Jan 19 – Feb 7, 2012

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

** Top Reads **
On Transit, Choose Mobility Over Image – Randal O’Toole, GlobalWarming.org
The Crisis of the American Dream – Walter Russell Mead, The American Interest
The paradox of simultaneous housing shortages & vacant homes – Vincent Benard, Objectif Liberte

Mobility & Transportation
Why More People Should Use Mass Transit – Tim Cavanaugh, Reason Hit & Run
Transportation Bill Would Streamline Environmental Review, Sponsor Say – Bloomberg
House Republicans’ transportation bill survives a beating in committees – Washington Post
California passes new auto emission rules – San Francisco Chronicle
List details properties at risk of condemnation for Purple Line – Washington Post
Funding transportation: Gas tax vs. tolls – WTOP.com
Montgomery County lawmakers choose buses over rail for CCT – Washington Examiner
Economic, ridership concerns could derail Northstar plans – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Public Transportation’s Hidden Gender Imbalance – Atlantic Cities
Pinellas adopts light rail proposal; bridge uncertain – Tampa Bay Business Journal
Mass transit still has a chance in Triangle – Raleigh News-Observer
4 People Die In Unrelated Subway Incidents – MyFox New York
Crash between light-rail train and SUV kills 3 – FoxNews, Sacramento
Phoenix light-rail accident injures teen – Tucson Citizen
Woman walks into light rail train in downtown Baltimore – Baltimore Sun

** Report: 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability SurveyWendell Cox & Hugh Pavletich **

Housing & Land Use
HUD’s Mandatory Minority Relocation Program – Ron Utt, Heritage
Homeownership rates fall to 66% as downturn nears a bottom – USA Today
Mistaking an Aberration for the End of Home Ownership
– Wendell Cox, New Geography
Planners say U.S. has too many big houses – U-T San Diego
Univ of Maryland study hits flaws in state Smart Growth law – Baltimore Sun
Maryland Governor renews bid to curb sprawl by limiting septic systems – Washington Post
Lawmakers blast state land-use plan – Southern Maryland News
Miami’s New Urbanist Experiment – The Architect’s Newspaper
Why you can still afford to live in Philadelphia, more or less – Philadelphia Real Estate Blog
Housing affordability problem threatens Vancouver’s ‘livable’ title – Vancouver Sun
Land supply policies affect housing affordability – Calgary Leader-Post
Few Cities Have Regained Jobs They Lost, Report Finds – New York Times
Shuttering California CRAs Traps Billions In Local Government Loans – Huffington Post
Report: Minnesotans responsible for $410M in TIF debt – Finance & Commerce
5 ways to fix tax increment financing abuses – Des Moines Register

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Freedom & Grassroots
Ding, dong, redevelopment is dead – Steven Greenhut, Human Events
City seeks new vision by firing planner – Vancouver Sun
Virginia seeks to right eminent domain wrongs – Washington Examiner
Activists Fight Green Projects, Seeing U.N. Plot – New York Times
Neighborhood Desegregation Is an Unsung U.S. Success Story – Bloomberg
How Libraries and Bookstores Became the New Community Centers – Michael Scott, New Geography
Stop the light-rail obsession (We’ll save money if we get off) – Star Tribune

Not So Sustainable
Streetcars to return soon to the district – Washington Post
Metro: Riders’ fares to cover 42% of Silver Line costs in first 3 years – Washington Examiner

Faith-based Planning
Could rail get Rays’ attendance on track? – Tampa Tribune
Streetcars could bring $8B in development for D.C. – Washington Post
High-speed rail would have been profitable, state report says – Tampa Tribune

High Speed Hype
Getting Nowhere, Very Fast – Thomas Sowell, Real Clear Politics
Does California Need High-Speed Rail? – New York Times
Should California bite the bullet on high-speed rail? – Los Angeles Times
Republicans prohibit funding for high speed rail – San Francisco Chronicle
Liverpool HSR link plans quietly dropped to save money – Liverpool Daily Post
In China, railing against the rail system – Philadelphia Inquirer

Around the World
We want more! £500 ‘bribe’ given to Tube workers not to strike not enough, says union – Daily Mail, London
Economic growth not keeping pace with city’s housing market – Vancouver Sun
Bob Clarkson’s vision: 1000 cheap homes – Bay of Plenty Times, New Zealand

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Across the Tracks
Why Conservatives Should Support Smart Growth – NRDC Switchboard
Punk Rock and the New Urbanism: Getting back to basics – Better Cities & Towns
Arcology Means Real Density – Shoreline Patch
How Foreclosures Feasted on Some Cities, Not Others – Miller-McCune
‘Smart Growth’ Experts Tout San Diego – NBC San Diego
Train in Vain – Slate
America’s Least Wanted Highways – Streetsblog.org
California HSR Now Even More Ridiculous Than Before – Mother Jones
Declaring War on Public Transportation – NRDC Switchboard
How streetcars would boost D.C.’s bottom line – Washington Post
Rail transportation is ‘classic’ idea – Charlotte Observer
Traffic Jam Economics – New York Times

Around the Bend
Vehicles To Start Warning Each Other Of Collision Risk – FuturePundit
Autonomous Cars Through the Ages – Autopia

Vibrant Urbanism
Music to tame light rail attacker – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Three arrested in thefts from light-rail riders – Seattle Times
Workers accused of stealing thousands from Metro fare machines – WTOP.com
11-year-old arrested after threatening woman with gun on MAX train – Portland Oregonian
Man busted for mooning on trolley – Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
Possum Catches Ride on Rail – New York Times

Notable Quotables

“Everybody expects these projects to be like the Hiawatha [light-rail] line, which was beating 20-year projections in year two. But clearly, Hiawatha is an aberration.” Leigh Lenzmeier, Stearns County Commissioner on the Northstar ridership levels failing to meet projections.

I think this could be one of the most significant bills that we pass in many, many years. Besides restricting septics, implicitly, it’s going to restrict growth, and I am a smart growth guy.” Paul Pinsky, Maryland State Senator on the new law limiting septic systems in order to curb sprawl.

“Right now it is not the world’s most livable city for lots of people who can’t afford to live here or to live in reasonable conditions. Gregor Robertson, Vancouver Mayor on the ‘Most Livable’ city’s high cost of living.

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Come across a good quote or news story? Send it to me at ed@americandreamcoalition.org.  Check for past editions of the ADC Communicator on our website here.

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