What We’re Following
No cars allowed: With streetcar tracks, bus platforms, and plenty of road traffic to dodge, a weekday bike commute on San Francisco’s Market Street can feel like running an obstacle course for your life. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency approved a $600 million plan to kick out the private cars and create protected bike lanes and dedicated transitways. The vote to ban private cars was unanimous, with the goal of giving more space to people on what is currently one of the city’s most dangerous corridors. But the change didn’t happen overnight, as “these automotive blockades can be among the most controversial moves a city government can make,” CityLab’s Laura Bliss writes.
As New York City made a similar transformation earlier this month on its 14th Street corridor, it’s worth remembering that these U.S. cities have been eyeing the pedestrianized urban cores of their peer cities like Paris and Barcelona with envy for quite awhile now. Read Laura’s story: San Francisco’s Busiest Street Is Going Car-Free
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Elijah Cummings (1951-2019)
This morning, the political world woke up to the news that U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings, 68, died at a hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. While plenty of recent national headlines will lead the coverage of Cummings’ death, his career and life leave a legacy in Baltimore as well as on Capitol Hill. From fighting at age 11 to integrate a South Baltimore pool to calming riots after the police killing of Freddie Gray in 2015, Cummings spent his life challenging a historically segregated city to do better for its people.
As Baltimore Magazine wrote in a 2014 profile of the congressman, Cummings was “in no risk of losing sight of what he’s fighting for, or where he’s come from,” noting that the congressman had lived in the same West Baltimore row house for more than three decades. “I don’t live in the inner city. I live in the inner-inner city and there are not a lot of congressman who grew up in the inner city, let alone still live there,” Cummings told the magazine. “It is an important voice to bring to Congress that needs to be heard.”
What We’re Reading
The rise of the city critic (The Guardian)
How four small cities are fighting the effects of urban renewal (Curbed)
Chicago teachers will go on strike (NPR)
Stop using “millennials” when you mean “yuppies” (Slate)
In New York, the neighborhood you’re shot in may determine whether you survive (The Trace)
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