November 14 – 30, 2010

The American Dream Communicator
The most comprehensive digest of news & commentary about urban policy in America!

Click here for highlights of the 2010 Preserving the American Dream Conference!!

Top Reads
The Overdue Debate: Smart Growth Versus Housing Affordability – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Why Transit Will Never Be Energy Efficient – The Antiplanner
Livability and All That – Alan Pisarski, New Geography
TIF tax incentives build powerful lobby – St. Louis Today

Mobility & Transportation
Analysis of Florida Rail Initiatives – Matthew Falconer, American Chronicle
Not So Hot TODs – Lee Nichols, Austin Chronicle
Amtrak Fails To Weather The Storms – Matthew Stevenson, New Geography
Local Planners Squashed in IN; Interstate Gets Approval
– Transportation Nation
In Los Angeles, Big Step Ahead for Mass Transit
– New York Times
Yet more questions about Fort Worth streetcars – Star-Telegram, Texas
Carmakers’ next problem: Generation Y –
Hillsborough’s light rail tax defeat turns talk to regional rail
– Tampa Tribune
Congestion pricing: The cheapest way?
Morning Call, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Higher gas tax, fees urged for Maryland roads – Washington Examiner
Norfolk residents object to plans to end free shuttle – Virginia Pilot
NJ must pay $271M for killing tunnel – New York Post
Is Phoenix light rail really a model to emulate? – MyFox, Tampa Bay
Pedestrian critical after Phoenix light rail accident – ABC-15, Arizona
Man Beaten, Robbed by Men on Light Rail – MyFox, Phoenix
Expansion of Bike Lanes in City Brings Backlash – New York Times
New tool in battle versus bikes – New York Post

Housing & Land Use

The Rise of the Efficient City – Joel Kotkin, Wall Street Journal
Mandates that fall only on multifamily development – Stephen Smith, Market Urbanism
One Housing Market Is Holding Onto Its Bubble Gains Better Than Any Other – Business Insider
Washington area housing costs eat up burdensome share of resident budgets
– Washington Post
Rich Americans Ditch Home Ownership For Renting
Tiny house movement thrives amid real estate bust – Associated Press
Green Giant – How much is sustainability worth? – Willamette Week
New zoning idea rejects car-based communities – Beaufort Gazette, South Carolina
‘Transit Village’ prep progresses in Hawthorne –
Parole condos fall on auction block – Hometown Annapolis
Is downtown St. Paul stuck with a $3 million hole? – Finance & Commerce, Minnesota
‘Blighted’ land in upscale Frick Park targeted for homes – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The edifice complex – St. Louis Today
All those TIFs and no growth to show for it – St. Louis Today
TIF eminent domain concerns expressed – Peoria Journal-Star, Illinois
A Pot of Gold Called TIF That’s Nowhere Near a Rainbow – James Warren, New York Times
How IHOP Qualified as a Small Business for TIF Subsidies – Washington City Paper
Osceola bought 370 acres for conservation that didn’t need preserving – Orlando Sentinel

Freedom & Grassroot
Too Much Money, Too Many Buckets – Ed Braddy, Orlando Political Press
California an addict yet to hit bottom – Steven Greenut, Orange County Register
Passenger rail service not practical – Bill Berg, Rockford Register Star, Illinois
Senator says shut down Public Transportation Commission –
Local Governments Told to Buy New Street Signs – ABC News
Property ownership needs lawmakers’ protection – Fay Observer, North Carolina
Local officials gather in Tampa to question what went wrong with transit tax – Daily Loaf

Not So Sustainable
D.C. Metro asks riders to help it lobby Congress – Washington Examiner
More bad news for transit funding – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Metro ridership, revenue falling below projections – Washington Examiner

High Speed Rail
Stuck in the Station: The High-Speed Rail “Low Ball Express” – Wendell Cox, New Geography
A rail reality check that President Obama should heed – Washington Post
Businesses oppose closing Raleigh streets for high-speed rail –, North Carolina
Why the U.S. Will Not Get China’s High Speed Rail – Megan McArdle, The Atlantic
High-Speed Rail in China: On Track for Failure – Marc Scribner, Open Market
High-speed rail will be a scar across the heart of England – London Telegraph
State projects will drive funding for high-speed rail – Washington Post
California may build train to nowhere – Dan Walters, Fresno Bee
Ohio Gov-elect Kasich still opposes state’s high-speed rail plan – Youngstown Vindicator

Down Under
Top suburb invaded by high density apartments – Zinc IP, Australia
Melbourne jumps its boundary – The Age, Australia
RBA intervened to avert housing slump – The Australian

Across the Tracks
The Tea Party Targets … Sustainable Development? – Mother Jones
Battle for the Intellectual Territory of a Sustainable Urbanism – Urban Omnibus
Smart Growth Panel Discusses Future of Tysons Corner – Vienna Patch
Do the Math: Demolishing the Density “Monster” – City Watch L.A.
Density makes cities richer – Winnipeg Free Press
State’s density becomes a boon –, Connecticut
Time to stop subsidizing urban sprawl – Troy Media
L.A. County would benefit from consolidating cities – Whittier Daily News
Who’s Driving This Public Transit System? – Todd Litman, Planetizen
The End of Automania – The New Republic
Transit must stay competitive with the auto – Victoria Times Colonist
Streetcars aren’t toys, buses aren’t about respect – Greater Greater Washington
Keep rail alive – Austin Daily Herald, Texas
California Cities Desire Streetcars – Urban Transport
Nostalgic New Urbanism is running into trouble in the real world – Utne Reader

Vibrant Urbanism
Sacramento Guardian Angels to Patrol Light Rail for Holidays –, California
Black Friday: How a smart growth activist hits the mall –

Around the Bend
New Onboard Converter Technology Harvests Auto Engine Exhaust to Generate Electricity – Popular Science
Houston to deploy electric car network. Yes, Houston – Energy Collective

The Lighter Side
Obama Replaces Costly High-Speed Rail Plan With High-Speed Bus Plan – The Onion
Train on a Train: Public Transportation as Exercise – Express Night Out
Transit ID cards issued to people who have died – Chicago Tribune

Notable Quotables

“They have been pushing rail expansion for decades now, and it has not had much of an impact in terms of increasing transit ridership. The big problem is that these are very, very expensive, and we wind up spending so much money on building these rail lines that there is not enough to operate bus service. So we wind up cutting back on bus operations and then raising fares, which drives the riders away.” Transit consultant Tom Rubin, on L.A. plans to expand rail service as a means of “enhancing” public transportation.

“It doesn’t truly connect downtown because it doesn’t go to Granby Street, which is where people want to go.” Kevin Murphy, on a new light rail line and proposed route changes for rubber tire transit that does not take riders where they want to go.

”Perhaps this trend reflects that there shouldn’t be any boundary at all because you’ve got to allow people to live where they wish. If you try to limit the market it never works, there is always a way around.” Tony De Domenico of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, on the leapfrog development that has out-smarted the urban growth boundary in Melbourne, Australia.

Come across a good quote or news story? Send it to me at Check for past editions of the ADC Communicator on our website here. And don’t forget to forward this to your friends and colleagues!

Be sure to visit our ADC News Blog and our main website for our latest publications. Share this ADC Communicator with your friends and colleagues, and please consider joining the ADC and help us spread the word about freedom at the local level!