The Atlantic Cities reviewed the most notable improvements in urban living within the largest cities of the nation (and Vancouver, BC) during 2013. Our very own CicLAvia was selected as the single most distinguished initiative to enhance city life in the Los Angeles region. Other cities were commended for policy changes that similarly benefitted its citizens, most notably improved bike policies in Chicago and San Francisco, and more sidewalks in Portland. The Atlanta Streetcar, currently under construction, was the lone transit project that made the list.
Meanwhile, the Transport Politic provides an interactive map showcasing the numerous transit projects that will either open or continue construction in 2014. However, blogger Yonah Freemark notes that the prices of these otherwise beneficial projects are skyrocketing at an alarming rate. The rail projects surveyed for this map have an average cost of $1.1 billion a mile, according to Freemark. This will prove problematic now that the federal government will have less money to fund transit projects through the New Starts, Small Starts and TIGER programs thanks to an ongoing budget freeze. Agencies must emphasize cost containment in order to remain competitive for federal funding, Freemark warns.