April 1 – April 30, 2012

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

** Top Reads **
Smart Growth and the New Newspeak – Ed Braddy, New Geography
California Declares War on Suburbia – Wendell Cox, New Geography
How Big Government Is Killing California – Steven Greenhut, Reason

** Report: Demographia World Urban Areas – Demographia **

Mobility & Transportation
“No more large projects are possible without tolls” – VA TransSec – Peter Samuel, TOLLROADSnews
Tunnel project needs to move ahead – Shirley Ybarra & Leonard Gilroy, Virginian-Pilot
AAA: Motorists tolls used for roads they don’t use – WTOP.com
The 5 Biggest U.S. Infrastructure Projects Plus 5 at Risk – Governing
Quicker commutes will take their toll, literally – WTOP
Why Your Highway Has Potholes – Wall Street Journal
Many hybrid-car owners buy once — but not again – Los Angeles Times
Payoff for Efficient Cars Takes Years – New York Times
On the ICC, Residents, Commuters Mull a Highway’s Pros and Cons – WAMU, Maryland
A Weak Platform: The streetcar as development tool, not transportation – Trip Planner
U.S. orders Metro to review cuts in bus service – Los Angeles Times
The Most Senseless Transportation Project Ever? – Bacon’s Rebellion
Quicker commutes will take their toll, literally – WTOP.com
Georgia Tech researchers address bus bunching – Phys Org
Police Catch Light Rail Copper Thief at Bus Stop – Fox-9, Minneapolis
6 injured after car collides with light rail train – CBS-3, Charlotte
Light rail crash in Austin leaves 1 dead, 2 hurt – Star-Telegram
Man Dies After Peeing On ‘L’ Tracks In Evanston – CBS Chicago

** Report: Heart study suggests city center pollution doubles risk of calcium build-up in arteries **

Housing & Land Use
Still Moving to the Suburbs and Exurbs: The 2011 Census Estimates – Wendell Cox
California Declares War on Suburbia II: The Cost of Radical Densification – New Geography
As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead – Joel Kotkin, Daily Beast
Smart Growth: The Maryland Example – Ed Braddy, New Geography
Maryland House approves septic system limits; other eco-bills in limbo – Washington Post
Is “Smart Growth” really smart, or just pushy? – Owen Courrèges, Uptown Messenger
Local government now ground zero for growth management – Orlando Sentinel
Housing dependent on good government – Star Phoenix
Tornado Recovery: How Joplin Is Beating Tuscaloosa – Wall Street Journal
The Mayor’s Kill Shot on Suburban LA – City Watch LA
Where housing once boomed, recovery lags – New York Times
Many Americans would move if they could – poll – Reuters
An ugly foreclosure story, starring Bank of America – Los Angeles Times
Dallas Boosting Development With Tax Increment Financing – CBS-DFW
County rejects TIF extension – Daily Register, Illinois
City legal fees mount in eminent domain case for roundabout – Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

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Freedom & Grassroots
The Best Cities For Raising A Family – Forbes
Sunshine Is Golden
– Wendell Cox, City Journal
Voters deserve the light-rail vote they were promised – Michael Ennis, The Columbian
A white elephant, paid off with silver – Michael Shannon, Inside Northern Virginia
Pinellas County anti-light rail group holds forum, voices opposition – Bay News 9, Florida
Civil war over rail projects tests Honolulu’s endurance – Star Advertiser
Washington Co. (OR) light rail opponents want public vote on issue – KATU.com, Oregon
Is TriMet playing hardball with homeowners? – KATU.com, Oregon
Councillor: Light rail plans example of ‘war on the car’ – CBC News, Toronto
Five myths about water – Washington Post
Fees and Anger Rise in California Water War – New York Times
Thinking beyond stage one in economic development for Wichita – Wichita Liberty
Lawn mower repair business faces Montgomery-ordered shutdown – Maryland Gazette

Un-Sustainable Smart Growth
A streetcar named debt – Washington Times
Aging transit systems grapple with repair backlog – Associated Press
Portland’s transit agency to cut service amid shortfall – Bend Bulletin
Longest distance Metro riders to shoulder brunt of fare hikes – Washington Examiner
Metro restores service after derailment – WTOP.com
The State of Union Station – Washington Post

Sign of the Times
Portland: A Place for Old Chickens, Outside the Pot – New York Times

High Speed Hype
Revised Plan For High-Speed Rail System Adds Anaheim To Route – CBS Los Angeles
Bullet train won’t make it to Anaheim in latest rail plan – Los Angeles Times
Voters deserve a do-over on bullet train vote – Los Angeles Times
Derail This Gravy Train – Washington Post
Not so high-speed rail – Washington Times

Around the World
Innovative (Meaning Insane) Land-Use Policy – The Antiplanner
Housing inquiry finds ‘urgent need’ for more land – New Zealand Herald
Ireland Faces Popular Revolt Over New Property Tax – ABC News
Would you park your car for a free bus ride? – The Local, Germany
Estonia’s Capital Pursues Free Public Transit – Atlantic Cities

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Across the Tracks
What Libertarians Talk About When They Talk About Transportation Reform – DC Streetsblog
Patching Pot-Holes Won’t Cut It: How to Rebuild America – Rob Perks, NRDC Switchboard
Sacramento plan sets the standard for sustainable communities – NRDC Switchboard
Smart growth is a start, but it’s not enough – Better! Cities & Towns
Bikes on a train: The thrills & frustrations of eco-commuting – Culture Map, Houston
Ex Md Gov: Voters will support transportation projects – Baltimore Sun
The Crisis in American Walking – Slate
The Magic of Streetcars, The Logic of Buses – Streets Minnesota
Transit polemic reads better as travelogue – Winnipeg Free Press
Let’s spend our transit taxes on transit – Houston Chronicle
In gated communities, such as where Trayvon Martin died, a dangerous mind-set – Washington Post
Low-Density Suburbs Are Not Free-Market Capitalism – New Republic
Pulling Back From the Ex-urbs – New York Times
The Greenwashing of Sprawl – DC Streetsblog
A combination of factors led to defeat of light rail proposal – Tampa Tribune
Freeway Removal Creates Opportunity for Improved Health, Quality of Life
– The City Fix
Stop Making Sense: A new strategy for community outreach – PlaceShakers
The New Urbanism and the church – Episcopal News Service

Around the Bend
Futuristic Cars Could Hit The Roads Soon – CFO World
Can Advanced Technologies Really Help Curb Highway Congestion?
– PC World
The smart homes of tomorrow
– Ars Technica
Will Automated Cars Save Fuel? – Technology Review

Putting the ‘Smart’ in Smart Growth
City Begins Construction on Rail Columns, Even Though They May Have to Be Torn Down – Hawaii Reporter

Vibrant Urbanism
Lawsuit accuses TriMet of negligence in sexual abuse of 14-year-old – Oregon Live
MTA: Subway Crime Soars; NYPD Releases Stunning Statistics – CBS-New York
12 Girls Haul Teenagers Off Subway by Hair, Steal Cell Phone – NBC New York
Man accused of pulling knife on bus passengers
– Gainesville Sun
D.C. Metro operator diagnosed with viral meningitis – Metro Magazine

Fostering A Sense of Community
NYC subway ad discourages giving up seats for pregnant Red Sox Fans – 940 WINZ
NYPD Searching for Subway Perverts – Breitbart TV
‘She-Hulk’ collars alleged Trolley creep after lewd act – Boston Herald
Was there a ‘carmageddon’ baby boom in LA? – Strollerderby

Oh Joy!
Romney’s Transportation and Land Use Policies may be Little Different than Obama’s – Reason
Romney, once an anti-sprawl crusader, created model for Obama ‘smart growth’ program – Grist

Notable Quotables

“The MTA board had better take the contents of the letter seriously. And to trifle with civil rights issues, alleged civil rights violations, is to invite more than what we can contend with.” Mark Ridley-Thomas, L.A. County supervisor on the action taken by the U.S. government on Metro’s decision to cut hundreds of thousands of hours in bus service over the last few years was unjust to riders.

“(TriMet is) leaving me with an empty house to cover the mortgage and the utilities on an empty house.” Randy Fischer, on the hardball tactics of the transit authority to take private properties for a light rail extension.

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