A morning roundup of the day’s news.
E-clips for the end times: Today’s total solar eclipse of the sun is giving rise to what the New York Times has dubbed a ”Great American Road Trip.” As Americans flock to the path of totality, major cities in the path—including St. Louis; Nashville; and Charleston, South Carolina—are preparing for heavy traffic caused by starry-eyed tourists, with plans for music festivals and pig roasts.
Quiet, smaller communities have taken on population swells, expecting strains on resources such as portable toilets, Moon Pies, water, and astronomy-based cover bands. Airbnb and hotel prices have soared. Some schools are letting out early, due in part to a shortage of cardboard-based eye safety. There’s also been a run on paper maps, amidst worries about inadequate cell service. As one Idaho spokesperson warned, “Don’t count on getting on Google for directions.” (Wall Street Journal)
- Earlier on CityLab: Prepare for Infrastructure Overload During the Total Eclipse
Lost time: Meanwhile, worrywarts whine that 20 minutes lost to the disappearance of the sun will cost $700 million in lost productivity, equivalent to one hour of March Madness viewing (seriously). The eclipse might even be a good test case for the United States’ renewable energy grid. Also: here’s a ZIP code tool to find your time and visual aides of what it will look like from your location.
- Read more from CityLab on how Laramie, Wyoming, is bracing for the eclipsepocalypse with wizardry. Send us a view from your city on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #eclipselab
Stop time: Today marks the last time London will hear Big Ben until 2021. The 158-year-old, 315-foot tower is undergoing its first renovation in more than 30 years. (NBC News)
Arizona’s ‘concentration camp’ closing: As President Trump heads to Phoenix, Arizona, for a rally this week—with a possible pardon for controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio in the mix—The Guardian takes a look at Tent City, a notorious outdoor prison in the middle of the desert, that is closing after 24 years.
Tumbling down: The University of Texas Austin removed its remaining Confederate statues overnight (NPR). And on Sunday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney spoke with Weekend Edition about his city’s process for the Confederate monuments on Monument Avenue, following the examples set by New Orleans and Baltimore. (NPR)
- More: New York’s MTA plans to modify tiles in subway stations with a pattern similar to the Confederate flag. Alexandria, Virginia, wants ideas for renaming the Jefferson Davis Highway.
The urban lens:
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