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National links: public transport and housing


Every day at The Overhead Wire, we collect city news and send the links to our mailing list. At the end of the week, we take some of the most popular stories and publish them on Greater Greater Washington, a group blog similar to street.mn that focuses on urban issues in the DC area. These are national links, sometimes entertaining and sometimes absurd, but hopefully useful.

Preparing transit for the future of work: Before the pandemic, only 5% of all hours worked were from home. Once the pandemic passes, that number is expected to rise to 28%, a remarkable societal shift. Public transport systems in many cities are organized primarily around business travel. This gives urban transit agencies the opportunity to reorganize to support people’s new daily routines. (Nick Caros | Eno Center for Transportation)

Tire chemicals kill fish: When researchers followed a study that showed salmon were affected by a tire chemical found in water runoff, they discovered that other fish like trout are affected by the same chemical in water courses. water near roads. The chemical, which has been used in tires since the 1950s, works to prevent fish from processing oxygen when they breathe. A small amount in an urban stream is enough to choke and kill trout. (Bob Weber | Toronto Star)

Infrastructure Bill is watershed moment for buses: Typically, buses are replaced every 12 years, and agencies have used limited federal funds for replacement and construction of facilities. But now there’s $2.35 billion available for buses, and agencies should start thinking bigger about how to provide better bus service through capital improvements that might not have been available in the past. This includes bus stops, stations, and ADA improvements that can make a huge difference in rider comfort and access. (Transit Center)

Why Christopher Alexander Still Matters: Urban design pioneer Christopher Alexander died last week at the age of 85. His books, including his most famous work, A Model language, are still must-reads for architecture students and computer coders everywhere. It even inspired the invention of Wikipedia. What he taught us about design is still important, and we need to find a way to preserve the environment around us. (Michael Mehaffy | Planetizen)

A lack of coordination of public transit and housing: The importance of linking affordable housing and transport is well known, but linking them in practice is another matter. New research from the Transit Cooperative Research Program examines the challenges residents face in education, employment and health care when public transit is less accessible than it should be. The work also shares solutions some agencies have used to bridge the gap. (Maria Zimmerman | MZ Strategies)

quote of the week

“When asked to estimate their annual gas tax expenditure, only one in five respondents came within 10% of the calculated cost. Fifty-five percent of respondents understated their gas taxes by more than 10 percent. The remaining 24% overestimated, sometimes by huge margins. People often couldn’t guess how much they were paying in state gas taxes, but 52% of respondents still thought it was too high.

Catie Gould in Sightline explains how voters in Washington state have no idea how much gas taxes are.

This week in podcast, Brookings’ Adie Tomer explains how transit-oriented development and active transportation play a role in climate strategies.