Also: The hidden history of American anti-car protests, and where do America’s urban planners live?
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What We’re Following
Chopping time: The latest industry vying for commuters isn’t on the road; it’s in the sky. A handful of on-demand helicopter services have recently begun running flights in U.S. cities. These companies are testing people’s hopes for a faster alternative to the on-the-ground rush hour at a fraction of the cost of chartering a traditional chopper.
But is anyone really asking for this? CityLab’s West Coast bureau chief Laura Bliss took a short hop on a Voom helicopter from Palo Alto to San Francisco to find out if dropping a few hundred bucks is worth it for the time it saves. While flying over traffic feels like “cheating physics,” Laura writes that “helicopter commuting is laden with some significant caveats.” Read her story: The Urban Helicopter Dream Is Rising Again
More on CityLab
The photo above shows a pretty typical street in Zürich, Switzerland, but it represents a kind of Rorschach Test for transportation planning. How you see it depends if you’re a pedestrian, on a bike, in a car, or on the tram. But it says even more about how a city allocates space. Not only does the street give tramlines priority over car lanes; the pedestrian-friendly streetscape allows for a lot of other amenities that might not exist if engineers tried to optimize the road for car travel. Civil engineering professor and transportation planner Norman Garrick uses this image to illustrate what’s wrong with so many other urban thoroughfares. On CityLab: What Does This Street In Zürich Mean?
What We’re Reading
What happened to the teens who learned to drive during an oil crisis (Washington Post)
Hundreds lose their driving licenses during Oktoberfest e-scooter mayhem in Munich (CNN)
Why everything is getting louder (The Atlantic)
Homelessness is now part of all of our lives. Here’s what you can do to help. (The Guardian)
Nearly 600,000 New Yorkers are eligible to have their records sealed. Fewer than 1,800 of them have succeeded. (The Appeal)