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✊🏙 Future streets to be multimodal 🚲 Uber & Lyft backing off AVs 🚗 Insecure housing makes people sick 🤒

Hi urbanists, Transport-focused issue this week. First, a look at the rise of bike share and scooter
July 15 · Issue #42 · View online
Radical Urbanist
Hi urbanists,
Transport-focused issue this week. First, a look at the rise of bike share and scooter rentals in cities, and how this could be the return to multi-modal streets. Second, more evidence that Uber (and Lyft!) are clearly moving away from AVs with a renewed focus on being the dominant app for transportation services.
Then, more great reads you might enjoy, including one by me on how tech companies decimate government revenues, public services, and make us all worse off.
Finally, I’ll also be in the south of France, Spain, Morocco, and Italy if anyone has any suggestions for things I shouldn’t miss while I’m in that part of the world that wouldn’t necessarily be obvious to someone who hasn’t been there before. Thanks, and have a great Sunday!

The future of our streets is multimodal
Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and buses in San Francisco by Sergio Ruiz
Bikes, scooters, skateboards, and buses in San Francisco by Sergio Ruiz
As dockless bikes and scooters invade the streets of cities around the world, policymakers are trying to figure out how to regulate them and urbanists are devising ways to fit them into the transportation mix.
Since this push is being led by private companies, there have been legitimate questions about their priorities and intentions, but there’s no doubt that these services present the possibility to fundamentally change urban mobility.
  • Alissa Walker has a great piece in Curbed comparing the multimodal past of our streets to the rapid shift taking place in some cities to return to that state, pushing aside the dominance of the car, and arguing that policymakers need to help facilitate this transition. This one’s a must read. 🚨
  • Citymapper has added a number of dockless services to its app — calling them “floating transport” — and plans to integrate them into its trip-planning service.
  • A new National Association of City Transportation Officials report aims to help cities find the proper regulatory approach to these new services, taking a critical stance on tech companies’ tendency to act before asking permission.
  • Katy Lee looked at the new scooter services in Paris for The Guardian, how Lime worked with the local government before launching — unlike in San Francisco — and whether Parisians will end up using the service.
Uber, Lyft, and autonomous vehicles
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how Uber was clearly moving away from its previous focus on developing self-driving vehicles to try to become the dominant app for transportation services. This week brought further evidence not just that Uber is moving in this direction, but Lyft is, as well.
Uber laid off even more of its safety drivers in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, bringing the total from about 400 to 55, who will now focus their testing on more limited routes. This is in line with the CEO’s statements in May that he doesn’t believe the company has to develop autonomous technology, as long as it has “access” to it.
In addition, Uber invested in Lime, which offers bikes and scooters in 70 cities, and will integrate Lime’s services into its app, further expanding its transportation offerings.
Turning to Lyft, the VP of AV Programs gave a presentation at the Automated Vehicle Symposium in San Francisco earlier this week, and the message was very different from last year. In short, development costs are not dropping as quickly as expected, the technology’s use will be geofenced and constrained to specific areas, and human drivers will still be around for a long time. Nathaniel Horadam wrote a blog post with more detail.
Nathaniel William Horadam
Lyft VP of AV Programs Nadeem Sheikh is dropping a massive truth bomb on the more ambitious AV fleet assumptions in terms of scalability of cost.

Drivers still needed, heavily geofenced to reduce complexity, rider demand doesn't justify full coverage.

Lyft gets it.

Other great reads
🤒 Housing instability is responsible for profoundly negative health outcomes
🚇 Can Andy Byford, the new president of NYC Transit Authority, save the city’s subways?
💾 Uber & Lyft are still refusing to share trip data in San Francisco
🗳 Rent control and tenants’ rights are becoming major issues in 2018 elections across the United States
🇪🇸 A coalition of social movements was elected in Barcelona and radically transformed the city’s approach to housing, migration, and social policy
🚄 Train travel between Paris and London could get even cheaper
💵 Will New York City set a minimum wage for Uber drivers?
🛑 Three huge mistakes cities keep making: big malls, underground roads, and waterfront highways
Brutalism was not the chosen architecture of the state but rather concrete was used to commemorate events from the Yugoslavian republics’ long histories of oppression—up to and including concentration camps.
— Alexandra Lange on MoMA’s “Toward a Concrete Utopia” exhibition on brutalism in Yugoslavia for Curbed. More photos from the exhibition at The Guardian.
✊️❤️ Thanks for reading, and feel free to follow me on Twitter, Medium, or Instagram for even more!
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