What We’re Reading: Pedestrianizing Oxford Street, Uber’s Anti-Urban Plot, and New Mobility Playbook


Homeless youth center: Seattle Central College’s South Annex is planned to be a homeless youth center.

Advancing inclusion: Inclusionary zoning appears to be providing positive results in San Diego.

Failure to prevent: Transit agencies aren’t doing enough to prevent sexual harassment, Streetsblog says.

Pedestrianizing Oxford Street: London is moving ahead with plans to fully pedestrianize Oxford Street and there are a lot of actions being made to make it work.

SNG survey: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways has an open survey to determine what should be part of their strategic planning.

Toppling Trumpists: Four progressive candidates toppled Trump-like opponents for the Burien city council.

Nashville transit plan: Will Nashville succeed in moving forward the city’s bold goal of investing more than $5.2 billion in transit infrastructure?

A better port: For the Port of Seattle, environmentalist Ryan Calkins has beat out old guard John Creighton.

Tragedy: What does a homeless sweep look like?

Fighting HUD: Fair housing advocates are taking Ben Carson’s HUD back to court over unfair housing practices.

Stalling public health: Maine’s governor is refusing to enact Medicaid expansion despite voters overwhelming supporting it on Tuesday.

Uber’s anti-urban plot: Uber is planning to launch UberAir in the next few years, but there’s already an urbanist case against the idea.

AV fail: A driverless shuttle collided with a truck on its first day on Las Vegas streets.

Incentivize landmarks: CityLab profiled seven landmark buildings that have been saved by federal tax credits for historic preservation–tax credits that Republicans want to end.

Blue shield activated: Democrats now have a lock on state government with the election of Senator Manka Dhingra.

UVill garage: University Village has received design review approval for its new parking garage on 25th Ave NE.

Family-sized units: Proposed zoning changes in Seattle could bring about more family-sized housing in some areas.

Sheriff Johanknecht: King County will have a new sheriff, Mitzi Johanknecht.

Cheaper housing: With more growth on the way for Seattle, will it mean more affordable housing?

New Mobility Playbook: The Talking Headways podcast interviewed local transportation planner Benjamin De La Pena about Seattle’s New Mobility Playbook.

More reliable streetcar: To reduce operating costs and speed up a streetcar line, Portland will convert a lane to business access and transit lane on NE Grand Avenue.

It’s Durkan: Jenny Durkan has cruised to victory ($) over Cary Moon as mayor of Seattle.

New infill: Capitol Hill Seattle Blog profiled a Central Area project this week that will be the first to participate in MHA as well as a small infill project on 12th Avenue.

Trackless buses–or buses: The euphemism for “trackless trains” is pointless–they’re called “buses”–but they could be promising for higher quality BRT service.

SFO PBLs: In San Francisco, safe streets advocates formed a human chain demanding protected bike lanes.

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Stephen is an urban planner with a passion for sustainable, livable, and diverse cities. He is especially interested in how policies, regulations, and programs can promote positive outcomes for communities. Stephen lives in Kenmore and primarily covers land use and transportation issues for The Urbanist.

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I don’t think the “track-less train” euphemism is pointless – it communicates helpful information to the non-expert, whether a transit rider or a decision maker. Yes, taken literally, it is a bus, but “train” implies many features central to high quality BRT, such as dedicated lanes, larger stations, high reliability, etc.. In an environment where “bus” means slow and “train” means fast, I think this is very effective branding that can boost public support and help defend against “BRT creep”.