Image by Joe Flood licensed under Creative Commons.

It's not surveys or sensors that are transportation planners' new best friend — it's social media. Seattle is hoping that a zoning update can help address historical wrongs. Can congestion pricing work in New York City? Check out what's happening around the nation and the world in transportation, land use, and other related areas. 

A social network for planners: Fitness-themed social media is helping transportation planners count and map pedestrians and cyclists, who are notoriously difficult to track. Now planners can take a deeper dive a heat map of these pedestrian routes, and use the data to lobby for better infrastructure. (City Lab)

Can rezoning change Seattle's segregation?: In certain rich white enclaves of Seattle, there are 100 white residents for every black resident. Historically this is the result of deed restrictions and redlining, so can changing the zoning code now to allow for more housing types in these neighborhoods change the racial disparity? Former County Executive Ron Sims says the damage is hard to reverse, but others pushing plans to change it still hold out hope. (Seattle Times)

Pricing congestion in NYC: With New York City's transit infrastructure continuing to suffer from a backlog of infrastructure maintenance and Superstorm Sandy, some politicians are now hoping to raise money through congestion pricing schemes. Such a plan could raise up to $1.1 billion per year, but has stiff opposition in the suburban oriented state legislature. Success has come in London and Milan, but can it work in NYC? (Brown Political Review)

The end of the housing supply debate?: Building new homes reduces displacement, and building affordable homes reduces displacement twice as effectively, a study shows. Said another way, building two market rates homes is roughly equal to building one affordable homes in terms of fighting displacement, but this of course costs a lot more in subsidies. (City Observatory)

Walking in the fast lane: According to recent research, 47 percent of British people find slow walking on shopping streets annoying. To remedy the situation, Liverpool has decided to create fast walking lanes in the city center. The idea is of course more popular with younger people than old, but at the moment the markings are mostly ignored. (Independent)

Quote of the Day

"New York is brown, Berlin is red, Paris is aquamarine, and San Francisco is a pastel rainbow, I thought after visiting each of them. Sometimes this impression is based on the color of paint and stone, other times it’s natural elements, and sometimes it’s just a feeling."

Jessica Furseth in Curbed describing the color of cities that comes from building materials and personal impressions.

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Jeff Wood is the Principal of The Overhead Wire, a consulting firm focused on sharing information about cities around the world. He hosts a weekly podcast called Talking Headways at Streetsblog USA and operates the daily news site The Direct Transfer.