What We’re Reading: Berkeley Reforming Zoning, Not Dying, and North Atlantic Rail


Berkeley reforming zoning?: Berkeley could be on path to eliminating single-family-only zoning by the end of 2022.

Unserious party: An unserious Republican proposal would add taxes to transit and bikes ($) to raise money for highways in Washington.

Mobility map app: Google Maps could start helping users pay for transit fares and parking in some places.

We’re back: The United States has officially rejoined the Paris Climate Accords ($).

Eviction shenanigans: A federal judge from Texas says that the national eviction moratorium is unconstitutional.

Hoteling and not: Seattle appears to be turning away federal dollars that could be used to house people experiencing homelessness in hotels. However, the city will be putting some people in hotels temporarily for emergency shelter.

Bend Shoupista: A recently elected councilmember in Bend, Oregon wants to reform parking requirements in the city, possibly ending parking minimums.

Holland is walking: Streetsblog showcases how Holland, Michigan is putting pedestrians first in the winter.

Lidding in ATL: A 10-block lid park to cover Atlanta’s main highway has been floated.

AFFH in Boston: Boston’s zoning will include requirements to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing, making it the first city in the nation to do so.

Police misconduct: Cities across America shell out millions of dollars for police misconduct, but there is no consistency among them and holding agencies accountable is difficult.

Airport transit: With a new Federal Aviation Administration rule that allows greater flexibility in fee use, could that lead to better transit access at San Francisco International Airport? Meanwhile, a New York area advocate says that airport trains should be free while airport highways are tolled.

Early alert system: Washington will join a digital, early alter system for earthquakes.

Aligning for housing?: Sightline looks at how a left-right political coalition might work together to reform policy to attain affordable and abundant housing.

More reliant: A new study suggests that lower-income workers rely more heavily on bikeshare.

Philly S-Bahn: Streetsblog explores whether or not Philadelphia will ever get its “S-Bahn”.

QFC closures: QFC, a subsidiary of Kroger, says that 109 employees will be laid off as part of two-store closure in Seattle, which the company has partially blamed on the city’s new hazard pay requirements. Katie Wilson, however, argues that the decision to close was politically motivated by the company.

Investing people, not cars: Denver’s transit agency is looking to replace parking lots with housing near its stations.

Gas leak: The Central District in Seattle had an underground gas leak this week that led to fires and evacuations.

Cable car woes: San Francisco’s cable cars have been halted since the pandemic started and they could be in trouble if a plan doesn’t come together to save them ($).

Studying the known: Virginia is punting on adopting the Idaho Stop for people biking by requiring a study before moving forward on the policy ($).

Dismantling racism: Washington looks to elimination of racially-based insurance rates.

Fighting better participation: A legal fight over the use of an online teleconferencing system for a rezoning public hearing continues and could sink the Gowanus rezone in Brooklyn.

Not dying: The data appears to show that people aren’t fleeing Seattle, they’re just not moving here right now ($).

Spending cannabis taxes: Washington rakes in $1 billion in taxes from cannabis. How is the state spending those moneys?

Big Richmond development: A massive 2.9 million square-foot mixed-use development is being proposed in Richmond, British Columbia.

North Atlantic Rail: Could the North Atlantic Rail project between New York City and Boston be a centerpiece of the Biden administration’s high-speed rail hopes?

Funding Amtrak: With Amtrak ready to grow service and its network, Streetsblog wonders if the government-own passenger railway will finally get the subsidy it deserves.

Empire Station Complex: New York is moving forward with the massive Empire Station Complex Project, which would overhaul New York City’s Penn Station.

Tragedy: A person driving in Capitol Hill wound up crashing, killing a person walking and ending up in hospital.

Sue the suburbs: How can America’s racist suburban zoning and housing policies be reformed?

Blocking progress: Cities have supported greener building codes as part of the International Code Council, but now developers are trying to block them.

No longer “anarchist”: President Joe Biden has rescinded the absurd “anarchist jurisdiction” designation that the previous impeached president assigned to Seattle ($).

Trimming police spending: Seattle could cut police funding by $5.4 million in response to overspending in 2020.

Urban stadium district: The Oakland A’s are gunning for a new stadium and an urban district around it ($).

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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.