September 12 – 18, 2009

News & commentary about urban policy in America’s cities.

** This Communicator sponsored by Happy Smart Growth **

Mobility & Transportation

Smart growth must not ignore car drivers – Joel Kotkin, Politico

Getting What You Paid For – Paying For What You Get – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute

Demand more from Capital Metro – Jim Skaggs, Austin American-Statesman

New study shows Bay Area drivers upset at congestion – San Francisco Examiner

Fairfax supervisors back HOT lanes on I-95 – Washington Examiner

Zipcar expands around UCLA and USC – Los Angeles Times

Passenger rail in Southwest Florida: Don’t go there – Brent Batten, Naples News

LaHood Gets Regional on Transportation Spending – The New Republic

Light ridership greets the Green Line’s first rush hour – Oregon Live

Charlotte Council vetoes mayor, spends $4.5 million on streetcar design – Examiner

Denver to rework forecast of costs, faces $2.3 billion gap – Denver Post

Light rail facing fiscal challenges – Arizona Republic

Light-rail contractor sues Metro for $19 million – Arizona Republic

City cool to light-rail plan funds –, Alabama

California Public Transportation Accidents on the Rise – 24-7 Press Release

Muni jams plague light rail system, one hospitalized – San Francisco Examiner

Motorist injured after car, RTS bus collide – Gainesville Sun, Florida

Bicyclist hit by trolley on Comm. Ave. – Universal Hub, Boston

Larcenies Fuel Rise in Transit-Related Crime – Washington Post

Housing & Land Use

Energy ‘Sprawl’ and the Green Economy – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Wall Street Journal

Fight in Congress Looms on Tax Break for Home Buyers – New York Times

New Urbanist Renaissance Stalled in D.C. – Washington Post

Growth management law heads to court – South Florida Business Journal

Case before Governor and Cabinet could have implications on growth rules – St. Petersburg Times

Plans Don’t Square With Tysons Vision, Density Goals – Washington Post

TIFs: The budget surplus that dares not speak its acronym – Chicago Reader

Tricky TIF territory on debt payment – New Orleans City Business

City chooses eminent domain, goes after properties – Seal Beach Daily, California

Fort Dodge Council wants Larson land through eminent domain – The Messenger, Iowa

Metro says Portland area has room to grow inside current urban boundary – Oregon Live

Rent a big burden for half of Chicago renters – Chicago Sun-Times

Freedom & Grassroots

Is smart growth stupid? – New Times SLO, California

If Don Quixote paid a visit to Sonoma County – Brad Bollinger, North Bay Business Journal

Competing visions of cities – BC Local News

Eminent domain holdout to be honored with plaque – The Day, Connecticut

Common-sense judgment on eminent domain – Daily Record, New Jersey

Wenonah residents voice concerns over light rail plans – Gloucester County Times, New Jersey

High Speed Rail

Don’t jump aboard high-speed rail – Deseret News, Utah

Whittier-area cities concerned about impact of high-speed rail – Whittier Daily News, California

Two groups, two views on high-speed rail – San Mateo Daily Journal

Ohio High Speed Rail Would Run On $17 Million Deficit – NBC-4i, Columbus

Across the Trenches

What is Smart Growth? – Appomattox Area News

Smart Growth: Good For Drivers – DMI Blog

Andrés Duany Speaks: ‘Urbanism Molts, it Evolves’ – Northwest Hub, Washington

Sustainability: The Great Divide – Richard Carson, Arch News Now

Accessibility-Based Planning – Todd Litman, Planetizen

Green transit advocates seek advantage
– Politico
A Few Words on Transportation User Fees – DC Streets Blog

The next frontier: laneways – Calgary Herald

Environment prize goes to light rail – Arizona Republic

Inducing More Bicycling – Dom’s Plan B Blog

The Lighter Side of Light Rail

Free light rail, free McDonald’s burger – Baltimore Sun

(If that doesn’t work, try “Free light rail, free pack of smokes” – ed.)

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“Meanwhile, many political leaders today are fixated on a quixotic and unproven quest for all-or-nothing ‘new urbanism’ in a county that has never thought of itself as urban.” Brad Bollinger, writing on the Santa Rosa City Council’s anti-business actions.

“I’ve been a bike commuter for over 30 years — mostly in VERY hot Florida — and have never had a need for a shower.” Dom Nozzi, urban planner on preferring anti-automobile tactics over workplace incentives to shift commuting patterns.

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

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