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Talking Headways Podcast: Colonias — Informal Housing in the U.S.

This week on Talking Headways our guest is Emily Perlmeter of the Federal Reserve Bank in Dallas. Emily discusses the half million people living in informal settlements known as Colonias, on the U.S. side of the Mexican border. Join us for a look at how these settlements are formed, who lives there, and their strengths and hardships.
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Today’s Headlines

  • Dallas City Council Puts Patrick Kennedy on the Board of DART (Morning News, D Magazine, Observer)
  • …As Push for Houston-Style Bus System Reimagining Spreads Across Texas (Texas Tribune)
  • Sprawl’s Worsening of Flooding in Houston Explored With Cool Maps (Texas Tribune)
  • Austin Mobility Committee Sends All Four Speed Policy Recommendations to Council (KUT, KVUE)
  • While Still Trailing Rest of State, San Antonio Rents Increasing Faster Than Other Cities (Express News)
  • Round Rock Vigil for Crash Victims Destiny Conatser, 17, and Old Evan Langbein, 15 (KEYE)
  • App-Based Shuttle Route Now Running in Austin; Free This Month, $5 After That (Community Impact)
  • Commissioner-Elect Scores 1st Victory at Travis County: Equity at CAMPO Representation (Monitor)
  • Chair of All-White Transpo Commission Defends Work of Mostly-White Male TXDOT Leadership (Quorum)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

Streetsblog.net

How to Spend a Fortune on Roads and Make Potholes Worse

The conventional wisdom about America’s infrastructure woes is that cash will solve everything. That’s the pitch Donald Trump is making with his vaguely-defined $1 trillion infrastructure package.

But simply spending a lot on infrastructure is no guarantee of better transportation conditions. It can easily make things worse. Wisconsin is a perfect example.

James Rowen at The Political Environment notes that under Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin has gone on an enormous road spending spree. The state has lavished more than $6 billion on huge highway interchanges in the greater Milwaukee area. But this orgy of road spending has coincided with the neglect of basic maintenance, which even the Walker administration has been forced to admit, the Journal-Sentinel reports:

The share of roads in poor condition will double, debt payments and the state’s stream of cash for road and highway projects will barely grow, a state official told lawmakers Tuesday.

By 2027, the share of state roads in poor condition would double to 42% while the money available to address those growing challenges would increase at only one-quarter the recent inflation rate, state Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb testified to lawmakers Tuesday.

The state now has more highways to maintain thanks to the billions Walker spent, which only makes the maintenance backlog worse. Rowen says this situation will cost Wisconsinites dearly:

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Today’s Headlines

  • Metro Testing Light Rail Cars on Bridge Over Freight Rail to Finish Houston’s East End Line
  • Crazy Trump Ally Alex Jones Attacks Downtown Austin High-Rise for Lack of Parking (InfoWars)
  • Forth Worth Achieves Bronze Bicycle-Friendly Community Status (BikeTexas)
  • The Grove Mixed Use Development Passed on 2nd Reading at Austin Council (Monitor)
  • CTRMA Looking to Usher in a Whole New Era of Sprawl Far East of Austin With Toll Road (KEYE)
  • Watch Austin Council Mobility Committee Hear Speed Reduction Strategies Today at 3 PM (KVUE)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

via The Urban Edge

Podcast: How to Build Stronger Suburbs

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Urban thinkers often dismiss the suburbs for various reasons — they’re too far away, they require too much driving, they’re too cookie cutter — but it may be time to rethink those stereotypes, argues the Kinder Institute’s Dr. Kyle Shelton.

He thinks those communities may offer new insights for planners, and in a region like Houston — where the overwhelming majority of the population lives outside the dense, urban core — he argues it’s important to study those communities.

In the latest episode of the Institute’s Urban Edge Podcast, Shelton discusses his new study, “Building Stronger Suburbs,” and highlights suburban communities that offer intersting lessons for public officials and planners alike.

In other words: If you think you know the suburbs, think again.

Read more…

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Today’s Headlines

  • San Antonio Joins Houston and Fort Worth in Supporting Safe Neighborhood Streets Bill (FoxSA)
  • Houston Chronicle Editorial Board: Prioritize Pedestrianism and Reduce Parking Requirements
  • Austin Council Mobility Committee to Hear Awesome Report From Staff on Speed Wednesday
  • Texas Sunset Commission to Consider Whether TXDOT Should Continue This Friday
  • …TXDOT CEO Letter Does Not Address: Traffic Deaths, Transit, Walk, Bike, Equity, ADA (Sunset Commission)
  • There May Be an Attempt to Bias Capital Metro Planning for Sprawl Interests (Purgatorian)
  • AURA Report Supports Most of Capital Metro Connections 2025, But Opposes Freeway BRT, Red Line
  • #AllWhitePanel of Houston Region County Judges — Who Dominate HGAC — Want Regionalism? (HPM)
  • Trump Might Not Hurt Texas High Speed Rail, But Slow Funding Sets Target Year Back to 2022 (Nikkei)
  • AIA Houston Event Tonight: Walkability & Parking — Understanding Design Possibilities Within CoH Code

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

StreetFilms
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Vancouver’s Multi-Modal Success Story

One of the best transportation stories of 2016 comes from Vancouver, British Columbia, which achieved its goal of having transit, biking, and walking account for 50 percent of all trips a full four years ahead of schedule. Bicycling is a big part of that shift, and now one of every 10 work trips is by bike.

Vancouver is a city that prides itself on rejecting freeways in the 1960s and 70s. It is the only major city in North America without freeways in the core. Recently the city set out to build on the achievements of previous generations by increasing “sustainable modes” to account for two-thirds of all trips by 2040 (read up on the city’s goals).

I was in Vancouver for the ProWalk ProBike ProPlace conference this summer and spoke to several people involved in the effort to make Vancouver a more multi-modal city, including former chief planner Brent Toderian, Manager of Transportation Planning Dale Bracewell, and Melissa and Chris Bruntlett, the activist couple behind Modacity.

I hope this Streetfilm provides a taste what it’s like to have so many different options at your disposal — bike, bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and more. And don’t miss our short from earlier this year: Vancouver’s Breathtaking Network of Protected Bike lanes.

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Today’s Headlines

  • Austin-Style Path Cleared for Massive Mixed-Use, New Urbanist Development, The Grove (Austin Chron)
  • Austin’s Vision Zero Action Plan Triggers Work on a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, Speed Policy (KUT)
  • Dallas Council Considering Mixed-Use, Affordable Covenants for Sale of Old DISD Headquarters (WFAA)
  • Austin’s Shift to Form-Based Code Entering Knock-Out Brawl Phase; Segregationists Ready (Statesman)
  • High School Cheerleader, 3 Others Killed in Saturday Morning Head-On Crash on Rural Road (KXAN)
  • Sponsor Liz Pope Killed and 3 Cheerleaders Injured in School Bus/Semi-Truck Crash (Inquisitr)
  • Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Stony Point HS Coach in 1 of 2 Round Rock Weekend Ped Deaths (KXAN)
  • Drunk Driver Crashes Into Texas Rep. Rafael Anchia, DPD Doesn’t Come, Drunk Drives Away (Anchia)
  • Dallas Can Pick the Expert to Serve on DART Board or Get Left at the Station (Morning News)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA

Streetsblog USA

Talking Headways Podcast: A Bus Full of People Should Go Ahead of a Tesla

This week’s episode returns to the Shared Use Mobility Summit in Chicago for a great discussion of how the changing technology and information landscape could yield more equitable outcomes. Jackie Grimshaw of the Center for Neighborhood Technology moderated this panel featuring Anita Cozart of Policy Link, Rob Puentes of the Eno Center for Transportation, and Joshua Schank of LA Metro.

The discussion touches on several interesting topics, including the idea that innovation doesn’t have to arise from technology, the fact that not all people are benefitting from transportation investments, the measurement bias in the models we use to make transportation decisions, and much more. I highly recommend a listen.

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Today’s Headlines

  • Dallas Has a #SaveThePatio Campaign to Oppose Parking Requirements (WFAA)
  • Building Texas Cities, Transit, Pedestrianism Is What Can Build US Economy (Morning News)
  • Bike Paths and TRE Rail Station Credited for Helping Keep American Airlines in Fort Worth (Milligan)
  • TXDOT Kind of Has a “Families for Safe Streets” Event About Drunk Driving (Fox26)
  • Target Opening a Pedestrian-Focused Urban Target Next to UT Campus in Austin (Statesman)
  • Heavy Push for Legalizing Ride-Hailing in San Antonio From Anti-Drunk Driving Angle (Rivard)
  • San Antonio Planning Commission Has Zero Representation for South Side (Rivard)

More headlines at Streetsblog USA