May 1 – 31, 2012

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

** Top Reads **
Googling Around DC – Randal O’Toole, Cato @ Liberty
Property Rights and the Tragedy of the Commons – Jonathan Adler, The Atlantic
Statism Begins at Home – Patrick Richardson, SEK Voice

** Report: Ending Congestion by Refinancing Highways – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute **

Mobility & Transportation
The American dream in an automobile – George Will, Washington Post
Don’t Let Washington Ban Cellphones in Your Car – Ramesh Ponnuru, Bloomberg
Region’s transportation and land-use policies to worsen traffic congestion – Wendell Cox, Seattle Times
Intercounty Connector a life-changer for motorists, residents – Washington Post
Long commute time linked with poor health, new study shows – USA Today
Traffic Congestion Plummets Worldwide With 30 Percent Drop in US –
Alt-fuel cars unsustainable without government assistance – Autoblog Green
Drivers still not utilizing the Intercounty Connector – Maryland Gazette
Kaleikini v Yoshioka: Rail Project in ‘Grave’ Danger – Hawai’i Free Press
Virginia Beach firefighters union opposes light rail – Virginian-Pilot
New Light Rail Ridership Falls Short by More Than Half –
Pinellas Park delays rail endorsement – TBN Weekly, Florida
A Weak Platform: The streetcar as development tool – Trip Planner
D.C. looks to let demand set parking rates – Washington Examiner
Metro doors open while train is moving –, Washington, D.C.
Man rescued from under light rail train, in critical condition – Sacramento Bee

** Report: Taxpayer Friendly Solutions for the Nation’s Transportation Challenges – Staley, Ybarra, Zimmerman, Donohue **

Housing & Land Use
Homebuilding Recovery: A Zoning & Planning Overhaul – Rick Harrison, New Geography
The Export Business in California (People & Jobs) – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Dumb rules prevent Silicon Valley from building the houses and offices we need – Matt Yglesias, Slate
Seattle is leading an American manufacturing revival – Joel Kotkin, New Geography
Replacing Portland’s Central City Plan – DJC Oregon
The Best Cities For Raising A Family – Forbes
New study ties women’s weight to property values – Seattle Times
Renting Prosperity – Daniel Gross, Wall Street Journal
Vancouver’s housing affordability continues to get worse – Open File
Is Vancouver’s goal of urban density just plain dense? – Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun
Half Of Detroit’s Streetlights May Go Out As City Shrinks – Bloomberg
How Property Rights Could Help Save the Environment – Jonathan Adler, The Atlantic

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Freedom & Grassroots
‘I support roads, bridges,’ but not transit – Lee Hearn, The Citizen, Georgia
The Export Business in California (People & Jobs) – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Group tries to derail transit plans – TBN Weekly, Florida
Vallejo, Calif., once bankrupt, now a model for cities in an age of austerity – Washington Post
Cash-strapped Westchester town axes 4th of July, Memorial Day & Thanksgiving parades – NY Daily News
George Lucas Does Something Likeable For a Change: Revenge on Rich Neighbors –
Peapod unveils virtual grocery store aisle at CTA State/Lake tunnel – Chicago Tribune
EPA Ponders Expanded Regulatory Power In Name of ‘Sustainable Development’ – Fox News
The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse – Washington Post

Un-Sustainable Smart Growth
East Side Access Runs $1 Billion Over Budget on Rail Project – Newsday, New York
Louisiana to seek rail line from federal stimulus pot that Governor called wasteful – New Orleans Times-Picayune
Canceled Bus Runs Draw Attention to Absent Drivers – Bay Citizen
Complex gas tax swap backfires – The Californian

High Speed Hype
Economic Development Impacts of High-speed Rail – David Levinson, Univ of Minnesota
High-speed rail still a dream in the U.S. –
The Secret to Tokyo’s Rail Success – Atlantic Cities
Rail requires high-speed spending – Los Angeles Times
Fast-train path would wipe out Thales Academy in Wake Forest – Charlotte News-Observer

Around the World
The Evolving Urban Form: Shenzhen – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Tram plans could drive commuters off the buses – Cowra Guardian, Australia
Light Rail a Financial Flop, Israel to Pay – Israel National News

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Across the Tracks
Occupy’s Totalitarian Temptation – National Review
Preface to “Smart Growth for Conservatives” – Bacon’s Rebellion
CNU20: Shootout at the New Urbanism Congress – Erin Chantry, New Geography
CNU20: New Urbanism’s Young Adult Angst – Richard Reep, New Geography
Market trends in California support compact, mixed-use neighborhoods – Better Cities & Towns
We Need to Invest in Livable Communities – The Gazette, Iowa
Critics claim Governor’s veto of planning council money hurts state’s future – Tampa Bay Times
Land-use plan calls for new growth near transit – San Francisco Chronicle
High Speed Rail’s Many Benefits – Politico
It’s costly, but Los Angeles is getting its rail mojo back – Sacramento Bee
Big Plans for Public Transportation in Virginia. It’s called Super NoVa. – Transportation Nation
Metro’s Silver Line extension stirs redevelopment in Reston – Washington Post
Public Transportation: The Saving Add Up – GeoMetrx
Public Transportation: Getting It Right – Daily Kos
Let’s spend our transit taxes on transit – Houston Chronicle
Charles Dickens and the rail of two cities – Los Angeles Times

Around the Bend
America’s Most Innovative Neighborhood: 15 Sq Mi in New Mexico, Population: 0 – Fast Company
Volvo’s self-drive ‘convoy’ hits the Spanish motorwayBBC News
The Future of Automobility Is (Almost) Here: Google’s Self-Driving Car –

Vibrant Urbanism
Gangs and crime ride into town on MAX, survey finds –, Portland
Shots Fired at Seattle’s Livability – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Metro bus driver fatally shot by passenger in LA – Associated Press
Naked man killed by Police near MacArthur Causeway was ‘eating’ face off victim – Miami Herald

Do As We Say, Not As We Do
Maryland planning agency has ‘unusually high number of vehicles’ – Washington Post

Blast From the Past
Give Yourself the Green Light, 1954 –

Notable Quotables

“You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population. We’re not going to light distressed areas like we light other areas.” Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer, on the city’s plan to “nudge” residents into a smaller, compact living space by eliminating almost half its streetlights.

“A lot of people live in the suburbs and they have a few cars and they live in houses that they probably bought in the 1980s.  We need to morally exclude those who don’t recognize the problem, and let them know that they have no place in a future America.” Occupy speaker, on this progressive vision of the future.

“It seems like since the Green [light rail] line started a lot more trouble has come out this direction from Portland. Clackamas used to be a nicer place and now it’s a lot of graffiti and more fights out here than there used to be.” Resident Zach Adams, on the increase in crime and other anti-social activity since Portland extended a light rail line to his community.

Smart growth is growth that conforms to our current land use plan. Smart growth wouldn’t overload our road network, water system or our school system. I do not support high density development as that would destroy our wonderful way of life in Fayette County.”
Lee Hearn, Fayette County (GA) Commissioner with a common sense understanding of what ‘smart’ growth really means.

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