it is conditional upon San Francisco and California legislative approval for the controversial tolls on Doyle Drive.</p>
San Francisco Examiner
August 15, 2007, 2pm PDT
<p>As more cyclists and runners use the streets of Los Angeles, incidents of road rage and accidents are on the rise.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
August 15, 2007, 1pm PDT
<p>A history of speedbumps have hindered transit funding in Minnesota, but after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, the state's roads may finally get the maintenance money they need.</p>
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
August 15, 2007, 7am PDT
<p>With major roadwork underway on a stretch of heavily-used Interstate 5 in Seattle, many commuters chose public transit to avoid the resulting congestion. But many are wondering whether commuters will keep using transit after the work is done.</p>
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 14, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>A flea market space located adjacent to a planned expansion of the Bay Area Rapid Transit system in San Jose, California, may be replaced with a mixed use transit village.</p>
San Jose Mercury News
August 14, 2007, 5am PDT
<p>City and county officials in Milwaukee are reviving efforts to create a regional transportation system. But officials are moving ahead cautiously to avoid the mistakes that halted similar plans in the past.</p>
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
August 13, 2007, 1pm PDT
<p>Transportation plans in Memphis are undergoing a major facelift this summer, and the city's metropolitan planning organization is calling on residents to get involved in the process and the future of their city.</p>
The Daily News (Memphis)
August 13, 2007, 11am PDT
<p>San Francisco's Critical Mass bike ride has become an institution in the city, giving cyclists a monthly chance to physically advocate bike awareness.</p>
The Los Angeles Times
August 11, 2007, 7am PDT
<p>Car-oriented sloping sidewalks are upsetting pedestrians in Toronto, and they have called on politicians to look for a way to give the city's sidewalks back to walkers.</p>
The Toronto Star
August 10, 2007, 12pm PDT
<p>During debate over the House of Representatives' energy conservation bill, North Carolina Republican Congressman Patrick McHenry ridiculed bicycling as a "19th century solution."</p>
Streetsblog
August 10, 2007, 11am PDT
<p>In Kansas City, plans for a new light rail line connecting the city to the nearby international airport will need about $500 million more than originally expected to complete construction and maintain operations.</p>
The Kansas City Star
August 10, 2007, 10am PDT
<p>Government officials have plans to keep more than a million cars out of Beijing for four days this summer as an experiment to see how the city's notoriously poor air quality can improve.</p>
The Times Of India
August 10, 2007, 9am PDT
<p>The idea of creating "complete streets" for cyclists, pedestrians, mass transit, and cars is gaining popularity across the country.</p>
USA Today
August 10, 2007, 8am PDT
<p>After the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis, many commuters have had to rearrange their commute by finding new routes or taking transit.</p>
Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune
Blog post
August 10, 2007, 6am PDT

After the dramatic collapse of the Minneapolis freeway bridge last week, the collective hand-wringing began. The bridge was known to be faulty, but had not been replaced. Our entire public transit system is underfunded, we were told.

In addition to transportation infrastructure, those concerned with urban issues have a litany of complaints about American cities. Our transit systems are not adequately linked to zoning laws. Our high parking requirements doom alternative modes of transit and drive up development costs. Our policies encourage uncontrolled sprawl, which seemingly nobody likes. Planners' recommendations are too often overruled by ill-informed and politicized zoning boards. Our buildings aren't energy efficient. City mayors and councils play politics with projects painstakingly approved through highly democratic review processes. And nobody's happy when local activists hold undue power over individual projects.

The solutions we are given are almost as varied as the problems. More centralized planning is often called for, or perhaps more regional planning. However, this seems highly difficult and unlikely in most places where land use is regulated by many small municipalities. Some suggest the solution is more public input on infrastructure and private projects to enhance their quality, while others think we need less input to speed them along and reduce the costs incurred by delays. Some are convinced elaborate flexible or form-based zoning holds the key to better cities, although implementation seems frustratingly difficult. Some cynics conclude that perhaps it is American cultural biases that produce our flawed cities: maybe Americans just like it this way, living with decaying infrastructure, long commutes, but low taxes.

The motley list of solutions almost never includes the one thing that actually has overcome the myriad of obstacles to good city building before: a broad-based and robust conversation to create solutions, money, and political support.

Robert Goodspeed
August 9, 2007, 2pm PDT
<p>High technology and the Internet will have an increasingly broad impact on the way our cities and communities deal with transportation, traffic, and mobility, according to commentator John M. Eger.</p>
Government Technology
August 9, 2007, 12pm PDT
<p>A rare tornado and torrential storms caused havoc in New York City Wednesday, flooding subway tracks and creating major delays for commuters.</p>
The New York Times
August 8, 2007, 2pm PDT
<p>Facing the prospect of not receiving crucial state funding, the Chicago Transit Authority has released a "doomsday" plan to guide the system's reaction to the budget shortfall. Some services would have to be cut, but not as many as expected earlier.</p>
The Chicago Tribune