Also: The scooter wars are no joke, and the bias in Starbucks’s design.

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What We’re Following

Fear of committee: Last night brought a swift end to California’s ambitious attempt to overhaul zoning and address the housing crisis—at least for this year. The much-buzzed-about SB 827 bill would have allowed the construction of taller apartment buildings near high-frequency mass transit stations. But it lost a vote in a Senate committee, with two Democrats and two Republicans each voting against it. CityLab’s Benjamin Schneider has the story on where the YIMBY battle goes next.

Tennessee waltz: Tennessee lawmakers are retaliating against Memphis for removing two Confederate statues last December. In a last-minute amendment to a spending bill, the Republican-dominated House voted Tuesday to strip the city of $250,000 that would have been used for a bicentennial celebration next year. The AP reports that fellow lawmakers booed Representative Antonio Parkinson, a Memphis representative, as he called the amendment vile and racist.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

The Micromobility Wars Are Upon Us

As Bird, LimeBike, and Spin unleash dockless scooters in new cities, turf battles are breaking out.

Laura Bliss

Peter Calthorpe Is Still Fighting Sprawl—With Software

In an interview, the leading New Urbanist Peter Calthorpe discusses autonomous rapid transit, Buckminster Fuller, NIMBYism, and his new urban-planning software.

Richard Florida

Suspiciously Black in Starbucks

Starbucks doesn't need to close its stores for bias trainings. It needs to change its entire design so that it doesn’t merely reflect the character of host neighborhoods, especially if that character is racist.

Brentin Mock

Understanding the Great Connecticut Taxpocalypse

The state relies on property taxes, and after the GOP tax bill, many fear that housing values will stagnate or crash.

Kriston Capps

This Town Took on Waze. Who Won?

Leonia, New Jersey, closed its major streets to non-resident drivers after navigation apps routed too many commuters through the town. But not everyone is pleased with the results.

John Surico


Chart of the Day

Chart of Millennial vehicle miles traveled by income group
(Chris McCahil/SSTI)

One of the first takeaways from the new 2017 National Household Travel Survey is that the average American drove less in 2017 than eight years earlier—but driving has increased among Millennials. There’s more to it than that, though: The State Smart Transportation Initiative finds that high- and middle-income Millennials (earning more than $50,000) are driving less, with lower-income Millennials fueling the generation’s uptick in vehicle miles traveled since the recession.

CityLab context: What drove the driving downturn?


What We’re Reading

Inside a university’s controversial plan for Baltimore (The Guardian)

Uber makes peace with cities through a data-sharing deal (Wired)

Why restaurants became so loud, and how to fight back (Vox)

As the bioengineering of people and cities converges, where do we locate the public sphere? (Places Journal)

Creating bike lanes isn’t easy (Wall Street Journal)


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