By Kait Spielmaker and Susan Le
Ann Arbor, Michigan
We have two noteworthy wins this week for parking minimums. Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to the University of Michigan, voted to abolish minimums in a nearly unanimous vote. Cincinnati – while not city-wide – eliminated parking minimums on the City’s West End, home to about 6,000 of the city’s approximately 300,000 residents.
California plans to phase out gas vehicles and is banning the sale of gas cars by 2035. All new cars by then must be zero emission. The goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as transportation is the leading cause. If and when the final rule to the Environmental Protection Agency is approved, it could be the world’s most important climate change policies! We advocate shifting away from car-dependency, and investing in pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, but phasing out gas-powered vehicles is a critical step to combating the climate crisis and aiding in meeting emission-related goals.
New Orleans, LA
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed last November, allowed Amtrak $66 Billion to invest in old and new lines. Last year, the New Orleans passenger train opened a new route connecting to Baton Rouge. There are now talks about New Orleans connecting to Mobile, AL. Gov. John Edwards believes it would boost the State’s economy, relieve congestion, and reduce emissions on major interstates.
Boston had a series of its treasured tradition “Open Streets” this Summer in various neighborhoods. This includes the infamous Newbury Street, which has officially expanded its Open Newbury Street Sundays through September. This gives an opportunity to build community, support local businesses, and have fun on a car-free street.
University of Illinois
2021 America Walks Walking College Fellow, Sarthak Prasad, conducted a comprehensive walkability audit as part of his Walking Action Plan for the University of Illinois campus, where he works as a Sustainable Transportation Assistant. The audit was completed earlier this year and a poster of his findings was presented at the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals conference in August.