Los Angeles Launches “Vision Zero” Initiative To End Traffic Deaths

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Los Angeles will become the latest U.S. city with the rather ambitious goal of ending traffic fatalities. On Monday, mayor Eric Garcetti signed an executive order called “Vision Zero,” which aims through better street design and driver behavior to end such deaths by 2025. L.A. will join two other major U.S. cities–New York and San Francisco–in advancing this pro-pedestrian initiative…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Charlotte Is The Latest City With Racial Protests

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

For several years now, one particularly common narrative has heightened the conflict between law enforcement and black communities. In various cities, an unarmed black man gets shot by officers, sometimes over a mistake; the officers, once appearing in court, get what is perceived as overly-favorable hearings; and then violent protests break out. This weekend, Charlotte became the latest city to join the list….[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Mayor De Blasio Should Police, Not Destroy, Times Square’s Pedestrian Plaza

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Since becoming New York City mayor in 2014, Bill de Blasio has thought up one bizarre policy proposal after another. Whether it is attacking successful charter schools, Central Park horse carriages, or Uber, it’s like he is out to stop the things that people actually want. But this week he outdid himself, by proposing to destroy a widely-loved public space in the city’s most crowded area.

On Thursday, the mayor said that he would consider ripping up Times Square’s pedestrian plaza, bringing back the days when cars and jaywalkers crammed together along Broadway…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Puerto Rico, At 11.5%, Has America’s Highest Sales Tax

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

People who advocate for large governments usually view them as a “progressive” tool that impels the rich to help the poor. But when said governments get too bloated and inefficient—as they inevitably seem to—they become something that everyone must support. This is now happening in Puerto Rico, which recently addressed its fiscal problems by jacking up the sales tax. This is a regressive move that could hurt the island’s bottom line, and undoubtedly its many poor people…[read the rest here]… Read more

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In Puerto Rico, Water Has Been Cut Off

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

San Juan, Puerto Rico

When it comes to droughts in the U.S., California makes all the news. But the territory right now where the drought is worse—and where the people are suffering most—is Puerto Rico. I know, because I’m on a 4-day working vacation in the capital city of San Juan, and have witnessed the subsequent water shortages and cutoffs…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Travel Update: I’m Going To Puerto Rico

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

Miami, FL

1. My three Forbes articles this week are about a proposed 1,200-foot skyscraper for Brooklyn; about the murder spike that has inflicted post-riot Baltimore; and about a new Houston-based think tank founded by Joel Kotkin called the Center for Opportunity Urbanism.

2. But the real fun begins next week, when I conclude my Miami stay with a 4-day trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It’s ironic that while in Miami, there were two Caribbean territories just a short flight away that were in the center of the news, and that I will get to see during their major national transition periods.… Read more

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Brooklyn Might Finally Get A REAL Skyscraper

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

It used to be that nothing in Brooklyn exceeded the height of the Willamsburgh Savings Bank Tower, a famed historic clock just off Flatbush Avenue. But following a rezoning of downtown last decade, one developer surpassed that structure by 2 feet in 2009, and now the cap looks like it might blow off the roof. In the years since, several other skyscrapers were built, and a mega-version could soon follow…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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Baltimore Gets Minor Federal Help Following Murder Spike

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

In the three months since Baltimore exploded with riots, the city has seen a record murder spike. Now, the federal government is sending in ten officials to quell the violence.

On Monday, the police department, joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, and other officials, partnered with the federal government to start the Baltimore Federal Homicide Task Force. For 60 days, the city will receive two officials each from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.… Read more

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Opportunity Urbanism: A Novel Idea For U.S. Cities

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

As the U.S. grows more urban and diverse, the debate rages over which city-building model will best create future prosperity. A new Houston think tank is providing views on this subject seldom heard in urban planning circles. In late 2014, Joel Kotkin, a Chapman University geographer and fellow Forbes writer, started the Center for Opportunity Urbanism. The think tank focuses on how U.S. cities—many of which declined in the last half-century—can regrow their economies…[read the rest at Forbes]… Read more

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White House Issues Report On Occupational Licensing Barriers

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

1. My two Forbes articles this week covered Chicago, including how the Illinois courts are hindering the city from pension reform; and how a new Taco Bell in Wicker Park will cater to young urban barhoppers.

2. This week, the White House Council of Economic Advisors published a report about the rise of occupational licensing in the U.S. It was a refreshing look by those in power at a lightly-covered issue that harms thousands of people. The 77-page paper takes a cursory state-by-state view at the measures required to enter various professions. … Read more

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