Also: Debunking the bystander effect, and the architecture of adult entertainment.

What We’re Following

Feed the meter: Raising the cost of parking can be a fraught task in any city. It would seem to be an even bigger challenge in a small town that ties its quaint identity, in part, to the bargain price of its parking meters. But last month in Nevada City, California—population 3,000—the city council voted to quadruple the hourly parking rates, from 25 cents to a full dollar. “People used to come to the city and laugh—‘Oh, it’s only 25 cents, how cute!’” says the city council member who pushed for the increase.

While there was some of the usual pushback, the council has so far staved off controversy by attaching concrete social benefits to the rate hike. For one thing, increasing the revenue from the meters will allow the town to cover the salaries of the public works employees who manage them. And on a bigger scale, the money will allow the town to address an existential threat: California’s raging wildfires. CityLab’s Laura Bliss has the story: Why a Tiny Mountain Town Quadrupled Parking Fees

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Surveillance Cameras Debunk the Bystander Effect

A new study uses camera footage to track the frequency of bystander intervention in heated incidents in Amsterdam; Cape Town; and Lancaster, England.                            

Richard Florida

Pete Buttigieg's Moonshot Plan to Address Racial Inequality

The candidate has struggled to attract black voters, but now he has a robust plan to signal his commitment to helping them.

Adam Harris

A Last-Gasp Census Conspiracy to Save the Citizenship Question

Fact check: No, President Obama did not remove a citizenship question from the census while he was in office.

Kriston Capps

Formerly Incarcerated Blacks May Have an Edge in Oakland’s Job Market

A new study looks at how race, a criminal record, and an employer’s proximity to recent violent events affect a person’s job prospects—with surprising results.

K.A. Dilday

The Architecture of Adult Entertainment

Photographing strip-club exteriors from Miami to L.A. for his series “Gentlemen’s Club,” François Prost found pink stucco, flashy signs—and lots of parking.

Benjamin Schneider


Upside Down

(Netflix)

If you’ve been watching the latest season of Stranger Things, you may have noticed how uncanny the Starcourt Mall set looks. That’s because the set is actually a real mall, not in Indiana, but rather the Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, Georgia. Unfortunately, after building out 40 retro stores, Netflix decided to dismantle the set rather than keep it as a fan attraction, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

That hasn’t dissuaded some diehard fans from sneaking into the mall to catch a glimpse, as The Verge reports. True to the looming shadow over legacy malls today, it sounds like Gwinnett Place could have used the tourism boost, as most of its storefronts remain empty with only a few staples like Macy’s, Foot Locker, Finish Line, and Victoria’s Secret left in business. Sounds like a place that might be interested in presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s plan to save dying malls.


What We’re Reading

Floods trapped me in a New Orleans parking lot. The hurricane isn’t even here yet. (Washington Post)

Can Congress craft a complete streets program to reverse pedestrian deaths? (Curbed)

ICE raids expected to target recently arrived migrant families in 10 cities (NPR)

Self-driving shuttle crashed in Las Vegas because manual controls were locked away (The Verge)


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