Welcome to the week.
Here are the most notable stories our writers and readers came across in the past seven days:
Carfree capital: A startup named Culdesac has raised $30 million in venture capital (on top of $200 million already raised) to build a carfree city “from scratch” in Arizona.
This time, the Philippines: With each new country we hear about that seized the pandemic to make dramatic investments in cycling infrastructure — like the 310 miles and $22 million investment in the past year in the Philippines — it becomes even more clear that we should have done the same.
Seattle’s traffic death crisis: Our neighbors to the north are going through the same thing we are and KUOW has a solid breakdown of what’s going on. I think the UW prof who blames it partly on, “a very strong car culture, and an anti-pedestrian culture, that’s taken root all over the country,” is onto something.
Many cities faces this crisis: Los Angeles is also grappling with record traffic deaths. It’s almost as if the problem is not that “vision zero is failing” (a lazy and annoying framing many reporters take) but that drivers are totally out of control and we need even more robust engineering and enforcement countermeasures to restore order.
From the factory: Big news this week in the bike industry as Specialized announced it will sell bikes direct to customers via their website.
Sec. Pete on the NRSS: The US DOT’s exciting new National Roadway Safety Strategy was launched last week and Slate reporter David Zipper has an interview with the man who’s in charge of it.
The US DOT is cool now: One of the most important takeaways from the NRSS launch last week is that many national advocacy groups and transportation reform activists actually think it’s pretty darn good. Even noted advocacy journalist Alissa Walker gave it a “B” grade.
The big truck problem: It gives me a lot of hope for car/truck design reform when I see the issue being covered by outlets like Governing. It’s crucial to right-size vehicles if we want to get a handle on road deaths and injuries, and in just a few years this issue has gone from fringes to the mainstream.
The power of 20: Aaron Gordon has a great piece in Vice that goes beyond the “20 is plenty” mantra and talks about how 20 mph is a magic number when it comes to urban travel in general — regardless of mode.
Thanks to everyone who sent us links this week!