Coronavirus
December 22, 2020

A Lesser Known Quote from Jane Jacobs

A quote I don’t remember from “Death and Life of Great American Cities,” but, thanks to Farhad Manjoo at the New York Times, one worth repeating:

“Cities were once the most helpless and devastated victims of disease, but they became great disease conquerors …

“All the apparatus of surgery, hygiene, microbiology, chemistry, telecommunications, public health measures, teaching and research hospitals, ambulances and the like, which people not only in cities but also outside them depend upon for the unending war against premature mortality, are fundamentally products of big cities and would be inconceivable without big cities.”

 

For those who believe populous cities of massive density are, um, toast because of their pandemic vulnerability, one word:

 

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Cities around the world are trying to figure out the best way to react in today’s strange new world which is flooded with effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are being urged by public health experts to stay home, to flatten the curve. And while many people are doing just that, others still rely on various modes of transportation for their essential trips to get to work, shop for groceries, or whatever their need may be.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) recently released their own COVID-19 Transportation Response Center. This online hub acts as a resource for transportation staff, officials, leaders, and of course, anyone else with internet access and an interest in these things (that could be you!). 

A quick look – and maybe even a quick download and filter application – of the City Transportation Action Updates spreadsheet, tells a story of the variety of actions being taken globally by mobility operators. From free public transit for all to free taxi rides for health care workers to additional fees for ride hailing, no one knows for certain what the best way to move forward is, but organizations are doing what they think is best and learning from others along the way. 

Let’s take a look at bike share specifically. 

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