As a transportation advocate, it’s weird to work from home. At the beginning of this year, I would hop on the 5 Fulton bus or ride my bike down car-free Market Street to my office, where I direct transportation programs for the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge. Often, I’d take the Muni Metro light rail to City Hall for meetings. Now, I do all of this from home, connecting virtually with colleagues who are sometimes just a few bus stops away.
Of course, I’m not the only one: In San Francisco, we lost 90 percent of our transit ridership, as did many of the 25 cities I work with through the Climate Challenge. The lost revenue gutted plans for growth, eliminated routes, and increased wait times for the essential workers still riding every day. According to a report by the TransitCenter foundation, service cuts hit Black and Latino residents the hardest.
And so our cities are facing tough decisions: Whether it’s painful service cuts or choices about where to place new car-free streets and bike lanes, the challenge is fundamentally about what our communities need to safely walk, ride, and roll.
Usually, cities make decisions like these by... Read more