Have your neighbors signed up?
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,088 words, a 4-minute read.
Okay, let's start with ...
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Booming companies have attracted millions of workers to America's tech hubs, but for all the population growth, the vast majority of these cities are still largely comprised of single-family homes with backyards.
Why it matters: There's not nearly enough space to house everyone, and the limited supply is driving costs to dizzying heights. Changing the laws to address the issue means brawling with stubborn residents and powerful corporations — and as of now, even with thousands of homeless people on the streets in these tech havens, no one seems ready to compromise.
The big picture: Zoning restrictions limit cities from getting denser and, according to some experts, are the primary drivers of exploding housing costs in places like San Francisco, Seattle and Austin. Adding apartments, condos and multi-family dwellings would start to drive prices down, these experts say, but the laws are often rooted in racism and are difficult to change.
”We’ve been way too flatfooted on housing, and we still are,” says Seattle Council member Teresa Mosqueda. “But we can’t possibly keep up with this growth.”
What's happening: Several company towns are trying to add affordable housing options, but they are finding that the reigning firms are resistant to these efforts.
The other side: Some companies have put lobbying power and money toward addressing the housing crisis in their hometowns.
Inside an Amazon warehouse. Photo: Helen Richardson/The Denver Post/Getty
In 2015, there were fewer than 50 Amazon employees in Ohio. By the end of this year, that number will approach 9,000, Erica writes.
What's happening: The jobs boom is due to a string of warehouse openings. Amazon now has seven distribution centers in Ohio — two on the sites of former malls — and it is building an air hub near Cleveland.
The big picture: In all, Amazon says it employs more than 125,000 people in some 100 U.S. warehouses.
Says Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution: "Thousands of fulfillment jobs, which will likely be susceptible to automation in the coming years, aren’t what will change the geography of tech and smooth over the nation’s imbalances."
Photo: Education Images/Universal/Getty
Some 624,000 people have been killed on U.S. roads since 2000, far more than the 535,000 who died in the two world wars, reports the Washington Post's Ashley Halsey.
llustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
What being an app food delivery guy is really like (Andy Newman — NYT)
China's 15-second video weapon (Shane Savitsky — Axios)
Down the Satoshi rabbit hole (Evan Ratliff — Wired)
The science of Moon walk denial kookery (Rich Cohen — Paris Review) (h/t Don Van Natta)
Bezos' convenience-store dream (Brad Stone, Matt Day — Bloomberg)
Erica writes: I spent many weeks making fun of people zooming down D.C.'s 18th Street on scooters, finding it especially amusing when I spotted a middle-aged man in a suit with a briefcase scootering along.
But after this weekend, I'm a convert.
I rode a scooter for the first time on Friday night because my boyfriend, visiting from New York, had never tried one before and wanted to see what the buzz was about.
Now, I've got a definitive ranking of all of D.C.'s scooters.
Note: I haven't yet tried Bolt, the yellow scooters that have just arrived in D.C. A colleague says, "Those aren't worth trying."
Thanks for reading!