How will shared mobility options like dockless scooters and ride-hailing fare as subsidies end? This Bay Area startup will build you an accessory apartment in exchange for a cut of the rent. Easy access to transit service is key to getting drivers out of their cars.
Rising prices threaten shared mobility: On-demand services of all kinds have been significantly subsidized by investors to attract users with low prices, but those subsidizes are ending as companies like Uber and Lyft are now publicly traded. But as these costs rise, some commuters are going back to using their own bikes and scooters to get around. While the rise of the sharing economy made it easier to go without owning things like cars and bikes, the venture capital investments that funded it are disappearing. As warnings of a recession loom, shared mobility companies must find a way forward. (Alana Semuels | Time)
This startup puts a free small home in your backyard: Right now, the upfront costs and permits needed to build an accessory apartment can be a hassle. To remedy this, Rent the Backyard, a Bay Area-based startup, will handle cost and construction in exchange for half the revenue from rent for 30 years. It will also cover ongoing maintenance of the accessory apartment, and after 30 years, full ownership goes to the property owner. The startup estimates 300,000 backyard homes could be added to the Bay Area. (Adele Peters | Fast Company)
How to make transit fight climate change: One of the most touted solutions for reducing auto emissions in cities is better public transit, but some experts are skeptical that building new transit alone is the solution. One economist noted that luring drivers onto transit reduces congestion and may also lead to induced demand. So in order to decrease auto emissions, transit must become so accessible that it is more attractive and convenient than driving. (Mark Buchanan | Bloomberg)
The power of lighting: Light influences sleep, mood, wakefulness, and even processes like digestion through the body’s circadian rhythm. Architects and interior designers encourage lighting that mimics natural light, with brighter lights in the day and dimmer ones at night. Color and tone matter too. The body keeps awake in response to blue light, which our phones and computers emit. While checking email before bed is not ideal, blue light is beneficial meeting rooms, industrial kitchens, and factories, where high concentration is needed. (Eduardo Souza | ArchDaily)
Segregation caused your traffic jam: In the 1950s and 1960s, local governments often routed new interstate highways though low-income communities of color. Not only did they displace residents, they also served as stark racial boundaries. Mayor Bill Hartsfield of Atlanta in the 1950s openly touted Interstate 20 as a boundary between black and white neighborhoods. Over 100,000 white Atlanta residents left in the 70s for the suburbs on these expressways, and since then traffic congestion has steadily increased. Today, transit is the most reasonable solution to its traffic woes, but Atlanta’s suburbs continue to fight transit expansions, leaving the city with an unending traffic mess. (Kevin M. Kruse | New York Times Magazine)
Quote of the Week
“We’re seeing a lot of improvement in our utility coordination, too. Because we’re having these conversations earlier and having everybody around the table earlier, we’re seeing what improvements they have planned for their water system or their electric system, where their pipes are being dug out, and what their public works departments are planning.”
PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards in Governing Magazine on getting more input early on in the transportation planning and coordination process.
This Week on the Podcast, Monica Holmes, placemaking manager for the City of Charlotte talks about the innvoations in their new Transit-Oriented Development zoning ordinance, including unlimited heights in some districts and a point system for community benefits.