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. A photo of Andrew Field, the owner of Rockaway Taco, looking out from his store in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York.
    Life

    Tacos and Transit: Rate Your City

    From taco-rich San Diego to the tortilla wastelands of Boston, we asked you to grade U.S. cities on two critical metrics: Mexican food and public transportation.

  2. Apple's planned new campus in Austin, Texas.
    Life

    Why Apple Bet on Austin’s Suburbs for Its Next Big Expansion

    By adding thousands more jobs outside the Texas capital, Apple has followed a tech expansion playbook that may just exacerbate economic inequality.

  3. Transportation

    Tearing Down an Urban Highway Can Give Rise to a Whole New City

    Three major flaws with the idea that most city interstates are here to stay.

  4. Equity

    Why You Should Say 'Hello' to Strangers on the Street

    On sidewalk psychology. 

  5. A photo of shoppers in the central textile market of downtown Jakarta.
    Design

    How Cities Design Themselves

    Urban planner Alain Bertaud’s new book, Order Without Design, argues that cities are really shaped by market forces, not visionaries.