Op-Ed | New York City’s Open Streets plan fails to address the complicated future of urban transportation

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BY DANNY HARRIS AND BETSY PLUM

Four months ago, traffic engineers in major cities around the world were asking themselves the same questions: How does a crowded city, reliant on underground trains, function in an airborne pandemic? What would happen if everyone started to drive instead?

Predicting carmageddon, forward leaning cities got out ahead of the problem. From London to Los Angeles, mayors discouraged driving by offering ambitious new alternatives. In Milan, it was Strade AperteI. In Paris, Corona Cycleways. But across the globe, the idea was the same: close a network of streets to cars and open them to people, bikes and transit. City residents responded with enthusiasm and these safe, connected car-free routes filled with people. Bicycle sales boomed, and would-be rail riders shifted to the bus instead. 

In

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Metro Is Sending Voters a Transportation Tax, Even as Tomorrow’s Commute Looks Foggy

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This month, regional government Metro referred to the November ballot the largest tax measure in Portland history: $5 billion for transportation, including a light rail line to Tualatin. Metro is plowing forward in the middle of a pandemic, against the outcry of business owners, because it says the need is urgent.

“The time to act is now,” Metro Council President Lynn Peterson told WW before the referral of the measure. “If we delay, we will not be able to create tens of thousands of jobs when we need them most, and our region could miss opportunities to leverage federal, private and philanthropic funds.”

But Metro is taking a big gamble at a moment of rapid change. That unpredictability extends to transportation. The fallout from COVID-19, social distancing and the economic downturn are changing American traffic patterns and may result in other, more drastic changes in how people commute.

Already, some

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OPINION, Women United chair: Transportation is more than a ride – Opinion – Savannah Morning News

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Three-and-a-half hours. That’s how long I sat in my idling car snaking through the parking lot to get my COVID-19 test, with hundreds of fellow Savannahians in their idling cars. Frustrated, grumpy, and thankfully coronavirus-free, I bemoaned the state of health care in Georgia. But at least I could access it.

To get my COVID-19 test, I had the privilege of filling up my reliable car with a full tank of gas, driving 20 minutes across the county, and burning through fuel to get a swab up my nose. Many in our community, however, have no such luxury. As with many things in this pandemic world, disparities in transportation have been magnified in this time of crisis, with a grossly disparate impact on Black and brown people, single mothers and under- or unemployed individuals.

WOMEN UNITED was founded 11 years ago to address specifically the lack of access to transportation

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In transportation, China leads the world

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Which is the number one country in the world for transportation?  Certainly not the United States.  Not even countries in the EU.  No, you have to look farther east, as Marco Polo did in 1271, to find the future… in China.

Jim Cameron

I’m so tired of ignorant Americans chanting “we’re number one,” when we are not.  Not in healthcare, education and clearly not when it comes to using transportation to bolster our world trade.

Compare our crumbling interstate highway system, much of it built during the Eisenhower administration, to China’s superhighways, twice the mileage of our own.

Or look at our decaying railroads versus the 15,000 miles of high speed rail on the Chinese mainland, making Amtrak’s Acela look like a toy train (145 mph vs. 220 mph, one train for 300 passengers per hour vs. China’s 1,000 passenger trains departing every 15 minutes).

We keep hearing of the

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