August 8 – 14, 2009

The American Dream Communicator – news & commentary about urban policy in America’s cities.

Must-See TV: The Problem with Urban Planning (9 min.) – Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner
Special Report: The Citizen’s Guide to Transportation Reauthorization

Mobility & Transportation
Converting carpool lanes to toll lanes will reduce congestion – Robert Poole & Shirley Ybarra, Washington Examiner
Critiquing Transit and the Job Creation Claims of High-Speed Rail – Sam Staley, Liberty Forum
How Green Is Rail Travel? – Green Inc., New York Times
Train Travel Isn’t as Green as You Think – Green Biz
Carbon Capture Strategy Could Lead To Emission-free Cars – Science Daily
At $484,000, pink fighter jets headed for light rail station – Seattle Times
Light rail provides performance venue for bands – AZ Central, Arizona
St. Paul council member goes public with light rail concerns – MPR News, Minnesota
Subway Safety Panel Foiled by Constraints – Washington Post
Fort Worth bus service falls short for many who depend on it – Star-Telegram
What’s the best path for Va. on roads funding? – Richmond Times-Dispatch
Bus service for most of Zephyrhills could be eliminated – Tampa Tribune
Light Rail could cause complications for circulation – Santa Monica Daily Press
Big con on Virginia’s ‘Big Dig’ – Washington Examiner
Vancouver car-free Sundays hit a red light – CBC News
Summer heat melts light-rail ridership – East Valley Tribune, Arizona
Transit advocates slam MBTA’s fare hike plan – Bay State Banner, Massachusetts
More noise-proofing may be coming for light rail – Seattle Post Globe
Man in Minneapolis Car-Light Rail Crash Dies – KSAX Eye-Witness News
Pedestrian killed by light rail – Star-Tribune, Minnesota

Housing & Land Use
Smart Growth Contributing to Local Fiscal Woes in California – Leonard Gilroy, Out of Control Policy Blog
Is the Stage Set for Another Housing Bubble? – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Why The ‘Livable Cities’ Rankings Are Wrong – Joel Kotkin, New Geography
‘Fastest Dying Cities’ Meet for a Lively Talk – Wall Street Journal
The CityCenter: Las Vegas’ Sustainable Gamble – Fast Company
34,000 acres proposed for urban reserves in Washington County – Oregon Live
Bloomberg’s affordable housing program “not so affordable” – National Examiner
Cost of TIF: Property tax hike likely to pay for public schools – Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago TIF Districts Siphoned Off $552 Million In 2008 – Progress Illinois
Developer hoping to ‘win’ tax increment financing for project – The Coloradoan
Comprehensive plan to include affordable housing – Chesterfield Observer, Virginia
Foreclosure notice filed on New Urbanist development – Knoxville News
New Urbanism site in Overland Park hits the auction block – Kansas City Business Journal
Downzoning Denver’s Berkeley Contrary To Sustainable Development Goals – State Bill, Colorado
Redevelopment plans on hold – San Diego Union-Tribune

Freedom & Grassroots
Dulles Corridor Users Group Files Federal Suit – Chris Walker, DCUG
Urban Planners’ Ugly Conceit (audio) – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute
Tough Months Ahead for Eminent Domain Abuser Bruce Ratner – Hit & Run, Reason
Lake Travis area residents say city trying to take their land –, Texas
Schools District, Landowners Dispute Value in Eminent Domain Case – WSAZ, West Virginia
School board escalates dispute with developer – North County Times, California
“Non-Transparent, Unaccountable Spending Program” – Uptown Update, Chicago
Retiring TIFS would be good news for taxpayers – Red Wing Eagle, Minnesota

High Speed Rail
How Big Are the Environmental Benefits of High-Speed Rail? – Edward Glaeser, New York Times
China’s Bullet Trains in the American Context – Sam Staley, Reason Foundation
New England Faces Competition For Federal High-Speed Rail Funds – Hartford Courant
Not so fast, opponents say of rail service – The Telegraph, Illinois
Stimulus, Bond Funds Send High-Speed Rail On Its Way – San Diego Business Journal
New lawsuit seeks to bury high-speed rail lines – KLIV-1590, Silicon Valley
Durbin Says Super-High-Speed Rail is Too Expensive – Chicago Public Radio
In high-speed rail battle, Peninsula residents may have found their Goliath – Almanac News, California
Midwest High-Speed Rail Group Starts Lobby Push for House’s $4B Bill – DC Streets Blog

Family worries high-speed rail may condemn homeWKOW-TV, Wisconisin

Across the Trenches
Destin may be Sotomayor’s first property rights test – The Destin Log, Florida
Dodd Announces Initiative to Coordinate Housing, Transportation, and Environmental Policies – Real Estate Rama, Connecticut
Critics exploit hard times to attack good urban planning – David Bragdon, Oregon Live
Project to start conversation about transit-oriented developments – San Antonio Business
Rail Station at Heart of Plan To Remake New Carrollton – Washington Post
Town Center To Be Subject of Charrette – Hartford Courant
Back to the future of downtown – Athens Banner-Herald
Here’s How We Can Reverse Suburban Blight – Fast Company
The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome and the Future of Housing – L.A. Progressive
Who Needs City Cars?… – AutoEvolution
Report: Drivers not covering environmental costs – Sun Journal, Maine
Free parking is so 20th century – Wicked Local Newton, Massachusetts

Three Cheers!
Citizens Group Fights Eminent Domain (includes video) – Fox 2 Now, St. Louis
Golden Hills residents vote not to seize sewer company by eminent domain – Tehachapi News,
Supervisors suspend Marin affordable housing impact fee – Marin Independent Journal, California
Time to Throw a TIF – Illinois Policy Institute

Quote of the Year Nominees*
“In reality we seem to be witnessing a series of disjointed, inconsistent and, dare I say, hypocritical and perhaps demagogic decisions and positions: … Transportation resource allocation should be performance based across modes but billions are earmarked for high speed (and probably not so high speed) rail.” Steven Polzin, Planetizen

“These [light rail cars] are like community living rooms. Part of the need for the public realm is to have a stage where we can be spectators . . . and the reverse, where we can be spectacles.” Nan Ellin, ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning on performance artists and music bands using light rail cars as venues.

“The season for mega-malls and sprawl development, it’s basically over.” William Washburn, coordinator for the New Carrollton project of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

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

Be sure to regularly visit and comment on our blog – ADC News and our main website.  Better yet – bookmark us! Share this ADC Communicator with your friends and colleagues for whom you believe this would be useful.  And please consider joining the ADC and help us spread the word about freedom at the local level!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *