Also: Let’s rethink what a “bike lane” is, and using city hall as a homeless shelter.

Keep up with the most pressing, interesting, and important city stories of the day. Sign up for the CityLab Daily newsletter here.

***

What We’re Following

A Buffalo shuffle? Since opening in 1985, Buffalo’s Metro Rail has underperformed as a transit system, becoming a local punchline for limited service that fell short of its early ambitions. But it sure looks cool: The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority built a network of strikingly modern underground stations complemented by public art. With its colorful steel sculptures, neon tubes, and edgy architecture, it’s an “underrated artistic triumph,” says CityLab’s Mark Byrnes.

Buffalo transit stations are pictured.
(Mark Byrnes)

But a new effort to revamp the system could end up destroying just about the only thing it truly got right. The NFTA is considering plans to redevelop Metro Rail’s underground stations to lure new riders and boost density along the system’s route. So far, one station has gotten a facelift; the result, Mark writes, should be more than enough to concern fans of the originals.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Let’s Rethink What a ‘Bike Lane’ Is

How about “light individual transport lane”?

Andrew Small

The Selective Singapore of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

In the real city, more than 80 percent of people live in public housing blocks. In the film, we never see one.

Mimi Kirk

What an Anti-Transit Federal Transit Administration Looks Like

A GAO report says the FTA “runs the risk of violating federal law” as it blocks rail and bus projects.

Laura Bliss

In a Growing Crisis, Seattle Uses City Hall as a Homeless Shelter

Each night, 80 beds are laid out in the lobby of city hall. It’s meant as a temporary solution—but long-term fixes are proving elusive.

Hallie Golden

How Plastic Trash Moves Around the Great Lakes

It doesn’t form garbage patches—but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Matthew J. Hoffman and Christy Tyler


What We’re Reading

Why do we continue to be surprised by gentrification? (Belt Magazine)

D.C. rodent complaints are at an all-time high. How’s the city handling it? (Washington Post)

A narrow group of people speak up at public meetings, study finds (Route Fifty)

A group of 19 mayors pledge to make all buildings net-zero by 2030 (Curbed)

The other side of “broken windows” (New Yorker)


Tell your friends about the CityLab Daily! Forward this newsletter to someone who loves cities and encourage them to subscribe. Send your own comments, feedback, and tips to hello@citylab.com.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    A Horrifying Glimpse Into Your Dystopian Future Transit Commute

    A comic artist’s take on what the future of transportation might really feel like.

  2. A cyclist rides on the bike lane in the Mid Market neighborhood during Bike to Work Day in San Francisco,
    Perspective

    Why Asking for Bike Lanes Isn't Smart

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  3. a photo of bikes on a bridge in Amsterdam
    Transportation

    Street by Street, Amsterdam Is Cutting Cars Out of the Picture

    Armed with a street-design tool called the knip, the Dutch capital is slashing car access in the city center, and expanding public transit hours.

  4. Uber Eats worker
    Life

    The Millennial Urban Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive

    As WeWork crashes and Uber bleeds cash, the consumer-tech gold rush may be coming to an end.

  5. Two men look over city plans at a desk in an office.
    Equity

    The Doomed 1970s Plan to Desegregate New York’s Suburbs

    Ed Logue was a powerful agent of urban renewal in New Haven, Boston, and New York City. But his plan to build low-income housing in suburbia came to nought.

×