August 22 – 28, 2009

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

Mobility & Transportation
The Costs of Fruitless Passenger Rail Tours – Owen McShane, New Geography
Sen. Specter pledges support for rail plan – Montgomery News, Pennsylvania
St. Paul commits $5.2 million for new light-rail station – Finance & Commerce, Minnesota
City’s financing options for $5.3B Oahu rail system may be limited – Honolulu Advertiser
Lack of Light Rail parking costly for passengers – King-5, Seattle
Metro light rail tactic raises funding concerns – Houston Chronicle
Stimulus Leaves Bus Riders Out in the Cold – New America Media
Detroit bus riders defend their lifeline – Detroit Free Press
Man sent to hospital after another light-rail collision – San Francisco Examiner
Train hits disabled car on tracks in Oxnard – KNX-1070, California
Arrest in slaying at S.J. light-rail station – San Francisco Chronicle
Some are still not happy with the traffic calming – Asheville Citizen-Times
‘Peak Oil’ Is a Waste of Energy – Michael Lynch, New York Times

Housing & Land Use
Taking the Fun Out of Fighting Global Warming – Wendell Cox, New Geography
Rome vs Gotham – Joel Kotkin, Forbes
New Feudalism: Does Home Ownership Have a Future? – Candy Evans, New Geography
County redevelopment agencies to lose millions – Ventura County Star
Builders Take Wait-and-See Approach to Maryland Light Rail – Washington Post
Town mulls new affordable housing regulations – Telluride Daily Planet
The Boutique City Conundrum – Patrol Magazine
Springfield votes to take Urban League building by eminent domain – Massachusetts Live
Specter of eminent domain looms over Beachfront South – Atlanticville, New Jersey
‘Charrette’ to help plan Columbus’ future – Columbus Dispatch
Council says OK to making city more walkable – Albert Lea Tribune
Could TIF funding help balance South Bend’s city budget? – WSBT News, Indiana

Freedom & Grassroots
CFC Interview with Randal O’Toole – YouTube
Cato rally stirs up crowd – Asheville Citizen-Times
Menlo Park resident sues high-speed rail group – San Francisco Examiner
N.Y.’s highest court should rule against Bruce Ratner on eminent domain – New York Daily News

High Speed Rail
A Rail Boondoggle, Moving at High Speed – Robert Samuelson, Washington Post
High Speed Rail Just Isn’t Worth It – Randal O’Toole, Opposing Views
The Bottom Line on Top Speed Trains – Eric Morris, New York Times
Fast-tracking high-speed plans is not sound policy – State Journal-Register, Illinois
Updates on High Speed Rail for Florida efforts – Miami Examiner
California proposes 800 mile long, high speed rail travel – 220 mph – The Examiner
California seeks $1.1B rail stimulus – Sacramento Business Journal
Michigan applying for $800M for high-speed rail lines – Chicago Tribune
NY seeks $200M for high-speed rail projects – Triangle Business Journal
Pennsylvania Applies for $28.2 Million for High-Speed Rail Projects – PR Newswire
Maryland asking for $360M for rail work – Washington Business Journal
Washington State Seeks $435 Million for High-Speed Rail – Northwest Hub
Texas seeks share of federal HSR money – Temple Daily Telegram
New Jersey seeks $38.5M in high-speed rail funding – NJ Biz
Virginia wants $75M for high-speed rail – Washington Business Journal

Across the Trenches
Let’s help high-speed rail gain momentum – Howard Learner, Des Moines Register
What’s The Big Idea? – Washington Post
In Defense of High-Speed Rail – Streetsblog
Rail will change how Florida, Tampa Bay move, think – St. Petersburg Times
Shaking Up Suburbia – The American Prospect
Job sprawl – San Antonio Express-News
Commuting gets cheaper – Memphis Commercial-Appeal
Renewable Energy: Just Another Kind of Sprawl – Nature News
Study Warns of ‘Energy Sprawl’ – New York Times

Three Cheers!
Judge rules in favor of legal challenge to high-speed rail route – San Jose Mercury News
Downtown Naperville development idea rejected by City Council – Chicago Tribune

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“All those smart growth ideas we all talk about, that’s what sewering brings.” State Legislator Wayne Horsley, (D-New Jersey) justifying a $400,000 study of sewer systems that may qualify for federal stimulus money.

“You’d think even the dullest politician wouldn’t expand rail subsidies, especially considering the almost $11 trillion in projected federal budget deficits between now and 2019. But no, the administration has made high-speed rail a top priority.” Robert Samuelson, writing on the Obama Administration’s high-speed rail priorities.

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

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