If you're heading out of DC at rush hour, your best bet may be to drive east. Cities seeking to grow their nightlife are bringing in Night Mayors. And this weird quirk in the tax code explains why Vancouver builds way more condos than rental apartments. Check out what's happening around the nation in transportation, land use, and other related areas.
Can you escape at rush hour? An interactive map put together by the Washington Post shows how far you can get away from the city during rush hour in a number of cities across the United States. How far can you get at 4pm? At 7pm? The maps are intoxicating. (Washington Post)
Rise of the night mayor: In cities around the world, Night Mayors have emerged as the stewards of cultural experiences that aren't tied to usual daytime activity. And with rising costs affecting everything from artist spaces and music venues, someone who's sole focus is managing the evening realm is seen as a benefit to not only culture, but even those who live downtown and wish to sleep. (Governing)
Seattle builds apartments, Vancouver BC builds condos: In 2016 nearly 60% of Vancouver BC's housing construction was condominium while Seattle built none. Given the cities are so close, the difference is an interesting look at different dynamics that affect housing supply. Tax code is unfavorable to apartment construction in Vancouver and includes capital gains taxes on building sales while the hot rental markets in Seattle and greater regulations for condos encourage apartments. (Sightline Institute)
The key to cutting solo commutes: Seattle has found that one of the best solutions for cutting down on single occupancy commutes is by charging for parking in the garage by the day, not by the month. The value to this approach is not to incentivize sunk costs associated with paying a lump sum up front for parking and help people become more conscious about their decisions. In one particularly high profile example, the Gates Foundation went from being predominantly single occupancy car commuting to only 34% of employees and now often have a half empty parking garage. (Seattle Times)
Moscow's makeover: Russia's capital Moscow has transformed since the fall of the Soviet Union. Operating on a small budget compared to other metropolises around the world, the city has pulled itself up and become something bigger in part due to its mayor, information technology, and the reverse engineering of its streets for people rather than cars. (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Quote of the Week
"Congestion pricing is an idea whose time has come. We have been going through the problems with the old plan and trying to come up with an updated and frankly better congestion pricing plan"
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (New York Times)