October 17 – 23, 2009

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

Save the Date
June 10-12, 2010 – the 8th Annual Preserving the American Dream Conference, Orlando, Florida

Mobility & Transportation
The Limits of Transit: Costly Dead-End – Wendell Cox, New Geography
A Call for Transportation Innovation – Auren Hoffman, Business Week
Rapid Electric Vehicles Deliver at Beyond Oil Conference – Reuters
Electric Ultracapacitor Buses Becoming More Feasible – Gas2.org
Is a train revamp just the ticket? State fights crowding – Palm Beach Post
Light Rail Project Frustrates St. Paul Businesses – KSTP.com, Minnesota
Another complaint filed on light-rail’s impact – Star-Tribune, Minnesota
Businesses hedging bets on light rail – Ottawa Citizen
DART train breakdown angers football fans – Star-Telegram, Texas
City’s light rail hopes get boost – Norman Transcript, Oklahoma
Light rail ridership slightly down in September – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Ride at your own risk – WTOP.com, Washington D.C.
Woman hit by transit bus in critical condition – Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Robberies soar near Metro stations – Washington Examiner
Muni study says nearly 1 in 10 riders not paying fares – Local Wire, San Francisco
Free parking spots could sprout meters – Washington Post
Santa Monica considers raising parking rates to discourage automobiles – L.A. Times
Santa Monica to experiment with parking psychology – L.A. Times
Poor Suburbanites Feel Parking Pinch of Density – NBC, Washington
Why Driving a Car Has Never Been Safer – Wall Street Journal

Housing & Land Use
Home-Based Businesses: Residential Zoning & the Cyber Village – Rick Harrison, New Geography
Portland’s Suburbs Press for Economic Development – iStockAnalyst, Oregon
The White City – Aaron Renn, New Geography
Is St. Louis Too Black To Be Ranked as a Progressive City? – St. Louis News Blog
What housing bust? – CNN Money
In City of Industry, business and governance converge – L.A. Times
Town center, but no town – Boston Globe
Efficiency a star attraction in housing – Gainesville Sun
New Urbanist developer files for bankruptcy – St. Louis Public Radio
TIF’s Lurking in The Shadow Budget – Chicago Daily Observer
Why So Quiet About TIF, Mayor Daley? – Progress Illinois
Why Elgin is still spending in the downturn – Daily Herald, Chicago
D.C. Circuit Tries to Untangle Eminent Domain Battle – Legal Times Blog
Roanoke’s eminent-domain shame – Washington Times
Mesa may use eminent domain for bus shelters, pull outs – Arizona Central
Metro Agency seeks eminent domain for convention center site – Nashville Business Journal
Con artists feast on suburban blight – Washington Examiner

Freedom & Grassroots
Ten Principles to Drive Transportation Policy – Benita Dodd, Gwinnett Gazette
Smart Growth on the Central Coast: Anatomy of a Coercive Utopia – Alex Alexiev, Liberty Report
Opposition is organizing for Michiana regional transportation – South Bend Tribune
Smart Growth and Agenda 21 – Right Side News
Report from the HRG Smart Growth Conference – Tory Gattis, Houston Chronicle

Three Cheers!
Hillsboro mayor scolds conservation groups – Oregon Live
Five Technologies That Could Change Everything – Wall Street Journal
The future of public transportation – Green Bay Press Gazette

Too True To Be Good
Residents of transit-oriented Orenco Station still driving cars to work – OregonLive.com
A vision unfulfilled – NWI.com, Indiana

The European Model
Angry Man Fires Shots inside Sofia Public Transportation Bus – Novinite.com, Bulgaria

High Speed Rail
The Political Climate That Makes Transportation Reform Run – D.C. Streetsblog
Can FasTracks be saved? – Denver Post
High-speed trains may collide with L.A. River plans – Aquafornia.com
Montreal-New York City high-speed rail a priority for Quebec – Press Republican, Canada
California vision for high-speed rail deserves federal stimulus – San Francisco Chronicle
NIMBY Won’t Stop California High-Speed Rail – Autopia
Hard times prompt Florida Republicans to get on board HSR – Southern Political Report
High-speed rail advocates say $8B is just a start – Washington Examiner

Across the Tracks
Government planners must prepare for climate change – Daily Courier, Arizona
Planners pitch solution to sprawl – Union Leader, New Hampshire
Hurdles to Montgomery ‘smart growth’ option – Washington Post
The Day New Urbanism Died? – St. Louis Urban Workshop
An urban planner’s nightmare – Baton Rouge Business Report
The Bailout of Sprawl – The New Republic
Is Happiness Still That New Car Smell? – New York Times
10 reasons why the new commuter rail plan could be good for you – Examiner, Missouri
Get federal funding for transit on track – L.A. Times
Finding the Upside of Traffic – Wired.com

Quote of the Year Nominees*

          “Some people we will say, ‘We can’t spend money on anything.’ I think that’s the wrong attitude to have. You can’t cut your way to prosperity.” Elgin Councilman Robert Gilliam, on spending TIF dollars.

          “Our challenge is to address more than just what I believe 1000 Friends (of Oregon) have represented as the perfect utopia. We can’t just look at what we hope to aspire to, and the environmentally perfect city or county. In today’s environment, happiness is having a job.” Hillsboro Mayor Jerry Willey, on criticism from activist groups to prevent new development near Portland.

          “If you’re a beef-eating, beer-guzzling, pick-up driving resident of heartland America, there’s a good chance you escaped the housing bust. But pesto-chomping, chardonnay-sipping, hybrid-driving city-slickers were probably out of luck.” Lead paragraph in CNN Money article on housing bust.

* Comments? Emailing them to me at ed@americandreamcoalition.org.

** This Communicator sponsored by Happy Smart Growth **

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