August 1 – 7, 2009

The American Dream Communicator – news & commentary about urban policy in America’s cities.  Pick and choose at your leisure!

** Special Report: The Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Reauthorization **
(Please forward to colleagues, activists, and public officials involved in transportation issues.  More information is available on our ADC website.)

Mobility & Transportation
Reducing Vehicle Miles Traveled Produces Meager Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Returns – Wendell Cox, New Geography
U.S. public transit improvements will be a tough sell – David Lazarus, L.A. Times
Setting the Record Straight on Chicago Parking Meter Privatization – Leonard Gilroy, Reason
Parking Pass: California’s Anti-Car Proposal – Sam Staley, Investing to Wealth
Light rail neighbors told to park somewhere else – K5/NBC, Seattle

Metro Chief Begs Senate for More Money to Maintain Subway – Washington Post
Transit officials ask Congress for subsidies – National Examiner
Cities receive $90M light rail reimbursement from feds – Phoenix Business Journal
Maryland Governor Will Back Light Rail or Bus Rapid Transit – Washington Post
City spends $80K to study light rail – Broken Arrow Ledger, Oklahoma
Light rail strikes car downtown, 1 injured – WJZ-13, Baltimore
Man critically injured after light-rail train hits car – Minneapolis Star Tribune
Muni streetcars pulverize SUV, injuring 6 – San Francisco Examiner
Phoenix light rail accidents are increasing – 24-7 PR, Arizona
Light rail service slowed by derailment – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Men use bus as getaway after rail robbery – WTOP, Washington D.C.
Helping Blind Drivers Take the Wheel – New York Times
Elevated Train Stations Prove Controversial
– Honolulu Advertiser
Herndon decides that trolley system is not feasible for town – Fairfax Times, Virginia
Cracks develop in support for Central Corridor LRT line – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Obama admin says there is a gap in safety oversight of rail transit agencies – Breaking News 24/7

Housing & Land Use
Jane Jacobs’s Legacy – Howard Husock, City Journal
The Perils of Zoning in Austin and Portland – Keep Houston Houston

California’s redevelopment agencies face an uncertain future – L.A. Times
The return of affordable housing – The Columbian, Washington
New N.J. incentive: Stimulus or drain? – Philadelphia Inquirer
Burst bubble spatters San Diego: High-end, high-rise condo market collapses – Seattle Times
Median Home Prices in San Francisco Rise 28.6% in First Half of 2009 – Real Estate Channel
Atlantic Yards Eminent Domain Challenge Asks Court of Appeals to Reject Kelo – Yonkers Tribune
Housing plan won’t get County money – Winona Post, Minnesota
Planning Commission recommends Purple Belt – Paso Robles Press, California
Urban growth boundary: Denying smaller cities the benefits of growth – Oregon Live
Charles City sets meeting on eminent domain issue – Globe Gazette, Iowa
Murrieta eyeing taking land for bridge by eminent domain – Press-Enterprise, California
Proposed Self-Storage Site Could Be Seized by Eminent Domain – Inside Self-Storage
In single-family home building, a means for more affordable housing? – Telluride Daily Planet
Baltimore city, county take different paths with recovery zone funds – Maryland Daily Record
$1 parcels to go for affordable housing – Chicago Sun-Times

Freedom & Grassroots
The American Dream vs. Sustainability – Clark M. Jones, Dakota Voice
Budget blindsides blight barons – Steven Greenhut, Orange County Register
Initiative targets eminent domain – Billings Gazette, Montana
Initiative targets low-cost housing law – Boston Herald

Paul Romer’s radical idea: Charter cities (video) – TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
Smart growth alliance response leaves more questions – Steamboat Pilot & Today
Segway dealer pushing Richmond for alternative transportation project – Richmond Times-Dispatch

High Speed Pork
Are proposals for high-speed rail a boondoggle? – Randal O’Toole, Detroit Free Press
Running the Numbers on High-Speed Trains – Edward L. Glaeser, New York
High-speed rail would take 8 states for a ride – Steve Stanek, Albert Lea Tribune, Minnesota
No bids in $47.5 million train deal – Wisconsin State Journal
Virginia Wants Federal Funds for High-Speed Rail – Washington Post
Miami chamber all aboard plan for intrastate rail – Miami Herald
Can link to high-speed rail help sell Legislature on commuter rail? – Orlando Sentinel

Across the Trenches
Evaluation of smart growth policies finds modest gains in states – Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News
The Ruins of the Unsustainable: Searching For Answers to the Suburbs – World Changing
Portland’s Transport Research Guru Headed to Obama Administration –
Village Green: How to Fix Local Transit & Road Planning – Huffington Post
Senate proposes funds for Charlotte transit system’s light-rail extension – Progressive Railroading
Air rule aims to alter commute practices with penalties – Fresno Bee
London mayor to review congestion charge exemptions –
Politicians keeping cars happy – Dom Nozzi, Gainesville Sun
Light rail – car culture shock! – Seattle Transportation Examiner
Council Candidate’s Congestion Solution: Rush Hour Bike Bans – Streetsblog
Portland’s Bicycle Brilliance – The Tyee, British Columbia

Three Cheers!
Smart Growth lawsuit dismissed – The Record, New York
Redevelopment – Chris Norby, Fox & Hound Daily, California
Houston naysayers need to get a life – Ronnie Crocker, Houston Chronicle

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“Olver says if rail advocates in Congress have their way, a half trillion dollars will be spent over coming years. And he says that should be enough to pay for New England’s vision.” Congressman John Olver of Massachusetts is chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that decides how much money goes to rail.

“If the state legislature were asked to directly appropriate money for local shopping centers, they would never do it. Because the current subsidy is mostly hidden, it continues.” Phil Isenburg, former California assemblyman and Sacramento mayor, on the abuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIF).

“Suburbia is the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.” Gregory Greene, in The End of Suburbia.

* Submit your nominees for Quote of the Year by emailing me at  Check for past nominees on our website here.

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