August 1 – 23, 2011

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

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** YouTube: On Privatizing Transit (17:51) – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute **

Mobility & Transportation
Public Wants Toll Money to Reduce Congestion – Sam Staley, Out of Control Policy Blog
The Wrong Road to Transportation Solutions – Benita Dodd, Talk Gwinnett
Dulles Metrorail Silver Line Vs Bus Rapid Transit – Steve Lafleur, New Geography
On the Road, and Out of the Red – New York Times
Survey: Americans top concerns are poor road conditions and congestion – Traffic Technology Today
It’s Official: We Now Have One Billion Vehicles On The Planet – Talking Points Memo
Citing a Lack of Usage, Costco Removes E.V. Chargers – New York Times
Trouble at Aptera? Car Company Returns EV Deposits – Popular Mechanics
Region’s high rating on transit access doesn’t shrink long commute – Washington Examiner
Car-loving L.A. may actually be a public-transit paradise – Los Angeles Times
Region has 6,000+ with no car, no transit access – Baltimore Sun
Seattle inches toward decision on $3.1-billion tunnel project – Los Angeles Times
Frustrating, dangerous Metro problems for the disabled – Washington Post
Norfolk light rail’s start-up could start up rash of accidents – Virginian-Pilot
Yet to open, Norfolk light rail train hit by first car – Railway Age
Speed restriction, traffic calming causes sleepless nights – Oxford Mail
The Clear Case for the Gas Tax – New York Times

Housing & Land Use
Biggest Boomer Towns – Joel Kotkin & Wendell Cox, New Geography
Sustaining the Suburbs
– Phil McDermott, New Geography
The Mortgage Hangover – Nicole Gelinas, City Journal
Governor O’Malley, Maryland counties begin battle over development – Washington Post
White Picket Fence? Not So Fast – New York Times
Residential starts drop 1.5%, single-family starts drop 4.9% in July – Hot Air
Deer Park makes national news for its affordable housing options – Houston Chronicle
10 Cities Where You Can Buy a House for Under $150,000 – U.S. News
The 10 Housing Markets That Will Collapse This Year
– Yahoo Finance
Homeowners who want to trade up are stuck waiting
– Los Angeles Times
Watch how they move – Indianapolis Star
Contentious debate over Portland-area land use boundary settled – The Republic
The case for freehold townhouses – Vancouver Sun

** Census Findings:
Los Angeles & San Antonio – Wendell Cox, New Geography **

Freedom & Grassroot
Commissioners appoint rail opponent to transit board – Tampa Tribune
On the Road, and Out of the Red – New York Times
Turning Up & Transportation Policy – Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation
Government’s mean streak shows up in Virginia Beach
– Barton Hinkle, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Bicycle vs car challenge: So what was the point? – Stafford Jones, Gainesville Sun
Silicon Valley billionaire funding creation of artificial libertarian islands – Yahoo News
State’s frugality pays off with better credit rating – Daytona Beach News-Journal

** Report:
How the City Misled the Public – Heen, Cayetano, Slater & Roth, Honolulu Star Advertiser **

Not So Sustainable
Transit Agency Study Finds Fares Up and Service Down – New York Times
Fleecing Taxpayers and Ratepayers With Subsidized Solar Power
– Michael Sanera, Carolina Journal
Seattle’s ‘green jobs’ program a bust – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

High Speed Hype
China’s enthusiasm for high-speed rail stalls – USA Today
China recalls its high-speed trains – ITN
World High-Speed Cost Increase Record – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Eight Great Reasons to Shoot the California Bullet Train –
High-speed rail plan impacts central California roads – Bellingham Herald
Reid ready to railroad anyone in pet project’s path – Las Vegas Review-Journal
Why do Americans have so much trouble with infrastructure projects? – The Economist

Around the World
The Density Dynamic: Everything will be too big to fail – Foreign Policy
Trains Helped Kill the Greek Economy – They’ll Kill Hawaii’s too – Panos Prevedouros, Fix Oahu
In Auto Test in Europe, Meter Ticks Off Miles, and Fee to Driver – New York Times
Building more homes key to affordability – New Zealand Herald
Vancouver housing market faces biggest risk of downturn – CBC News

Across the Tracks
Three Key Environmental Issues Worth Paying Attention To – Kaid Benfield, The Atlantic
Living may actually be cheaper in the region’s core – Greater Greater Washington
Smart growth doesn’t mean no growth – Baltimore Sun
Porch Potatoes – Studio City Patch
Too much driving is bad for your health – Neal Peirce
More freeways won’t end L.A.’s traffic woes – Los Angeles Times
In their own words: Leaders reflect on light rail – Virginia Pilot
Children with autism, connecting with transit – New York Times

Vibrant Urbanism
Oversexed Portland: Top 10 Most Promiscuous U.S. Cities – Time
     Related- Long-term unemployment linked to more sex – UPI
LAPD called in to handle large group of drunk, unruly bicyclists – Los Angeles Times
Women stage sex strike for paved roads – Daily Caller
Oakland Officer Shoots Public Urination Suspect After Scuffle – CBS San Francisco
Skateboarder sought in L.A. subway stabbing – Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Subway Shuts Cell Service to Foil Protest –
Hackers protest BART decision to block cellphones – Associated Press

Notable Quotables

I would prefer private transit, but I’m not there to beat HART out of existence. I’m there to work with it and improve the economy.” Karen Jaroch, on her appointment to the citizen’s transit oversight board. Jaroch is chairwoman of the Tampa 9/12 Project and one of the leaders of the grassroots effort last November to defeat light rail at the ballot box in Tampa, Florida.

“The vernacular in the plan does not match the vernacular in the [governor’s] presentation. His presentation was ‘don’t worry be happy,’ but if you read the plan, it’s a trajectory toward state takeover that is clear and evident. It is not subtle. Carroll County (Md) Commissioner Richard Rothschild, on the Plan Maryland initiative to give the State greater authority over local land-use decisions.

“Its success in Norfolk is absolutely critical in order for us to be able to move it to Virginia Beach. Right now, the key is to see how the people embrace it.Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, on the opening of the scandal-plagued Norfolk light rail line.

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