Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones greets the media in Birmingham, Alabama. Marvin Gentry/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Special election: All eyes are on Alabama today as the Senate race between Republican Roy Moore and Democrat Doug Jones winds to a close amid ongoing controversy over sexual misconduct allegations against Moore. As with so many big issues of Trump-era politics, the contest hinges upon urban-versus-rural divides, with Jones shoring up support in Alabama’s most populous cities while Moore caters the rural vote. The New York Times reports:

Rural and reliably Republican pockets of east Alabama, like Dale County, could prove to be Mr. Moore’s political salvation. Along a stretch of U.S. Route 431 between Phenix City and Dothan on Monday, signs promoting Mr. Moore were common. Advertisements for Mr. Jones, whose signs fill yards in places like Birmingham and Gadsden, were rare.

Mr. Jones’s strategy does not depend on carrying rural counties that hug Georgia and Florida. Instead, he is hoping to run up significant leads in Alabama’s urban and suburban areas, drawing on traditional Democratic voters as well as Republicans spooked by the allegations against Mr. Moore or a controversial record that predates the Senate campaign.

San Francisco’s loss: The California city is waking up to news this morning of the sudden death of its mayor, 65-year-old Ed Lee. The well-respected civil rights lawyer, who led a number of city agencies before becoming the city’s first Asian-American mayor in 2011, had recently become known for battling President Trump over sanctuary cities issues. (Washington Post, CBS San Francisco)

Freeway takedown: The final decision to tear down Detroit’s I-375 expressway and restore a surface boulevard helps correct “a clear planning mistake” of the past, opines a Detroit Free Press columnist who eulogizes the two vibrant black neighborhoods that were wiped out with the highway’s 1964 construction.

Lessons for rebuilding: For residents of Scripps Ranch in north San Diego, the wildfires of the past week brought back bitter memories of the 2003 fire that incinerated more than 300 of the neighborhood’s homes—and the yearslong rebuilding process that followed. (New York Times)

Cycling on to Europe: The Bay Area-based LimeBike, one of many startups hoping to steal a lead in the crowded bike-sharing market, has announced plans to expand to Frankfurt, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. (TechCrunch)

The urban lens:

Show us your city on Instagram using #citylabontheground.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How Boston Got Its ‘T’

    Designers Peter Chermayeff and Tom Geismar talk about how they gave the MBTA an enduring makeover.

  2. A large tank truck parked in front of new apartment buildings.
    Life

    The Divides Within, and Between, Urban and Rural America

    Economic growth is not only uneven between urban and rural places—it is uneven within them, too.

  3. A crowd of onlookers watches fire consume the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on September 3.
    Perspective

    Rio's National Museum Fire Was Not Just an Accident

    The fire that destroyed the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro was part of a larger campaign of disinvestment aimed at the country’s history and culture.

  4. A Fifties-style diner with blue booths and chairs and pink walls.
    Design

    Why a ‘Memory Town’ Is Coming to Your Local Strip Mall

    Weeks after opening near San Diego, a model town for treating dementia is set to be replicated around the U.S.

  5. Life

    Remembering the ‘Mother of All Pandemics,’ 100 Years Later

    The Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 offers important lessons in balancing truth and panic during public health crises.