November 7 – 13, 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

           ** Highlights of the 2004 ADC Conference ** (Thanks, Jim Karlock!)

Mobility & Transportation

Another Metro Fantasy: Portland to triple non-auto travel by 2035 – John Charles, Oregon Catalyst

With Road Trains, Highways Become Public Transportation – Autopia

Switching Gears to Greener Transportation –

A Canadian Autobahn – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Once a tourist attraction, pedicabs grow in everyday use – USA Today

Transit riders wooed by Bay Bridge shutdown now seem to be back in their cars – Oakland North

Stimulus funds sought for transportation center in Jacksonville –, Florida

Who SEPTA Really Hurts – The Triangle, Drexel University

State Rep.: Outlaw transit strikes in Philadelphia –

A bumpy ride for Southwest light rail? – Downtown Journal, Minnesota

Fare’s Fair? – Freakonomics Blog, New York Times

RTA to borrow $166 million to freeze CTA fares for two years – Chicago Sun-Times

Metro considers rate hike to counter revenue shortfall, falling ridership – L.A. Times

Metro transit charged with crime over runoff – Washington Post

Harmless Powder on NJ Transit Train Forces Evacuation – MyFox, New York

Light-rail train, truck crash in Phoenix – Arizona Republic

Senator tired of ‘lip service’ from Metro on safety – WTOP, Washington, D.C.

Study: Cyclists Ignore Traffic Laws, Surprising No One – Gothamist

Southern U.S. cities hazardous to pedestrians – Reuters

Housing & Land Use

The Oberstar Transportation Plan: A Costly Exercise in Lifestyle Modification – Ron Utt, Heritage

Bowling Alone or Bowling Along?
Mark Clapson, New Geography
The Comprehensive State of the U.S. Housing Market – Dr. Housing Bubble

The Housing Rebound? – Wall Street Journal

Bright spots aside, housing recovery is a long way off – Investment News

No easy fixes to Smart Growth – Hometown Annapolis

First home buyers ‘may be priced out’ – The Age, Australia

Energy Star homes reach 1 million, EPA says – L.A. Times

‘Revenue-neutral’ TIF claims just don’t add up – Ottawa Citizen

It’s our money: Mayor Daley carried away by TIF – Chicago Tribune

Cook County Clerk shines spotlight on TIF districts – Daily Herald, Illinois

Prince George’s special tax areas rising – Washington Post

Yonkers may seize downtown properties through eminent domain –, New York

Tacoma business displaced by rail line gets additional $2.5M – The Olympian, Washington

City seeks to reinstate eminent domain powers – Desert Dispatch, California

Freedom & Grassroots

Pfizer abandons site of infamous Kelo eminent domain taking – Washington Examiner

Kelo’s next twist: Pfizer to close New London facility – Matthew Festa, Land Use Prof Blog

New London’s ‘Carefully Considered’ Plan: How’s That Working Out? – Jacob Sullum, Reason

A Turning Point for Eminent Domain? – New York Times

Eminent domain as ugly government – North County Times

Madison conservatives hope to halt commuter rail –

A Free-Market Operative in the Bowels of Bureaucracy – Fred Buzzeo, Ludwig von Mises Institute

Nothing’s New Urbanism

State exploring detailed strategy for growth – San Francisco Chronicle

The Problem of Housing in New Urbanism – The Realignment Project

Sustainable Transit

UK man breaks record for pulling bus with hair – Yahoo News

The European Model

Netherlands to levy ‘green’ road tax by the kilometer –

In Stockholm, Sweden, the ‘YIMBYs’ celebrate urban growth – Christian Science Monitor

Everyone in Britain could be given a personal ‘carbon allowance’ – Daily Telegraph

Traffic calming measures still causing road rage – Bolton News, UK

London mayor hits out at rogue cyclists – Bike Radar, UK

Too True To Be Good

Montgomery draws a car-free blueprint for growth – Washington Post

Montgomery council members eschew public transit for own cars – Washington Examiner

D.C. Mayor uses police escort, clogs traffic on bike rides – WTOP, Washington, D.C.

Among Walkable Regions, San Francisco One of Most Dangerous – StreetsBlog

High Speed Rail

Taiwan’s government takes over troubled high-speed rail company – Taiwan News

Canadians overwhelmingly support high-speed rail – National Journal

Schwarzenegger quietly quashed effort to improve commuter rails – L.A. Times

Rail Coalition Challenges Report on Passenger Rail Subsidies – Business Wire

High Speed Rail: Not One Big Happy Family – Wendell Cox, New Geography

The Future of American High Speed Rail: Regional and Slow – Robert Goodspeed, Planetizen

Maglev’s myth – Pittsburgh Tribune

Across the Tracks

As Economy Recovers, Forum Set on New Federal Partnership on Smart Growth – Ascribe Newswire

15 Cities for People Who Hate Driving and Long Commutes – U.S. News

‘Smart growth’: A start or a failure? – Parris Glendening, Washington Post

No-Growth Economic Model Needed for Developed Nations –

Zoning the Sustainable City – New York Observer

Can’t Fix Climate Without Fixing Land Use – Think Progress

Is Light Rail a Gentrification machine? – Twin City Sidewalks

When homeownership is the wrong choice – L.A. Times

The End of the American Exurbs and the Death of Sprawl? – Sustainable Cities Collective

Urban Sprawl and the Animals – JakeGS’s Blog

Don’t let MBTA go off the rails –

Bill pushes ‘green’ lessons for new drivers – Detroit News

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“During the campaign, I would say half the time I was taking mass transit to political campaign events. After a while, it became a real hassle.” Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg, on her experience with transit despite her effort to make her community car-free.

“A public hearing will be held later this month to help determine what should be done with the $590,000 the city will receive from itself for the use of eminent domain in the Portsmouth Middle School project.” Seacoast Online, Maine.

“Everyone, including me, is in favor of fuel efficiency and protecting the environment. But what bothers me is that this is another attempt by the government telling us how to live.” Russ Harding of the Mackinac Center, on a House bill in Michigan that would require driver’s education programs to propagate environmental doctrines to new drivers.

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

** Check out Interviews with the Experts for the latest commentary on trends taking place in cities all across America. **

*** This Communicator sponsored by Happy Smart Growth ***

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