A news roundup for the carfree at heart

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I’m trying something new — a weekly roundup of the kind of news I follow closely but don’t otherwise have an outlet for compiling. This will be similar for the Monday Roundup, which I’ve been doing for more than two years running at BikePortland. That used to be a general transportation/bikes/urbanism selection of weekly news & links, but it eventually made most sense to focus on bikes alone (and there’s more than enough bike news for that!). I still collect non-bike links that are too good not to share, so I’ll start sharing them here. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share links and comments below! — Elly

– Boston’s Big Dig — which at about $1 billion per mile created the most expensive urban freeway system in the country — now needs tens of millions of dollars in repairs due to water leaks that are damaging the electrical wiring, air vents, and even the steel beams that support the tunnel roofs.

– England, meanwhile, is planning its own major freeway tunnel at the (currently projected) bargain rate of $402 million per mile, and Seattle is still wrangling over plans to put its crumbling Alaskan Viaduct Way underground. But other cities where people have chosen to remove freeways instead, or simply not to build them in the first place, often seem to to fare better, economically and otherwise.

– There’s been a lot of scrutiny about that story about the Atlanta woman who’s been convicted of vehicular homicide for crossing the street with her kids? Apparently it was by a jury of middle-aged white guys who had never taken the bus except to a Braves game. Also, the woman’s home was directly across the street five-lane highway from her bus stop, but to cross legally — though not necessarily safely — she and her young kids would have had to walk a third of a mile down this unsavory street to a major intersection, cross, and walk that same distance back. This is an all too common problem — Sarah Goodyear reminds us of a good video from last year about a similar street in Atlanta and the people who have to cross it every day.

– Portland’s not the only city dealing with the consequences and hard feelings of shifting demographics and gentrification in the inner city. A senior editor at the Atlantic reminds us what race does — and doesn’t — have to do with it.

As many of 25% of car crashes may be related to use of cell phones, texting, or other mobile electronic devices, says a report.

– Did you know that most places in North America require bars to provide parking spaces for their patrons who drive there? Sightline digs into the zoning codes to see how cities facilitate drinking and driving at varying rates.

– And a video: Streetfilms reports on the $31 billion that New York City has spent by not tolling some of its bridges for the past century: