But city regulations are limiting its use

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

*This is part 2 of a 2 part series on micromobility after COVID. Read part 1 here.

Among its widespread impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we get around. One of the biggest changes has been a decrease in the number of people who use public transportation. With people seeking to avoid exposure to COVID-19, they are opting for personal cars instead of riding buses or trains. Because of this, we expect the number of cars on the streets to rise as cities begin to open up.

But what if the people avoiding transit had other transportation options…


How cities can encourage it

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

*Part 1 of a 2 part series on micromobility after COVID

As cities struggle to return to normal in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a looming fear that traffic will be worse than ever. To prevent the impending Carmageddon, cities around the world are backing micromobility. E-scooters, E-bikes, bikes, mopeds, and other forms of micromobility present alternative options for commuters going to work.

The US can also join the micromobility revolution. US cities can encourage more people to consider micromobility in two easy steps: First, cities can build more infrastructure dedicated to micromobility. …


And its benefits to society

By Josh T. Smith and Katarina Hall

Source: Adobestock

Even before he was elected, President Trump campaigned on anti-immigration issues. And since he took office, Trump has fought immigration more than any other recent President. He has made out immigrants to be “bad hombres” — criminals who are disrupting the American way of life. His efforts to reduce immigration include building a border wall with Mexico, increasing immigration enforcement, making it harder to get visas, and defunding sanctuary cities.

Trump’s efforts against sanctuary cities have been central among those policy changes. Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration agents…


It’s time to stop

By Katarina Hall and Josh T. Smith

Source: AP Photo/Moises Castillo

In at least two countries, Guatemala and Honduras, US deportees have tested positive for COVID-19. Deportations pose health risks to the receiving countries and the deportation staff. Despite early efforts by these countries, such as closing their borders, continued deportations undermine those policies.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not taking sufficient measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by deportees. ICE’s current pre-deportation health screenings do not account for asymptomatic carriers. …


An Earth Day celebration of green cities

By Katarina Hall and Josh T. Smith

Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

Density has gotten a bad rep because of COVID-19. Some of the places that are most vulnerable to the pandemic are large, dense cities like Madrid, Seattle, and New York City. All three of these cities have had some of the highest infection rates and death rates. The spread of COVID-19 in these cities was, in part, driven by density: more people living in an area means that there are more chances for individuals to transmit the disease to each other.

For some, this is a justification for reducing density. For example, New…


Let’s make it permanent

Source: Photo by Kai Pilger on Unsplash

To control the spread of coronavirus, New York City announced last week that all restaurants and bars would close for dine-in customers, leaving restaurants and hungry residents to rely on delivery and take out. To ease the burden on overworked delivery workers, de Blasio allowed previously illegal e-bikes to operate in the city after months of controversial crackdowns.

While this move was made in desperate times, the fact that the de Blasio administration is willing to suspend the ban now raises questions over its necessity during normal circumstances. …


The public charge rule doesn’t make sense

On January 27th, the Supreme Court allowed the implementation across most of the country of stricter standards for immigrants seeking to come to the United States. Known as the public charge rule, the recent change allows the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deny green cards or permanent residency to any immigrant who has received public benefits or is likely to receive them in the future. With a few states holding back the rule and a new hearing scheduled for March 2nd, the future of the rule is still undetermined.

The public charge rule is meant to prevent the…


Trial and error in American cities

Photo by Marat Mazitov on Unsplash

Last week the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced the extension of its electric moped pilot program in Washington DC. This extension will allow electric mopeds to remain in the city’s dockless vehicle program. The program is part of the city’s efforts to foster shared mobility transportation and reduce single-occupancy vehicles. The pilot program also includes other forms of shared vehicles, including electric bicycles and scooters. DDOT also extended permits for several e-scooter operators. DDOT’s decision to extend both pilot programs reflects the city’s attempt to embrace innovative transportation options. …


How AI and data analytics are transforming retail

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Numbers are in, and 2019 was another record-breaking year for Black Friday Weekend. Yet once again, the lines and fights that have come to characterize Black Friday were conspicuously missing. Why? It’s simple: online shopping is fundamentally changing the way we buy. More than half of all Thanksgiving weekend sales took place online. Unsurprisingly, it seems shoppers prefer to do their holiday shopping in their own homes, away from all the crowds and chaos. But Black Friday isn’t the only tradition online shopping is turning on its head.

Take, for instance, the very idea of owning stuff. As more rental…


Why shiny new projects don’t produce results

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

On November 5th, voters from 19 states passed 89 percent of the transportation measures on their election ballots. One of the most interesting votes occurred in Houston, where voters approved a bond of $35 billion to improve the city’s public transportation system. The bond is earmarked to fund 75 miles of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lanes, 16 miles of Light Rail Transit (LRT), and invest $600 million in buses. Similarly, in Maine, voters approved a bond of $85 million to fix roads and bridges and another of $20 million to use in railroads, airports, and ports. Voters in New Mexico

Katarina Hall

Cities and stuff

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