Also: The company shaping American police policy, and Boston City Hall at 50.

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

Crazy train: California’s dream of a high-speed rail line running from San Francisco to Los Angeles in under three hours got a rude awakening on Tuesday when Governor Gavin Newsom announced plans to scale back the scheme significantly. “There simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A. I wish there were,” he said, alluding to the significant engineering, legal, and political challenges facing the project.

The 700-mile route linking California’s northern and southern metropolises has enjoyed fairly consistent public support since voters approved it back in 2008, though cost estimates have ballooned. Now, by limiting the plan to a 110-mile section in the Central Valley—the state’s agricultural heartland, where the train enjoys the least amount of political support—the rail project has earned a new nickname from detractors: “the train to nowhere.” But not everyone has interpreted the governor’s words as bleakly. California State Senator Scott Wiener, known for his transit-friendly housing proposals, tells CityLab’s Laura Bliss, “Let’s take this for what it is: step one.” Read her story: Where California High-Speed Rail Careened Off Track

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Police Policy for Sale

Lexipol, a private for-profit company, has quietly become one of the most powerful voices in American law enforcement policy.

Scott Morris

The Problem With a ‘Smart’ Border Wall

To resolve Trump’s impasse, many lawmakers have proposed boosting surveillance technology to create a virtual border wall. Is that more humane and effective?

Tanvi Misra

We Found Love in the Gig Economy

“I never thought I’d marry a man through Uber.”

Nicole Javorsky

Tate Modern Visitors Can Keep Looking Into Rich People’s Condos, Legally

The decision by the British High Court was an abrupt end to a heavily publicized stand-off between private wealth and a public art institution.

Feargus O'Sullivan

For Boston City Hall’s 50th Birthday, a Commemorative Pin

The city’s most polarizing building is now officially middle-aged and a couple of fans have reproduced a pin that was given out during its opening week celebrations in 1969.

Claire Tran


What We’re Reading

How the census will reach new urban Millennials (Stateline)

Why Amazon is caught in an unexpected brawl for New York’s HQ2 (New York Times)

Coming of age in cohousing (Curbed)

Women account for 15 percent of the transportation workforce (Streetsblog)

All this snow isn’t slowing down St. Paul’s pedestrian plan (Next City)


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 shoppers on University Avenue in East Palo Alto, California, which is flanked by two technology campuses.
    Equity

    An Island of Silicon Valley Affordability Says Yes to More Housing

    East Palo Alto is surrounded by tech riches, but that hasn’t necessarily helped longtime residents, who welcome a state law mandating zoning reform

  2. A young girl winces from the sting as she receives the polio vaccine in 1954.
    Life

    How Mandatory Vaccination Fueled the Anti-Vaxxer Movement

    To better understand the controversy over New York’s measles outbreak, you have to go back to the late 19th century.

  3. A crowded room of residents attend a local public forum in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
    Life

    Are Local Politics As Polarized As National? Depends on the Issue.

    Republican or Democrat, even if we battle over national concerns, research finds that in local politics, it seems we can all just get along—most of the time.

  4. Life

    How to Inspire Girls to Become Carpenters and Electricians

    Male-dominated trades like construction, plumbing, and welding can offer job security and decent pay. A camp aims to show girls these careers are for them, too.

  5. Electricians install solar panels on a roof for Arizona Public Service company in Goodyear, Arizona.
    Environment

    A Bottom-Line Case for the Green New Deal: The Jobs Pay More

    A Brookings report finds that jobs in the clean energy, efficiency, and environmental sectors offer higher salaries than the U.S. average.