A Wonderfully Clear Explanation of How Road Diets Work. How fire chiefs and traffic engineers make places less safe. Here's The First Glow-In-The-Dark Bike Lane In The U.S. The City of Seattle no longer wants to bank at Wells Fargo.
Driven by the fact that the bank is helping fund the Dakota Access Pipeline—and the bank's fraudulent account scandal that surfaced in 2016—the Seattle City Council passed a bill to pull its money out of Wells Fargo when its current contract expires in 2018. The city already had a law to consider socially responsible business practices when choosing a bank, but now those criteria will be stronger. The bill also specifically directs the mayor to give notice to Wells Fargo that the city won't renew its contract. The mayor has indicated he'll sign the bill. "Recently, in light of legal findings against Wells Fargo, and because of concern about Wells Fargo's participation in DAPL, people started asking, why is it that our socially responsible banking practices didn't catch this? " In September 2016, news hit about the bank opening as many as two million fake accounts since 2005, leading to $185 million in fines. 50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets.
As more cities try to improve walkability—from car-free "superblocks" in Barcelona to heat-protected walkways in Dubai—a new report outlines the reasons behind the shift, the actions that cities can take to move away from a car-centric world, and why walkability matters.
"The benefits of walkability are all interconnected," says James Francisco, an urban designer and planner at Arup, the global engineering firm that created the report. "Maybe you want your local business to be enhanced by more foot traffic. How to Design the Perfect City Intersection. Pittsburgh's new artificially intelligent stoplights. No more waiting.
Shutterstock Traffic lights are finally getting smarter in Pittsburgh. Thanks to a new pilot program from the tech startup Rapid Flow Technologies, Steel City now boasts 50 intersections whose stoplights are running artificial intelligence software known as Surtrac that reduces wait times on empty or lightly-traveled roads. Since Surtrac was first introduced in 2012, the Rapid Flow team estimates the AI stoplights have cut emissions by 21%, travel times by 25%, and idling times by 40%. The skinny on healthy neighborhoods. Scientists are learning more and more about how where we live affects the amount of exercise we get, and thus how fit and healthy we are likely to be.
In general, city dwellers are particularly well placed to get regular exercise if they can take care of some or all of their daily errands without getting into a car: walking is good for us, and so is taking public transportation, because almost every transit trip begins and ends with a walking trip. The subject fascinates me, and I have written about it often, most recently with respect to the demand for walkable neighborhoods and some of the city planning tools that can help provide them. (See also this article from 2014.) Planetizen: The independent resource for people passionate about planning and related fields. Congestion Pricing May Reduce Traffic, but Also Create a Loss in Productivity in City Centers. Traffic jams aren’t fun for anyone.
Driver stuck in them lose time, money, and peace of mind. And for society as a whole, congestion translates to economic and health costs. New "Diverging Diamond" Intersection Design Cuts Crashes by Sixty Percent. It’s tempting to think of technological advancement in terms of radical new materials or near-magical computer science—for example, the way driverless cars promise to teach artificial intelligence to drive better than humans.
But just as often, new technology just makes smarter use of things we already have—for example, the way the novel “diverging diamond” interchange, or DDI, helps keep all-too-human drivers from ramming each other at high speed. Here’s an overview of the DDI, courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation. Get Data Sheet, Fortune’s technology newsletter. How seven cities are inventing the future of transportation - Washington Post. 12 of America's Most Questionable Highway Expansion Projects. When Texas expanded the Katy Freeway in Houston a few years back, the expectation was that making the massive road even wider would relieve traffic.
Some $2.8 billion later, the 26-lane interstate laid claim to being the “world's widest freeway”—but the drivers who commuted along it every day were no better off. More lanes simply invited more cars, and by 2014, morning and evening travel times had increased by 30 and 55 percent, respectively, over 2011. How Parking Spaces Are Eating Our Cities Alive. How much space does your car take up?
A new production from Streetfilms and transportation nonprofit ITDP breaks it down Schoolhouse Rock-style: The average parking space requires about 300 square feet of asphalt. That’s the size of a studio apartment in New York, enough room to hold 10 bicycles. It’s not just the 300 square feet in your driveway or at the curb outside your apartment building that your car requires to be fully functional. If you drive a personal motor vehicle for basic everyday transportation, there’s also the 300 square feet at your job, and at the supermarket, and outside the restaurant where you have dinner.
A Redesigned Parking Sign So Simple That You’ll Never Get Towed. An earlier iteration of Sylianteng’s redesigned parking sign.
Nikki Sylianteng Your car gets towed, and who do you blame? Yourself? A Great Place to Put Community Health Clinics: Fire Stations. City officials in Hayward, California, broke ground this month on a new fire station that includes a first in community design for the city, the county, the state, and maybe even the nation: a built-in health clinic.
It's a novel idea that Alameda County officials have been kicking around for a while now. Does San Francisco's Smart Parking System Reduce Cruising for a Space? Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency released yet more evidence that the city's SFpark system has been a great success. SFpark changes meter rates based on parking demand to maintain an average occupancy between 60 and 80 percent: When parking on a street is too full (or too empty), the hourly price goes up (or down) to free up (or fill up) spaces.
The goal is to distribute parking more evenly and, more critically, to reduce time spent cruising for a space. By SFMTA's latest measures, SFpark hits all of its key marks. Prepare for the chart parade: City blocks with SFpark met their target occupancies much more often than they did before the system went into effect, especially compared with control blocks that aren't part of the system: How Parking Lots Became the Scourge of American Downtowns. The downtowns of many American cities are hollowed out by the disastrous impacts of planning events that took place decades ago. Lessons-from-seattle-rtp-and-kendall-square-how-innovation-districts-are-born. If you live near a metropolitan area and are in need of business advice or are seeking networking opportunities, it's likely that you know right where to go. Redesigning Crosswalks Into A Network Of Mini-Parks To Save Pedestrian Lives.
Even though San Francisco is known as a walkable city, it isn’t exactly safe: On average, three pedestrians are hit by cars every day. To Make Roads Safe, Make Them Feel Dangerous. A new study adds weight to the idea that heightening drivers' sense of risk may actually cut down on traffic collisions. In 2005, the U.K. 'Two-Ways' to Fix Our Neighborhoods.