A morning roundup of the day’s news.
Preventing the next attack: Responding to Tuesday’s terrorism in Lower Manhattan, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the “STOP Act” to fund installation of $50 million worth of protective barriers like bollards and planters around the city—a strategy already in use in several cities worldwide to prevent the use of vehicles as weapons of terror. As Time reports, New York congressmen introduced a similar bill earlier this month:
Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Republican Rep. Daniel Donovan, both from New York, introduced their version of the STOP Act on Oct. 12. In response to Tuesday’s terror attack, Rep. Espaillat pushed the bill in a tweet.
In introducing that bill, Donovan pointed to vertical steel posts, or bollards, in place in Times Square. Those posts were credited with stopping a driver who sped through the high-traffic tourist attraction last May. Though Richard Rojas still killed one person and injured several, without the bollards many have said the death toll could have been much worse.
Election season: While Bill De Blasio and Marty Walsh cruise toward re-election in New York and Boston, several U.S. mayors are facing tough races this month, including incumbents in Cincinnati, Minneapolis, and St. Petersburg, the latter of which is seeing maybe the tightest race contest in the country. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Albuquerque are among the cities with close races to fill open seats, while a runoff in New Orleans will name the city’s first female mayor. (Governing)
- See also: Seattle will also be getting a woman in charge—for the first time in 91 years—whether that’s urban planner Cary Moon or former U.S. attorney Jenny Durkan. (AP)
Opioid fixes: The White House commission on the opioid crisis has called for a nationwide system of drug courts, beefed-up prescription monitoring, and easier access to opioid alternatives among its 50-plus recommendations for tackling the epidemic. Not included: marijuana endorsements, safe injection sites, or, notably, a price tag for these improvements. (Washington Post, New York Times)
Houston rebuilding ideas: For post-Harvey recovery, a Houston Chronicle op-ed looks to contrasting examples of flood control in other cities—the failed “eyesore” L.A. River vs. San Antonio’s inviting Riverwalk—and points to New York City’s design competition for post-Sandy rebuilding as a promising use of federal funds.
Is Toronto creating “Facebook city”? Canadian journalist John Lorinc tears into Sidewalk Labs’ vision for developing the new high-tech community on Toronto’s waterfront, calling it a “masterwork of spin, flattery, and urban myth-making” that downplays its goals of marketing new products and capturing and selling user information—“a built form version of Facebook,” he suggests. (Spacing Toronto)
The urban lens:
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