May 22, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Transit officials aim to help cities adapt outdoor spaces to a socially-distanced world

Ben Geman, author of Generate

Photo: Corey Sipkin/AFP via Getty Images

The National Association of City Transportation Officials has released a document, called "Streets for Pandemic Response and Recovery," to make it easier for city planners to adapt their streetscapes to the shifting pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The scope and duration of the changes could affect urban air quality, carbon emissions and could even influence post-crisis oil demand.

  • Mass transit systems, for the foreseeable future, will be forced to run at greatly reduced capacity, even as driving starts to return.
  • The document offers technical guidance on revamping spaces for expanded pedestrian and bike access, outdoor dining and markets, new delivery patterns and more.

The big picture: "City transportation officials around the world have quickly implemented new street design and management tools to keep essential workers and goods moving, provide safe access to grocery stores and other essential businesses, and ensure that people have safe space for social/physical distancing while getting outside," the group said.

  • The new document "compiles emerging practices from around the world and includes implementation resources for cities and their partners."

Go deeper: Coronavirus is reshaping urban mobility

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump backs off push to federalize forces against riots

Photo: Brendan Smialowski /AFP via Getty Images

A day after threatening to federalize forces to snuff out riots across the country, the president appears to be backing off the idea of invoking the Insurrection Act, sources familiar with his plans tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Aides say he hasn’t ruled out its use at some point, but that he's “pleased” with the way protests were handled last night (apart from in New York City, as he indicated on Twitter today) — and that for now he's satisfied with leaving the crackdown to states through local law enforcement and the National Guard.

What we expect from our bosses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Workers — especially millennials and Gen Zers — are paying close attention to the words and actions of their employers during national crises, such as the protests following the killing of George Floyd in police custody.

Why it matters: American companies have an enormous amount of wealth and influence that they can put toward effecting change, and CEOs have the potential to fill the leadership vacuum left by government inaction. More and more rank-and-file employees expect their bosses to do something with that money and power.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."