Aug 29 – Sept 4, 2009

News & commentary about urban policy in America’s cities

Mobility & Transportation
Gridlock and Growth: The Effect of Traffic Congestion on Regional Economic Performance – David T. Hartgen and M. Gregory Fields, Reason Foundation
Ending traffic congestion would boost DFW economy by $17 billion – Dallas Transportation Blog
Traffic may be draining economy – San Francisco Examiner
Your commute is getting longer –, Washington D.C.
Legislature changes how transit dollars raised – News & Observer, North Carolina
Counties unlikely to put tax-for-transit on ballot – Daily Advance
Man gets 2 life terms plus 100 years in light rail kidnapping, rape – Baltimore Sun
Two more suspects arrested in San Jose light-rail station homicide – San Jose Mercury News
Three shot on AC Transit bus in Richmond – Contra Costa Times
Woman Abducted at Gunpoint at Metro Station – Washington Post

Car crashes into Light Rail train, 2 hurt – KHOU News, Houston
Light rail hits pedestrian – San Francisco Examiner
Program aims to fix up light-rail stations – Arizona Republic
Officials say summer heat causes light rail costs to soar –, Phoenix
Bill targets pungent riders of Honolulu’s transit system – Honolulu Advertiser
Honolulu targets B.O. on buses – USA Today
Survey reveals ‘characteristics’ about Light Rail riders –, Phoenix
Tampa’s popular, free electric carts are coming back –

Housing & Land Use

Will Obama’s “Livability” Program Bring Britain’s “Hobbit Homes” to America? – Ron Utt, Heritage
World Capitals Of The Future – Joel Kotkin, New Geography
Is The Housing Recovery Sustainable? – Traders Forum
High Cost of Living Leaves Some States Uncompetitive
Eamon Moynihan, New Geography
After Century of Growth, Tide Turns in Florida – New York Times
Some Buildings Not Living Up to Green Label – New York Times
Foreclosure cases filed against New Urbanist developers at Jensen Beach – Treasure Coast Palm, Florida
Council needs to admit New Urbanist “City Center II” failings – The State News
Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate Policy Impacts on Natural Habitat for the United States of America – PLOS Online, Public Library of Science
Renewable Energy, Meet the New Nimbys – Wall Street Journal
Not All TIFs Are Bad — Just Most of Them – eNews Park Forest, Illinois
Trinity Uptown officials threaten to seize land – Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Mortuary buckles under eminent domain threat, yields site to UTC – Chattanooga Times Free Press
Sausalito council considers forcing deal for waterfront property – Contra Costa Times
Make $31K? Housing is reasonable – for now – Manteca Bulletin, California
Mixed-use projects might have an edge – San Diego Union-Tribune
Is a ‘SmartCode’ the answer to Ashby?
– Tory Gattis, Houston Strategies

Freedom & Grassroots

Elitists want to shape community in their image – Ed Braddy, Gainesville Sun
Prince Charles calls for end to ‘suburban sprawl’ – Building Design Mag
Memo to suburbanites: Government doesn’t want you to live there any more
– Mark Tapscott, Washington Examiner
Energy Sprawl – Yet Another Unintended Consequence – Ronald Baily, Hit & Run Policy Blog
Forget Curbing Suburban Sprawl – Technology Review
Slave New World?
– Sean Paige, The American Contrarian
Activism helps kill light-rail proposal for Greenway Trail – Whittier Daily News, California
Lyon officials agree on vision plans for township, New Hudson area –

High Speed Rail

Lincoln’s home town fighting high speed rail set to cut city in half – The Examiner
Hidden Costs: High-speed rail plan calls for nine overpasses – State Journal-Register, Illinois
Jindal’s political track steers rail stance – New Orleans City Business
Gov. Jindal rejects federal money for high speed railway –, Baton Rouge
Pundits pile on La. Gov. Jindal as stimulus train project is derailed in state – Washington Examiner
Court ruling ‘won’t slow high-speed rail project’ – Palo Alto Online, California
A good chance to sidetrack high-speed rail boondoggle – Contra Costa Times
High-speed-rail $20 billion price tag raises eyebrows around the state – The Colorado Independent
Washing State seeking $1B in federal stimulus for rail – Seattle Press-Intelligencer
MnDOT seeking $135M for Union Depot – Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal
Does High Speed Rail Have a Future? – The Atlantic

Across the Trenches
Where we want to be: Home Location Preference & Smart Growth – Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Smart growth and smart planning for America’s Metropolitan areas – The Gov Monitor
Toward a Positive Argument for High-Speed Rail – Ryan Avent, D.C. Streetsblog
High Speed Rail Speeding Ahead at Snail’s Pace – Huffington Post
Federal policy exacerbates local transit funding problems – American City & County
Walk this way – urge ‘sustainable development – San Francisco Chronicle
Re-burbia – Suburban Design Competition –
US car parking lots amount to half the size of Belgium –

Promise and pitfalls of ‘smart growth’ planning – The Times of Trenton, New Jersey
The urban growth boundary: Eden vs. sprawl –
Understanding the Importance of Land Use – D.C. Streetsblog
“Smart growth” saves taxpayer money – Stewart Schwartz, Washington Examiner

Three Cheers!
Justice in St. Paul – The Free Liberal
Railroad was right to drop Wyoming lawsuit – Casper Star-Tribune

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“Expressed in terms of the built environment, within the UK, the emphasis of my foundation remains on maintaining the drive towards dense, mixed-use, walkable development in preference to suburban sprawl.” Prince Charles, on the need for eco-housing and compact development.

“The concept of new urbanism that they brought to the table is a failure. You can’t have $500,000 condominiums on top of a pizza place. It’s not going to work.” Tom Fullman, on the Jensen Beach Community Redevelopment Plan’s New Urbanist development now in foreclosure.

“If I can make this person a part of my plan then I can keep this person from becoming a part of me.” The short poem “Me-ville Sprawl” by Benjamin Dean.

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

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