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TheCityFix Picks, September 3: Public Transit Creates Jobs, China Buys More Cars, Men Waste Fuel
Illustration by Garrett Bradford.

Investing in public transit spurs more job growth, compared to investing in highway projects. Illustration by Garrett Bradford.

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: mobility, quality of life, environment, public space, and technology and innovation.

Mobility

Investment in public transit can create hundreds of thousands more jobs than highway projects, as revealed in a new report by the Transportation Equity Network.

The Texas Department of Transportation released an interactive map pinpointing the state’s 100 most congested stretches of highway. At the top of the list, with 35 of the state’s most congested roads: Houston.

India’s auto boom may just be a bubble on the horizon. Car production is increasing, but a lack of roads and parking spaces, plus the threat of higher fuel prices, makes the future unsustainable.

New York City’s investment in bike lanes seeks to change the city’s commuting culture, according to Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City’s transportation commissioner, in The Wall Street Journal.

Quality of Life

Paris Metro considers eliminating fares in the Paris Metro, as reported by the U.S. radio program Marketplace. Passengers currently dodging the 1.70 Euro fare are pushing for free public transport,

In the U.S. auto sales have fallen to levels not seen since the early ’80s; in the meantime, China’s motor sales grew by an astonishing 60% between July and August.

Men drive 276 “lost” miles and waste almost £2,000 in fuel costs on an annual basis, according to a report released this week by a British insurance company.

Car accidents cost individuals billions of dollars and kill thousands of people annually, according to a recent report on traffic safety from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on traffic safety.

Environment

Johannesburg, South Africa has levied a new “green” tax on all new passenger vehicles that emit more than 120 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. The price of such vehicles is expected to increase by an average of 2.5%.

Federal regulators unveiled a proposal to update the fuel consumption label that would provide consumers with more information on a new car’s fuel efficiency and carbon footprint.

Public Space

The Governor of New York signed the Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, which will direct more state tax money to infrastructure projects in “compact communities” and less where sprawl has occurred.

New Orleans has the potential to become a true Venice of the United States – a city designed to handle shifting water levels and stay beautiful. Maybe presenters at the Venice Biennale can bring back some ideas.

Technology and Innovation

Walk Score, the online mapping tool that measures walkability, gives users a bit more context to see how their neighborhood stacks up.

Using local public transit is easier when you have a mobile app at your fingertips.

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