November 14 – 20, 2009

The American Dream Communicator
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
Contrived Sustainability – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Will Houston Become an Electric-Car Capital? – Wall Street Journal

Federal oversight of subways proposed – Washington Post

Win for Virginia: The $5 Transportation Solution – Richmond Times-Dispatch

VDOT Turns Assets into Liabilities With Its Rest Area Closures – Tertium Quids, Virginia

Transportation Use Key To Energy Reform – National Journal

Vancouver Light Rail To Portland Will be Slooooow! – Oregon Catalyst

Railroaded: Inside the raging debate over heavy rail – Honolulu Weekly

Low ridership tarnishes Gold Line extension’s luster – L.A. Times

Which is the best way west for L.A.’s subway? – L.A. Times

Biggest obstacle to Highlands Ranch light rail is cost – In Denver Times, Colorado

Study: Public Transit Infrastructure Is Outdated – CBS Chicago

State scraps effort to seek $147 million to upgrade bus line – Boston Globe

Seattle light rail derails near train yard – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Cause of Muni derailment under investigation – San Francisco Examiner

Light Rail Train’s Door Separates Boy, 3, From Dad – Fox 12, Portland

Study charges some streets are “dangerous by design” – Oakland North

Dozens turn out to protest traffic circles in Ahwatukee – Arizona Republic

Pedestrian ‘town square’ proposal loses – Flagler County News, Florida

Arlington County approves 20-year parking plan – Washington Business Journal

Housing & Land Use
The Myth of the Compact City – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute

Housing Bubbles: Americans Ignoring Reality? – Hugh Pavletich, Scoop News, New Zealand

California: The Housing Bubble Returns? – Wendell Cox, New Geography

The Politics of the Housing Boom – Investor’s Business Daily

Virginia Housing Affordability Index Announced – Earth Times

Smart-growth plans are a failure in Portland – Houston Chronicle

Faltering economy flattens Oregon’s population growth spike – Oregon Live

Plans muddle New Urbanism – San Antonio Express-News

Regulating growth now much harder: Growth Mgmt Director – Ocala Star-Banner, Florida

Is Growth Boundary a threat? – Cleveland Daily Banner, Tennessee

Lakewood smart-growth plan not too smart –, New Jersey

City Moves to Restrict Front-Yard Driveways – New York Times

Tax Increment Financing: Good idea gone bad? – San Antonio Express-News

City Owes $5.85M On TIF Projects – Wheeling News-Register, West Virginia

Oglesby school superintendent: TIFs take toll – News Tribune, Illinois

West Elm TIF revenue falling short of estimates – Washington Business Journal

Public transit, private property intersect as Fort Worth prepares for rail stations – Star-Telegram

New York’s Shameful Eminent Domain Abuse – Reason Online

City OKs use of eminent domain for redevelopment project – Standard-Examiner, Utah

Eminent Domain: City Held the Cards; Victims Hold the Bag –

Lessons learned on eminent domain – Connecticut Post

Evil, unjust use of eminent domain – Colorado Springs Gazette

Freedom & Grassroots
Think Globally, Regulate Locally – Pete Peterson, New Geography

Despite eminent domain vote, rights remain an issue – Ft. Worth Business Press
Property Rights Are Civil Rights – Bob Bauman Blog
Who actually ‘owns’ property? – Bremerton Patriot, Washington

Smart Growth? – NorCal Blogs, California

Three Cheers!
Streamlining city services shows improvement – Natchez Democrat, Mississippi

House Speaker cold to $2 tax for Tri-Rail – Sun-Sentinel, Florida

Nothing’s New Urbanism
New 2050 regional plan: Will it change anything? – Washington Business Journal

NY Governor: Smart growth planning key to state economy – Newsday

Wider sidewalks, other fixes eyed for downtown – Salem News, Massachusettes

Visions for downtown: Enhance while preserving character – Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle

The European Model
Predicting the Future of British House Building – Ian Abley, New Geography

Government to miss new homes target – Mortgage Introducer, UK

Big government projects keep going over budget – CentreRight, UK

Out of Control: How the Government overspends on capital projects – Taxpayers’ Alliance, UK

They’re Friendlier in Portland
Rider Agrees: Get Those Homeless Off The Light Rail!! – Houston Press

Goats try to board C-TRAN bus – KATU, Vancouver

Goat Reunited With Owner After Boarding Bus – Fox12, Portland

High Speed Rail
US shows interest in Russia’s high-speed rail –

HSR group says special session should focus on matching funds –

Coalition rallies for high-speed rail along Mississippi River – WisBusiness, Wisconsin

Fantasy tops reality: Schwarzenegger’s foolish request to help high-speed rail – Oakland Tribune

HSR planners ramp up communication spending; locals skeptical – Almanac News, California

World’s largest high-speed rail system set to seduce China’s commuters – The Independent

It may be too late for buyer’s remorse – San Jose Mercury News

That’s History
17 Beautiful Train Stations That Fell To The Wrecking Ball – Amazing Facts

Across the Tracks
Automobility and Freedom: Conflicts and Resolutions – Todd Litman, Planetizen

We need to choose alternatives to highway widening – Santa Cruz Sentinel

New Study Quantifies High Costs of Building Cities for Cars – Streetsblog San Francisco

Milwaukee’s former planner embraces rail as key to urban development – New Urbanism Blog

Why Portland’s Mass Transit Rocks – Autopia

Mass Transit Smart Growth: Melding Enviro & Labor Union Interests –

William Lind: Conservative Arguments for Public Transit (Video) –

Land group challenges county over 10-acre rule – Mail Tribune, Oregon

Smart Growth group seeks appeal to stop Walmart – Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, New York

The phenomenon of sprawl has passed into history – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Officials Try to Plan For ‘Smart Growth’ – The Ledger, Florida

Change zoning laws for pedestrian-friendly roads – Orlando Sentinel

Green Transportation – Simple, Green, Frugal Blog

If You Can’t Build Rail, Build the Station – Decatur Metro, Atlanta

Curing sprawlitis – City Pulse, Michigan

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“What are you going to do — you got to park somewhere. You can’t park in the air.” Sal Papandrea, resident of Dyker Heights (NY) on new regulations to prohibit homeowners from creating parking spaces on their own property.

“However, if the alternative is allowing the $87 million to go unused and thrown back into the federal pile only to be snatched up by some other competing second-tier city, I say ’If you can determine its legality, build away!’” An Atlanta blogger, on wanting to build a transit terminal hub despite uncertainty on whether there will even be rail. 

“The cap-and-trade bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, for example, is a bold assault on property rights: in order to sell your home—whether built in 2006 or 1772—you would have to bring it into compliance with whimsical, eternally evolving national ‘energy efficiency’ standards, starting with a 50 per cent reduction in energy use by 2018. Fail to do so and it would be illegal for you to enter into a private contract with a willing buyer.” Columnist Mark Steyn.

* 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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