Along for the Ride #151
Heya friends, happy Friday!
This week I am leaning into small wins amongst some rather alarming major losses in the US (turns out checking the news everyday to see if the Supreme Court has voted against reproductive rights isn’t great for my mental health!). I’m doing what I can to take care of myself by riding my bike, calling up friends, and listening to Beyonce’s new bop (shout out to my forever friends in London for this one). Hope you are taking care in whatever form that takes for you.
If you’re new here (a) hi! there’s a ton of you! and (b) you’re absolutely part of what’s bringing me joy this week. Thank you for joining this collective community.
Queer Urban Planning!
Rounding out Pride Month with some resources about queer urban planning, and queer experiences with transit. If you’d like to share any of your favourite resources, I would love to include in next week’s edition.
Queer mobilities: critical LGBTQ perspectives of public transport spaces [Mobilities Journal]
Transmobilities: mobility, harassment, and violence experienced by transgender and gender nonconforming public transit riders in Portland, Oregon [Gender, Place and Culture Journal]
Transportation to work by sexual orientation [Plos One] This one is essentially a study demonstrating that queer folks ride the bus more!!
Why gayborhoods matter: the street empirics of urban sexualities [National Library of Medicine]
If you’re able to donate, here are some organizations that I’m sure would appreciate your donations: The Audre Lorde Project, Trans Law Center, and The Trevor Project. Also if you’re looking for the cutest / gayest transit stickers + t-shirts, then look no further!
Government and Policy
How activists in London and Los Angeles are kicking cars to the curb
This article interviews Crosswalk Collective, a group out of Los Angeles that is painting their own crosswalks throughout the city where the local government has failed to take action to provide even the most basic infrastructure that could save lives. And yes, you know the City actually pays to remove this paint once installed because they might be liable for any collisions caused by this *safety* infrastructure. Big sigh.
On the flip side in London is a group called the “Tyre Extinguishers”, and well, it’s exactly as it says on the tin. In an initial overnight action in March 2022, they deflated the tires of SUVs in 13 U.K. cities. The group’s aim? “To make it impossible to own a huge polluting SUV in the world’s urban areas.”
Incentives to ditch your car in California
I can’t really begin to articulate how annoying this whole gas tax business is in the US, and how little it will due to tangibly improve costs but I won’t go there today.
Earlier this year Gov. Newsom offered California’s a $400 rebate to car owners to compensate for rising gas prices. Meanwhile… those who don’t own a car (notably some of California’s poorest individuals!) received nothing, nada, to help with rising costs. The program essentially subsidized car ownership. A new bill has been proposed to offer a tax credit to taxpayers who do not own a car. “It’s a stimulus aimed at people who need it most – those who cannot afford a car – as well as in incentive for everyone to reduce dependence on cars.”
The more you know!
How many times a day do cars drive into buildings? (Slate)
How CAVs can help measure urban heat island effect (Scientific American)
How can we end racist traffic stops? (Planetizen)
EU lawmakers vote to end ICE sales by 2035 (Bloomberg)
France offers all of us lessons in road safety (Bloomberg)
Ah, it’s the first week of summer and NHTSA has celebrated by publishing its report of AV deactivations, noting that there were over 400 crashes reported in the last 10 months. Amongst those crashes, six people died and five were seriously injured. And which auto OEM would you guess takes first place in terms of both crashes and fatalities?
“Teslas operating with Autopilot, the more ambitious Full Self Driving mode or any of their associated component features were in 273 crashes. Five of those Tesla crashes were fatal.”
The Guardian and Streetsblog also have great write-ups about the report.
When Uber and Waymo decided to make nice
Anthony Levandowski who?
Ah, I remember when Google / Waymo sued Uber over stealing patented technology like it was yesterday. And now! The companies are working together on—you guessed it!—fully autonomous trucks, the very topic of the original lawsuit. Somethings you truly can’t make up.
The more you know:
Sam’s Club gets itself an autonomous trucking partnership (The Hill)
Drivers of AVs are overly relying on autopilot, and that’s a major problem (The Conversation)
Research and Academia
“Empirical analyses for 49 of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas confirmed the problematic nature of disparity analyses. In line with most literature, our disparity analyses show that disadvantaged groups are virtually always better served by transit than their more advantaged counterparts. Yet a systematic sufficiency analysis reveals large inequities in accessibility, regardless of the exact sufficiency threshold employed.”
Global attitudes towards cycling
“In this context, twice as many agree as disagree (64% vs. 36%, on average per country) that new road and traffic infrastructure projects in their area should prioritize bicycles over automobiles. Support is higher than average in all emerging countries surveyed. The only countries where fewer than 50% agree are Canada, the U.S., Australia, Japan, and Great Britain while opinions are evenly split in Belgium and Norway.”
Who’s afraid of autonomous vehicles?
Spoiler alert: it me. That being said I am afraid of all vehicles, so.
“And even if we could show that autonomous vehicles have (at least a few) fewer accidents than humans, and we allow them out on the road and on the market, there would still be psychological barriers to their adoption. Maybe we could show that these cars have fewer accidents than the average driver, but human drivers largely overestimate the safety of their own driving. Who would buy a car that is 20 percent safer than the average driver when most drivers think that they’re 80 percent safer than average?”
Extra Bits + Bobs
Shout out to AFTR friend Alex Mitchell for helping to launch LACI’s Cleantech Loan Fund. You can read more about it here!
Friends over at CityHive in Vancouver are hiring! If you’re into youth civic engagement, now’s the time to shoot your shot! Job postings here.
You should also go work with AFTR friend Anne Krassner at NYCDOT where she is hiring for a Mobility Coordinator for Mobility Management (Job ID 483145). You can view the NYCDOT job board here.
That’s all from me, have a beautiful weekend friends.