Also: 50 years of chaos at the world’s most famous crosswalk, and Phoenix light rail is under attack.
What We’re Following
Slow and steady: As many American cities search for ways to improve road safety, the quickest answer may be to slow down. From creating slow zones to installing signs that remind drivers to ease up on the gas, the case for a fundamentally slower city is gaining traction. That’s largely because lower speeds offer anyone involved in a vehicle collision—drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians—a much better chance of surviving without sustaining serious injuries.
Speed kills in an abstract way, too. Ever-widening urban highways tear neighborhoods apart in their futile pursuit of quicker commutes for suburbanites, while new technologies like hyperloop tunnels and “flying taxis” promise congestion workarounds for whoever can afford them. By just establishing a more forgiving pace on city streets, though, urbanites can begin to think about making livable places instead of fighting for space. It’s an idea as old as the tortoise and the hare. Here’s my piece today on CityLab: The Case for the Slow City
More on CityLab
Something in the Way
Fifty years ago today, the Beatles crossed Abbey Road. The photo they took on August 8, 1969, gave rise to the world’s most famous crosswalk—and a traffic nuisance that shows no sign of letting up. For the anniversary, Abbey Road Studios installed a big backdrop of the album cover in its parking lot in an attempt to get people out of the street, but Fab Four fans still showed up to take a few steps across the real deal. CityLab’s Feargus O’Sullivan has the story: On Abbey Road, the Beatles Made a Crosswalk Famous—and a Hot Mess
What We’re Reading
In its largest workplace raid in years, ICE arrested about 680 people in Mississippi (NPR)
Hundreds of U.S. mayors push the Senate to pass gun background check bills (Politico)
Sitting on Rome’s famous Spanish Steps can now cost you a serious fine (Washington Post)
The world is chaos. Escape rooms make sense. (Vox)
Climate change is taking a bigger toll on our food, water, and land than we realized (Mother Jones)