Preferring to walk to the store is apparently an indicator of your politics now. The American environmental movement is finally turning away from its exclusive roots. Where did all the transit funding go?
Is walking now part of the culture war?: A new Pew Research survey revealed that 60% of Americans would prefer larger housing and driving to destinations over smaller houses in more walkable communities. Political affiliation was the strongest predictor — 22% of conservatives want to live in walkable neighborhoods while 57% of liberals wanted this urban form. Any way you slice it, the results are an ominous result for the climate. (Aaron Gordon | Motherboard)
American environmentalism and elitism: For decades environmentalism in the United States was focused on preservation of natural areas and was promoted by the rich and professional elites. It failed to be inclusive, especially of those who were most impacted by environmental degradation. However, that is changing as environmental and climate justice come front and center for a movement that desperately needs to take off. (William Shutkin | MIT Press Reader)
How transit got lost in infrastructure negotiations: In March 2021, the American Jobs Plan set aside $110 billion for transit, but by the time the package passed the Senate, that number was reduced to $39.2 billion. According to Jeff Davis of the Eno Center, transit money was traded away in exchange for lower highway funding levels, and then again for other unknown items. House Democrats hope to get $10 billion back, but it might be hard to do. (Jeff Davis | Eno Center for Transportation)
How an urban exodus could hurt productivity: Data collected by economist Enrico Moretti and other researchers has found that there’s a potential downside to remote work and urban exodus down the road; less productivity and innovation. When firms with greater revenue move onto a block, the spillovers are greater and productivity increases. Companies predominantly allowing remote work might see a drop over time as they miss out on chance meetings and exchanges. (Viviane Callier | Wired Magazine)
Even Lego bike lanes are too narrow: A Danish bike advocacy group has offered alternative designs for Lego bike lanes after the toy company released designs the organization said were too narrow and not realistic. Lego officials allegedly retorted by saying that the company does not take part in ideological statements, getting themselves into deeper trouble with advocates who scoffed at the suggestion that bike lanes are ideological. (Rachael Davies | Brick Fanatics)
Quote of the Week
“It is first of all a safety measure, to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable: pedestrians and cyclists. The overwhelming majority of serious or fatal accidents in Paris are caused by cars or heavy goods vehicles.”
Paris deputy mayor David Belliard in RFI discussing the city’s move to make the speed limit most roads in the capital 30 kilometers per hour (18 mph).
This week on the podcast, Dr. V. Kelly Turner, director of urban environment research at UCLA’s Luskin Center for Innovation, joins the show to talk about everything HEAT.