Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss

Laura Bliss is a staff writer at CityLab, covering transportation and technology. She also authors MapLab, a biweekly newsletter about maps (subscribe here). Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Los Angeles magazine, and beyond.

A photo-illustration of several big-box retail stores.

After the Retail Apocalypse, Prepare for the Property Tax Meltdown

Big-box retailers nationwide are slashing their property taxes through a legal loophole known as "dark store theory." For the towns that rely on that revenue, this could be a disaster.

MapLab: Maps Won the Midterms

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of a "Road Work Ahead" highway sign in Missouri.

Nationwide, Transportation Measures Rolled to Victory

High voter turnout meant lots of wins for transit- and transportation-related ballot measures on Tuesday.

Mapping Where Americans Don't Vote

“The United States of Apathy” showcases the dramatic effect of low voter turnout in U.S. elections.

A photo of a Bay Area Rapid Transit train making its way along the tracks in Oakland, California.

California Transit Agencies Resist a Gas Tax Repeal

Proposition 6, an effort to repeal a major fuel fee increase, could set back the state's ambitious climate goals.

A photo of Detroit's elevated People Mover cruising past the Renaissance Center.

The Joys of Detroit’s Ridiculous People Mover

The city’s oft-maligned mini-train is not great transit. But it’s a magnificent tourist attraction.

Durham’s Plan to ‘Nudge’ Drivers Out of Cars

Behavioral science strategies like offering prizes are getting people into public transit.

A photo of a Lyft ride-hailing vehicle.

Uber and Lyft’s Link to Traffic Fatalities

Since ride-hailing is putting more cars on the roads, one study finds that mobility services are also contributing to the rising number of fatal crashes.

MapLab: The Ghosts of Projections Past

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A photo of Beverly Hills High School, which is resisting plans to build a subway tunnel underneath the school.

Beverly Hills Has Financed Its Metro Fight With $13 Million In Local Taxes

Instead of reconstructing aging school facilities, the district is using a voter-backed ballot measure to pay for a legal campaign against a subway extension.

MapLab: 4,000 Hours of North America

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Traffic on a Colorado highway is engulfed in smoke from a wildfire in 2012.

The Planet Can't Survive Our Transportation Habits

In light of the IPCC’s dire report, substituting some personal convenience in the present could mean that much more hope for the planet’s future.

MapLab: Volunteer Rescuers Flooding the Map

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

A New York subway train is pictured.

Let People Carry Huge Crap on the Subway

It’s never OK in rush hour. But when the train isn’t crowded, it might be a person’s only option, and we should all be able to live with that.

When a Hospital Plays Housing Developer

A children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio, is trying to treat a difficult patient: Its own struggling neighborhood.

Like Uber, but for Cartographers

Streetcred, a blockchain-powered open-source mapping startup, will pay you to map. (And then give the data away for free.)

After Florence, the Gullah Could Face New Threats

Thousands of acres throughout the flooded Carolinas are heir’s property, a form of land ownership that leaves residents vulnerable to speculators.

How Hurricane Florence Fueled a Pop-Up Micro-Economy

Need a lift? Hit the hurricane ride board.

MapLab: To Track a Hurricane

A biweekly tour of the ever-expanding cartographic landscape.

Floodwaters caused by rain from Hurricane Matthew block NC Highway 41 outside of Lumberton, North Carolina in 2016.

As Hurricane Florence Approaches, the Rural Carolinas Brace For Impact

Widespread poverty, lack of transportation resources, and poor internet service could complicate emergency response in a region still reeling from Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

On Yelp, Gentrification Is in the Stars

Research based on years of Yelp reviews finds new grocery stores and coffee shops are indeed indicators of changing populations and rising home prices.