Congestion caused by mobile technology that diverted traffic through Leonia, N.J., prompted the borough to ban nonresident vehicles on its side streets, and now it is dealing with the aftereffects, writes John Surico. While most residents agreed that resident-only traffic has decreased congestion, local small businesses saw a revenue decline of as much as 40%.
Municipal governments are facing an increasing threat from hackers, and "after what happened in Atlanta, cities are going to appear as big targets," said Allen Liska, a senior intelligence analyst at Recorded Future. A survey by the International City/County Management Association has shown that one-quarter of local governments have faced cyberattacks, sometimes as frequently as once an hour. Liska and other experts advise cities to prioritize system updates, secure systems like police, fire and vehicle fleets, and have a backup plan in the event of a hack.
City Council members in North Las Vegas have elected to appoint interim city manager Ryann Juden to stay on in his post permanently instead of conducting a wider applicant search. Councilman Isaac Barron says a larger search was unnecessary as the city has already been watching Juden do the job for several months now.
The Harris County Flood Control District estimates it will have to spend $155 million to fix the damage Hurricane Harvey caused to pipes, channels and detention basins that are used to control flooding in Houston. The district believes 1,200 places in the system were damaged, and officials are hoping the federal government will provide much of the funding.
Commissioners in Porter County, Ind., are seeking feedback from first responders as they review proposed changes to emergency-dispatch communications, including switching radio channels for each police and fire department to a single channel. "We are not going to rush into such a critical decision that has so many moving parts," says Commissioner Jim Biggs.
At least 60% of the land in Pennsylvania's Bethlehem Township will be affected by requirements that the city curb its sediment runoff by 188 tons a year over the next five years. The report presented to township commissioners was in response to an Environmental Protection Agency mandate that states find ways to reduce sediment.
Officials in the Chinese city of Yanan plan to use a lottery system to determine which wind-power projects are approved for development this year. The plan aims to limit strain on the grid, which has not kept pace with new power sources.
The city of Boulder, Colo., Boulder County and San Miguel County are suing Suncor Energy and ExxonMobil, claiming the two companies "contributed to, accelerated, and exacerbated human-caused climate change by promoting and selling huge amounts of fossil fuels." The plaintiffs are seeking compensation for "past and future damages" related to climate change mitigation costs.
As another Earth Day approaches, it's time to encourage children to embrace nature so they will become stewards of the planet, writes Joanna Pocock. "They need us to encourage their connection with the natural world by trusting them to explore it on their own, to rewild themselves without us watching," she writes.
Flathead County, Mont., and Eagle County, Colo., are two examples of rural areas that offer outdoor recreational opportunities and are increasing their populations, according to an analysis of census data by Stateline. While it is difficult to connect recreation opportunities to population growth, more people means more land use and a need to safeguard the outdoors, officials say.
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