A proposed highway in Dallas finally dies after a decade-long fight. In Los Angeles, fans of a successful bus rapid transit line wonder why it needs to become a train. And did you know how complicated it is to deliver bananas to the grocery store? Check out what's happening around the nation in transportation, land use, and other related areas.
Killing a toll road in Texas: A road that was supposed to run in the Trinity River flood plain to avoid urban Dallas and provide yet another option for drivers was killed this week after an 11-year opposition that began when elected Dallas City Council Member Angela Hunt went on a bike ride to understand the area better. What she found was a peaceful place next to a major urban center that would be completely changed by a new and not necessary road. (Texas Tribune)
Why doesn't the Orange Line get more respect?: The Orange Line in Los Angeles is the most successful bus rapid transit system in the country. Frequent calls to turn it into a rail line sooner than its existing 2051 timeline have some local advocates wondering why some of the improvements that would make rail more successful such as elevated crossings aren't being implemented for the bus system. (Curbed LA)
Bananas to bodegas: Each week 20 million bananas are distributed to stores in New York City. And while there's not a lot of money for the mom and pops that sell them, the process is fascinating. First they must be shipped green to warehouses to avoid damage. Then they are ripened to the yellow color we all know through very specific processes, then transported to their final destinations for consumption. (New York Times)
The typical congestion report: Oregon's Department of Transportation released its 2016 congestion report littered with images of traffic and claims of congestion at a time when the population is growing. What was buried in the report however is that while travel times are increasing, overall travel is decreasing along with traffic volumes on key roadways. Yet they are still angling to widen the freeways to tackle that incurable ailment congestion. (City Observatory)
A hidden housing subsidy: Homeowners that live in flood prone areas are likely to benefit from the 1968 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which at this time is $24 billion in debt. Eligibility for this program isn't based on a home by home basis, but by mapped flood zones that are often out of date. What is most surprising however is that most of the homes that benefit from this program are owned by residents that are wealthier than the average homeowner while congress mandates premiums be that are approximately half of private insurance. (Politico)
Quote of the Week
"The system is gridlocked. The seniors aren't turning over homes as fast as they used to, so there are very few existing homes coming online. To turn it over, they'll have to have a landing place."
USC Professor of Urban Planning and Demography Dowell Myers on seniors staying in large homes and refusing to sell. (Bloomberg)