Also: I survived Brooklyn’s “L Train Shutdown Nightmare,” and the talent dividend in urban and rural areas.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

What We’re Following

Spirit of the law: Old local laws can appear to grow cobwebs; they go unenforced over the years and are eventually forgotten. Case in point: weird Halloween ordinances. In some towns, decades-old laws declare it illegal to trick-or-treat above a certain age (sorry, teens) or after certain hours. The rules can be strangely specific, too—who really wants to ban masks on Halloween?

Aside from spooking some stringent rule-followers, why do these laws stay on the books when police have other ways to address Halloween mischief? CityLab’s Claire Tran and Nicole Javorsky take a look at why these mysteriously selective regulations haunt  modern municipalities, and why some advocates say it’s time to repeal them and let kids be kids. Read: The Towns Where Trick-or-Treaters May Run Afoul of the Law.

For more #SpookyLab, look for a special Halloween edition of our Navigator newsletter in your inbox this afternoon (and subscribe here if you haven’t already!)

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

I Survived Brooklyn’s ‘L Train Shutdown Nightmare’

Bushwick residents: Tremble before the ghastly horror of mild commuting inconvenience!

Lucas Riccardi

California Ballot Measures Address Affordable Housing and Homelessness

State and city ballot measures are offering a variety of strategies for improving access to affordable housing and shrinking the homeless population.

Sarah Holder

200 Years of Elections to the House of Representatives, Mapped

This deliciously wonky interactive map is a reminder for midterm voters that, when it comes to electoral politics, “deviation from the norm is the norm.”

Tanvi Misra

The Talent Dividend in Urban and Rural Areas

Urban places have the largest numbers of college graduates, but rural counties are starting to see more growth.

Richard Florida

Some Neighborhoods Are Becoming ‘Candy Deserts’ on Halloween

Instead of going door-to-door, many parents are taking their kids elsewhere to get candy.

Julie Beck


Tunnel Vision

Construction in a Washington metro tunnel.
Construction in a Washington metro tunnel. (WMATA)

Washington, D.C., has all kinds of tunnels, from the many miles carved out by Metro to the underground labyrinth that connects the government buildings on Capitol Hill. A new D.C. Underground Atlas maps them all out in detail, offering a novel lens to look at the city’s underground infrastructure. It also provides an alternative cultural history of Washington, as all these systems have to intertwine with the federal government’s large footprint. “Nowhere else do you have to schedule building around moon landings,” says the amateur cartographer behind the project. Today on CityLab: Mapping the Many Tunnels Under Washington, D.C.


What We’re Reading

When citizen engagement becomes too much (Governing)

California gives Waymo first permit to test self-driving cars without humans (Quartz)

The rise of stadium seating (Curbed)

In the Rust Belt, women candidates hope to disprove the “macho” narrative of 2016 (Vox)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A photo of a new subdivision of high-end suburban homes in Highland, Maryland.
    Equity

    Unpacking the Power of Privileged Neighborhoods

    A new study shows that growing up in an affluent community brings “compounding privileges” and higher educational attainment—especially for white residents.

  2. Life

    Think You’re Faster Than the D.C. Streetcar? Think Again.

    Streetcars without dedicated lanes tend to be on the slow side. But beating this much-maligned public transportation mode on foot wasn’t as easy as it looks.

  3. A cyclist rides through a desert park and nature preserve in Phoenix.
    Equity

    The Inequality of America’s Parks and Green Space

    New research finds that income, education, and race are correlated with access to green space across and within U.S. metro areas.

  4. Equity

    In Need of Housing, Barcelona Fines Landlords For Long-Vacant Buildings

    The massive fines levied against the investment funds have been interpreted as a “declaration of war” from Mayor Ada Colau, who wants more affordable housing.

  5. Map of United States with Numbers on Each State
    Perspective

    The Affordable Home Crisis Continues, But Bold New Plans May Help

    Wyoming fares best; Nevada the worst. No state has an adequate supply of homes for its poorest renters a new National Low Income Housing Coalition report finds.