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TheCityFix Picks, October 14: Disappearing Gas Stations, Green Growth Forum, Traffic Safety Mimes

The number of gas stations in Manhattan, New York has decreased from 58 to 41 in the past two years. Photo by realname.

Welcome back to TheCityFix Picks, our series highlighting the newsy and noteworthy of the past week. Each Friday, we’ll run down the headlines falling under TheCityFix’s five themes: integrated transport, urban development and accessibility, air quality and climate change, health and road safety, and communications and marketing.

Integrated Transport

U.S. President Barack Obama announced the country’s 14 infrastructure projects that his administration will expedite through the permitting and environmental review process.

The “Inserção do Transporte Sustentavel no Morar Carioca” workshop was held this week in Rio de Janeiro to explore integrating sustainable transport into slum redevelopment projects.

A West 13th Street and Eighth Avenue gas station in Manhattan, New York shut down operations last month, bringing the number of gas stations on the island to 41 from 58 just two years ago.

Batelle will display its mileage-based user fee technology at the 19th World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems next week.

The U.S. Federal Government awarded Detroit’s Woodward light rail project $2 million to investigate the impact of potentially connecting the planned rail line to the northern city of Birmingham.

Urban Development + Accessibility

Volkswagen announced planned expansions to its Quicar car sharing operation set to launch in November in Hanover, Germany.

U.S. military communities in Atsugi and Yokosuka, Japan are collecting and repairing bicycles of service-members and donating them to the tsunami-damaged town of Yamada.

The French government approved plans for a $30 billion public works project to create more than 100 miles of new subway lines, linking Paris’ surrounding suburbs in a “figure eight” fashion.

The second annual Municipal Art Society survey of New York City residents revealed that 56 percent of individuals believe that bike lanes improve livability, and that 42 percent are in favor of car-free streets.

Air Quality + Climate Change

The Global Green Growth Forum was held this week in Copenhagen, focusing on energy, transport, trade and finance.

The Open Climate Network conducted a three-day workshop to refine the methodologies of a future report that analyzes countries’ progress on climate change commitments.

Washington, D.C. city officials aspire for the capital to be the most sustainable city in North America and are requesting public input to help create a sustainability plan for the city.

WorldAutoSteel of the World Steel Association expressed support for total life cycle assessment vehicle fuel emissions regulations instead of simply tailpipe emissions regulations.

General Motors announced its forthcoming all-electric vehicle, the Chevrolet Spark EV.

New analysis found that the proliferation of electric vehicles in China would result in more greenhouse gas emissions than having traditional gas-powered vehicles due to China’s widespread coal-powered electricity generation.

Health + Road Safety

EMBARQ Andino, a member of EMBARQ‘s global network (the producer of this blog), released a new study on the connection between urban transport and public health in Arequipa, Peru.

A new study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that texting or emailing while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time.

Transportation Alternatives updated CrashStat.org, a website mapping the most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists in New York City using crash data reaching back to 1995.

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the three-foot safe passing act, citing that it would ultimately lead to more dangerous driving.

Communications + Marketing

A General Motors print advertisement with the headline of “reality sucks” and a tagline of “stop pedaling…start driving” was removed from circulation following a barrage of public criticism.

The five-day bicycle race Climate Ride California, connecting Eureka, Ca. to San Francisco, was held last week. Proceeds from the event benefit sustainability, clean energy and bicycle-related projects and organizations.

The mayor of Caracas, Venezuela dispersed 120 mimes to intersections around the city to boost awareness for safe roadway behavior. The mimes silently highlighted and scolded bad civilian behavior.

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