June 12 – 30, 2011

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

Top Reads
Did Smart Growth Fuel the Property-Price Boom? – Wall Street Journal
The Rise Of The Third Coast: The Gulf Region’s Ascendancy In U.S. – Joel Kotkin, Forbes.com
Detroit: A Century On The Smart-Growth Grid – Rick Harrison, New Geography

** New Report:
Intercity Buses – The Forgotten ModeRandal O’Toole, Cato Institute **

Mobility & Transportation
New proposal would use private sector to reform passenger rail – Ron Utt, Heritage
Car Clash: Europe vs. the U.S. – New York Times
A Congressman’s Pet Project; a Railroad’s Boon – New York Times
Electric cars may not be so green after all, says British study – The Australian
Which modes are “multi-modal” & enhance mobility? – Ed Braddy, New Geography
General Motors CEO pushing for higher gas taxes
– Detroit News
Chevy Volt buyer turned off by $4,300 “market availability adjustment” – Autoblog Green
Exaggerating in Orlando: Sunrail – Wendell Cox, New Geography
No bailout if SunRail fails, state transportation chief warns – Orlando Sentinel
Hunt is on for money to build Dulles Rail – Washington Examiner
Government-run liquor store spends $2.1M on light rail line – WCNC.com, Charlotte
Norfolk officials take a spin on light rail – Virginia-Pilot
With light rail out, HART turns to Bus Rapid Transit – Tampa Tribune
Challenges to red light cameras span US – MSNBC.com
Death toll from Amtrak crash raised to 6 – CBS News
‘Chinatown’ bus tragedy: 4 killed in Virginia – New York Post
22 hurt when charter bus hits overturned truck – CBS News
Bicyclist killed in RTD Light Rail accident – 9-News NBC, Colorado

Housing & Land Use
Despite fears, owning home retains allure – New York Times
Why Compact Cities Aren’t So Smart
– Phil McDermott, New Geography
What Charlotte learned ‘when the world flipped’ – CNN U.S.
Walkable neighborhoods have higher housing vacancy rates – Plannovation
Outlawing new houses in California – Wendell Cox, New Geography
US house price fall ‘beats Great Depression slide’ – The Independent
Three Bedrooms, One Tenant – City Journal, New York
Tysons Corner wants more people to call it home – Washington Post
Blight Envy – How Development Works in LA – Cary Brazeman, New Geography
Suburbs take an urban turn as developers plan more underground parking
– Washington Post

Freedom & Grassroot
The Death of the American Dream I – Walter Russell Read, The American Interest
The Death of the American Dream II – Walter Russell Read, The American Interest
Living in a concrete jungle is stressful and make you vulnerable to depression – The Guardian
Will the last family leaving Seattle turn out the lights – Richard Morrill, New Geography
Maryland’s abysmal dead last place in job creation – Gazette.net
Trains to Nowhere – Gary Jason, American Thinker
Albemarle Road church fined $100 per branch for excessive tree pruning – Charlotte Observer

Not So Sustainable
Ethanol Suffers Rare Loss in Senate – Wall Street Journal

High Speed Hype
China’s railway boom hurtles into the red – Reuters
Stop This Train – Chicago Tribune
Analysts question cost, ridership for high-speed rail project – Orange County Register
Portugal election puts high-speed rail at risk – AFP Google

Around the World
Across Europe, Irking Drivers is Urban Policy – New York Times
Jakarta named world’s least enjoyable commuter city – Jakarta Globe
Transport Tempest – The Suburban

Blast from the Past
Plessy and Ferguson: Descendants of a divisive Supreme Court decision unite – Washington Post

Across the Tracks
Transportation Lobbyist Raises Money for Transportation Secretary’s Son – Huffington Post
What’s Stopping Driverless Cars? (Hint: Not Technology) – The Infrastructurist
Can Florida Escape the Horse Latitudes? – Richard Reep, New Geography
Low-Income Workers Cut Off From New Jobs By Lack Of Public Transit – Huffington Post
Dump the Pump emphasizes more public transportation – State Press, Arizona
Derail privatization of Amtrak – MyCentralJersey.com

Vibrant Urbanism
The deep shame of Vancouver, Canada’s most progressive city – Real Clear Politics
City living and urban upbringing affect neural social stress processing in humans – Nature

Notable Quotables

I hate it, hate it! I’ve been in a lot of indoor parking lots, and they don’t usually intimidate me, but this feels very crammed in and very tight.” Potomac resident Marcia Simon, on the emergence of urbanist parking garages and underground parking facilities at suburban area grocery stores.

“Of course, I’m nervous about not meeting the ridership projections, especially because this is coming on line in my watch.” Andy Protogyrou, on the launching of light rail in Norfolk, Virginia, and hitting the 2,900 target in a city of 242,000.

“There is a no rationale for a country at that economic level to have not just duplication but triplication of those infrastructure projects. The level of it and the cost of it is massive, and a third of it will generate zero cash.”
Economist Nouriel Roubini, on China’s high speed rail projects.

Driving is a stop-and-go experience. That’s what we like! Our goal is to reconquer public space for pedestrians, not to make it easy for drivers.” Andy Fellmann, Zurich’s chief traffic planner on urban transportation strategy.

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