Normally on Wednesdays, we publish The Fixer, our weekly roundup of solutions in the news. But we’re trying something slightly different: a weekly glimpse of the stories our team is talking about on Slack, the messaging platform where we discuss solutions, opportunities, stories in progress and news that gives us hope. Let us know what you think at [email protected].

Changing lanes

Those of us who like to get around on bikes — a category that includes most of the Reasons to be Cheerful team — can find ourselves frustrated by the limitations of navigation apps. Sometimes a suggested route turns out to be dangerous or impassable. That’s why a Bloomberg CityLab story about Google Maps’ efforts to make its maps better for cyclists caught Audience Engagement Manager Mariel Lozada’s attention. “As a cyclist, this is an issue I’ve faced multiple times!” Mariel says. And though the problem is not yet fully solved, she’s glad to know that something is happening.

In somewhat related news, it turns out that New York City’s new minimum wage for delivery workers, which RTBC reported on last summer, is leading to safer riding conditions. According to Streetsblog NYC, raising workers’ pay “is incentivizing workers to slow down, stop at red lights, and follow the rules of the road.” 

A cyclist holding a phone
Credit: koumaru / Shutterstock

In the wind

Editorial Director Rebecca Worby shared a Sierra Magazine story about what could become the United States’ first floating offshore wind farm off the coast of Maine. The project, author Kea Krause writes, has gotten momentum from a wide-ranging coalition, taking into account feedback from environmental and labor groups and even the state’s largest lobster fishing union. Krause, who lives in Maine, also wrote a great story we published last month about a river’s recovery after dams were demolished.

What else we’re reading

❄️ How Reykjavik’s Sheet-Metal Homes Beat the Icelandic Winter — shared by Executive Editor Will Doig from Bloomberg CityLab

🗑️ France mandates separating food waste for the environment — shared by Audience Engagement Manager Mariel Lozada from Euronews

🏡 Has a big village of tiny homes eased homelessness in Austin? — shared by Will Doig from the Texas Tribune and the New York Times

Elsewhere in our channels…

This week, A Public Affair — a call-in show on Madison, Wisconsin community radio station WORT — dedicated a full hour to discussing Reasons to be Cheerful. Will Doig joined the show to talk about solutions journalism and some of our big highlights from the past year. You can listen to the interview here.