Also: The Bronx: Don’t call it a comeback, and the science behind biking’s most-feared crash.
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What We’re Following
Scooters on strike: The latest battle in the micromobility war is playing out today in Santa Monica, where it’s suddenly a lot harder to find a scooter to ride to the beach. Lime and Bird have both cut off access to their e-scooters in the area, hoping it will elicit rider outcry about how much they rely on the service. The move comes ahead of a city council decision about who will get a permit under a new pilot program for shared scooters and bikes, and fear that Lyft and Jump will be favored. (The Santa Monica Daily Press)
Spurning Bird might seem surprising, given that the company is headquartered in Santa Monica and kicked off the scooter craze there. But there’s a rocky history between the city and the company, and that shows in the city planning department’s recommendations, where Bird got low scores on three key criteria: operations, compliance, and public education. For more context, read Laura Bliss’s April report: The Electric Scooter War Is No Joke.
Attention Philly: CityLab and PlanPhilly are co-hosting a free #HappyHourLab on August 28 to discuss how parks are changing the face of Philadelphia. Come for a walk-and-talk event at the new Reading Viaduct Rail Park and Roy-Pitz Barrel House. Tickets and details here.
More on CityLab
Violent crime statistics are notoriously easy to mischaracterize, and it can be difficult to disentangle raw numbers, rates, and trends. But a new project called AmericanViolence.org aims to convey the reality of this complicated subject to a mass audience.
The project’s new interactive map compiles the murder rates of 82 of the 100 largest U.S. cities and makes it possible to compare crime rates over time stretching back to 1990. It’s especially useful for distinguishing short-term and long-term trends. For example, the screenshot above shows where the murder rate actually went down (in green) and up (red) from 2016 to 2017. There’s plenty of data to dig into, but it could also be a quick, handy reference to consult whenever politicians make dubious claims about out-of-control crime across the country. (h/t The Trace)
What We’re Reading
Trump’s FTA is sitting on $1.4 billion in transit funding that Congress already authorized (Streetsblog)
Want a lower property tax bill? So do Apple and Genentech (San Francisco Chronicle)
For some local prosecutors, the post-Roe v. Wade world is already here (The Appeal)
Philly has 922 streets banned from having block parties. Why? (Philadelphia Inquirer)
How air conditioning created the modern city (The Guardian)