April 20: Amtrak’s Northeast needs | Fishtown development and street safety | Cities can combat climate change

The White House’s budget envisions cuts to funds that support Amtrak’s long-distance service, except for the Northeast Corridor. CityLab shares maps of a vanishing Amtrak, showing which cities would lose long-distance passenger rail service.

Jason Laughlin rode the rails with Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman, touring the East Coast to discuss Amtrak’s needs and its possibilities along its most heavily-used and aging corridor. “Amtrak spends about $300 million a year on keeping the Northeast Corridor in good repair, but the need is between $700 million and $900 million,” Laughlin reports. The upside for Philly? “In Philadelphia, Amtrak sees a vision of what the Northeast Corridor can be. Development has sprouted around 30th Street Station, with more planned for the station itself, and may do the same at North Philadelphia Station. Amtrak can leverage its land assets into revenue through development and create dense, transit-centered communities.”

The Spirit of the Riverwards takes a look at the impact new development has had on street parking and street safety issues around major corridors in Fishtown.

Did Seattle’s helmet law kill its Pronto bike share program? The Guardian reports that it’s probably a number of factors (like hilly terrain and station locations) that depressed ridership enough to lead to Pronto’s closure. Philly-based bike-share guru Russell Meddin, is among those who told the Guardian that he thinks a helmet requirement hurt the spontaneity of using bike share.People want convenience. The more convenient a system is, the more it’s used.”

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg joined forces with Carl Pope, former director of the Sierra Club, for a new book, “Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet” outlining four ways cities can combat climate change. Fast Company breaks down this list, which includes empowering cities to act more autonomously (not unlike Richard Florida’s argument in “The New Urban Crisis”), and investing in electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles. The latter puts Philadelphia’s moratorium on permitting new curbside electronic vehicle parking spaces in a new light.

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