Also: What I learned by working as a mail carrier, and how zoning decisions change when black lawmakers get elected.
What We’re Following
California soul: Who should pay for a city’s homelessness crisis? It’s a question San Francisco will have to answer this November. A new ballot initiative, if approved, would nearly double the city’s spending on homeless shelters, paying for it through a small tax increase on businesses. The proposal falls in line with plans in other California cities, including Google’s hometown of Mountain View, and Apple’s Cupertino. It’s no coincidence that efforts are becoming more apparent in cities with large tech presences, as rapid economic growth couples with rising inequality.
The San Francisco initiative comes just a few weeks after Seattle’s rapid U-turn on a tax aimed at fighting homelessness; the city walked back the new tax after outcry from companies like Amazon and Starbucks. But with a more modest tax—and less of a “company town” political vibe—the Golden City might have better shot of addressing its longstanding problem of homelessness. CityLab’s Sarah Holder reports on how California cities are angling to make big business pay for affordable housing.
More on CityLab
For Whom the Ride Hails
Over the last six years, ride-hailing has added 5.7 billion vehicle miles traveled on the streets of the nine largest urban areas in the United States, The Washington Post reports. That statistic comes from a new study by transportation consultant Bruce Schaller, which finds that even shared options like UberPool and Lyft Line are contributing to increased road congestion. The charts above compare the share of ride-hailing trips in U.S. metropolitan areas to their overall population. In 2017, nine cities—New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington—accounted for 1.2 billion trips, or 70 percent of ride-hailing trips nationally, while having just 23 percent of the total U.S. population.
CityLab context: Ride-hailing means more cars, more trips, and more miles
What We’re Reading
Cash is a miracle. So why are businesses refusing it? (Slate)
Electric scooters and e-bikes might not just be for young adults (Morning Consult)
As red light enforcement winds down, red-light runners are killing more Americans (Streetsblog)
The case for building $1,500 parks (Fast Company)
11 things to know about living in a sanctuary state (California Sunday)