Also today: Prepare for the “bomb cyclone,” and mapping the landscape of net neutrality.

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Thin ICE: The acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Tuesday ramped up his calls for a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities, saying the Department of Justice should charge local leaders with crimes for enforcing sanctuary city policies. The comments add a new urgency to an ambiguous question that cities face in the Trump era: What does it mean to be a “sanctuary city?”

Bail out: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to ask the New York State Legislature to bring an end to cash bail for misdemeanor crimes and non-violent felonies. Justice system critics have long criticized the practice as unfair to the poor. New York City has had its hands tied by the state and even went as far as creating a community fund to help cover bail for people who can’t afford it.

“Bomb cyclone”: Squint all you want at the ridiculous name, East Coast cities are about to get battered by a blizzard with wind and snow that will resemble a winter hurricane. The last week or so of unforgiving cold has frozen city amenities like Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River or the U.S. Capitol’s reflecting pool. Send us your snow-spotting sights at hello@citylab.com or using the hashtag #citylabontheground, and stay warm out there.

Andrew Small


Today on CityLab

Mapping the Landscape of Net Neutrality: Internet users with the fewest options may lose the most from the FCC’s decision.

Madrid Prepares for Its Greenest Year Yet: Spain’s capital makes a big push for better air quality.

The Gig Economy May Strengthen Men's 'Invisible Advantage' at Work: A study finds that male privilege not only hurts women when they’re looking for work—it also puts them at a disadvantage when they’re the ones doing the hiring.

The Night Mayor Goes Global: Amsterdam’s Mirik Milan was the original “night mayor.” He talks to CityLab about how other cities can treat the night more like the day, and the principles of a sustainable party.

Your Entire City Is an Instagram Playground Now: CityLab’s guide to the #GrammableCity.

What Elon Musk Gets Right About Transit: The Tesla CEO might have incurred the wrath of public transportation advocates, but he’s not wrong in his diagnosis of one fundamental problem.


Back of the Envelope

On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to spend $50 million on security infrastructure, including the installation of 1,500 bollards for protecting pedestrians in light of November’s vehicular terror attack. Those costs are raising eyebrows, as they exceed recent estimates in other cities like Las Vegas ($5,000 per bollard) and New Orleans ($15,000 per bollard).

Certainly, the cost of labor and security adds a premium in New York, but if that full budget went to bollard installation, it would cost $33,333 per bollard. That sticker shock has some on Twitter wondering, what would it take to make bollards that pricey?

$6,100: Bollard made from 480 vinyl records (@NicotineJones)
$15,879: Highest cost security bollard on Google Shopping
$24,000: Bollard made from first vinyl pressings of the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks (@NicotineJones)
$27,610: Bollard made of base-model Ford F-150 pickup (@thedirtiestdeez)
$32,487: Bollard made from 13 Apple Mac Pro computers (@mtsw)
$38,012: Concrete bollard filled with Johnnie Walker Black whiskey (@SababaUSA)


What We’re Reading

How ‘Not In My Backyard’ became ‘Not In My Neighborhood (New York Times)

America’s forgotten towns: Should we stay or should we go? (Washington Post)

Modestly ridiculous renderings for New York City (New York Magazine)

With Moscow’s roads, why worry about autonomous cars? (The Guardian)

A mea culpa on stop and frisk (National Review)


What’s going on in your neighborhood? Send stories, tips, and feedback to hello@citylab.com.

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