Aerial Bike Lanes; Race Questions; and Static Americans: Urban Insights From Around the Web

INSIGHTS :  Nov. 19, 2015

Ryan Holeywell | November 20, 2015A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

Census workers speaking to people at their doorway

A new feature highlighting the week’s interesting, important and downright weird news about cities.

While the Urban Edge strives to provide readers with daily news and insights about urban policy, we’re also voracious readers of city news ourselves. As part of a new weekly feature, senior editor Ryan Holeywell and the staff of the Kinder Institute highlight the week’s most interesting articles from around the web about urban policy and city life.

The Best Way to Prevent Drunk Driving? That's Debatable

Congress could weigh in on a debate emerging between advocates about how to prevent drunk drivers from repeating their mistakes, Governing reports. One side wants drunk drivers to be required to install ignition interlock devices, which prevent their cars from starting if the driver has been drinking. The other favors a 24/7 approach to sobriety. Under that plan, convicted drunk drivers would wear monitoring devices and be sent to jail if they have a sip of alcohol, even if they’re not driving.

Amid Great Progress, Texas High-Speed Rail Takes a Big Step Back

The proposed high-speed rail line connecting Dallas and Houston was dealt a blow through a decision that will make the possibility of a stop in downtown Houston much less likely. Instead, the line will end outside the city center on the west side of town. Riders will have to find another way to get downtown. Right now, buses form the only transit option, City Lab reports.

Copenhagen's New Bike Bridge Will Be The Craziest Bike Lane Ever Built

The planned "Copenhagen Gate" will include a pedestrian bridge spanning the city's harbor, suspended 213 feet in the air, Fast Company reports. Elevators would take pedestrians up and down between the towers. The project is the result of rules that require homes to be located near transit options.

Possible new census race questions could change minority/majority balance

The Census Bureau is considering changes that would reclassify some minorities previously labeled as white, the Associated Press reports. The plan may give new options for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent, who previously had to label themselves as white. If the changes take effect, it could speed up the date at which the U.S. is no longer considered majority white.

Americans literally aren’t going anywhere

New Census data reveal that last year, Americans made short-distance moves within the same county less frequently than they have at any time since the data was first recorded in 1948. While city-to-city moves signal big changes – often relocations due to jobs – intra-county moves are about seeking a better home, a different neighborhood, or cheaper rent. The numbers likely suggest young adults aren't moving out of their parents' homes and renters aren't becoming homeowners. "The moves that improve quality of life -- that mark milestones and life transitions -- aren't happening for many people," Wonkblog writes.

60 Years After The Boycott, Progress Stalls For Montgomery Buses

Six decades after Rosa Parks made history on a Montgomery bus, the city's transit system is languishing. Bus service has been scaled back, the fleet is in disrepair, and riders complain that buses come infrequently, NPR reports. The problems are compounded by the fact that Alabama is one of just five states that doesn’t spend public money on transit. "It was an awesome thing that Rosa Parks did, but I don't think she'd be celebrating this bus system," Callie Greer of the Montgomery Transportation Coalition says. "We got the right to sit anywhere we want on the bus. OK, now where's the bus?"

Ryan Holeywell
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