November 21 – 27, 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
Will Looming Debt Penetrate Federal Transportation Debate? – The New Republic

State speed limit could go to 80 mph –, South Carolina

Poll finds residents prefer road widening to adding light rail – OregonLive, Portland

Personal Rapid Transit: Future Or Elevated Fantasy? – So. Calif. Public Radio

Mass Transit’s Reversal of Fortune – InTransition Magazine

Low ridership tarnishes Gold Line extension’s luster – Los Angeles Times

So Far, Low Ridership On Seattle’s Light Rail System – SoundPolitics Blog

SEPTA strike aftermath: Ridership has yet to recover –, Philadelphia

And, as always, obstacles in the transit path – Star-Tribune, Minnesota

Little Tokyo wary of proposed light-rail connector line – Los Angeles Times

Desire for streetcars gets a look in Long Beach – Press-Telegram, California

Is high Tri-Rail subsidy worth the cost? – CBS-12, West Palm Beach

Metro’s budget woes could mean route changes – Press-Banner, California

$18.8 million budgeted for light-rail amenities – Star-Tribune, Minnesota

Man fatally shot near NorCal light-rail station – San Jose Mercury News

Bus kills pedestrian crossing street – Tampa Online, Florida

Man dies in collision with MAX train in Gresham –, Portland

Nighttime paid parking on Broadway? Increased fines? Just the start – CHS Blog, Seattle

College Station Red Light Cameras to Come Down – The Newspaper, Texas

Housing & Land Use
Portland, America’s ultimate White City – Aaron Renn, Dallas Morning News

Living better than the kids – Wendell Cox,, Australia

It’s A Mall World After All – Joel Kotkin, Forbes

The Essence and Future of Texas vs. California – Tory Gattis, New Geography

US Housing Has Never Been More Affordable – Daily Markets

California Housing Affordability Continues to Decrease – Real Estate Rama

Housing bust halts growing suburbs – USA Today

Growth Rush of 2009 – Daytona Beach News-Journal, Florida

Experts: No ‘Quick Fix’ for Market – The Ledger, Florida

Townships told to fight consolidation – Post-Bulletin, Minnesota

Ruling jeopardizes some affordable housing laws – San Francisco Chronicle

Cities find the fine print is costing millions – Business Week

Hard times for homeowner groups – Washington Post

Huge Denver redevelopment highlights potential, limits – St. Louis Today

San Jose mayor calls for temporary redevelopment freeze – Mercury News

MDHA Eminent Domain Battle In Court Monday – WSMV-TV Nashville, Tennessee

Atlantic Yards Wins – Matthew Festa, Land Use Prof Blog

Big Flats Landowners Fired Up Over Eminent Domain – WENY-TV, New York

Taunton looking at $5.2 million eminent domain bill – Daily Gazette, Massachusettes

Freedom & Grassroots
Plundering California: Public unions bring state to its knees – Steven Greenhut, City Journal

Increasingly popular New Ruralism deserves scrutiny – Randy Bright, Tulsa Beacon

Will Businesses Move Out to the Ex-urbs? – Future Pundit

The town that saved Florida – Palm Beach Post

The Transgressions of Eminent Domain – Llenrock Blog

Lessons learned on eminent domain – Greenwich Time, Connecticut

High Speed Rail
Taiwan high speed train company to refinance debt – Manila Bulletin

Russia investigates train derailment as terror act – Associated Press

U.S. High-Speed Rail Projects Aim to Catch Up – Interesting Finds

Could a shortage of engineering know-how derail US high-speed trains? –

Central New York lawmakers pitch benefits of high-speed rail –

Stimulate this: Guv, DiFi, Boxer ask Prez for HSR cash – SFGate Blog

Are high-speed trains really ‘green’ after all? – Miami Examiner

The European Model
In Germany, the high price of going green – Washington Post

A model for the future with an eye to the past – Boston Globe

Traffic calming scheme criticised after mum is injured – This is Cornwall, UK

Growth Management Globally

Housing Bubbles: Why are Americans Ignoring Reality? – Hugh Pavletich, New Geography

British Columbia home affordability takes a hit in tightened, hot market – Vancouver Sun

Ontario’s housing market bounces back but homeownership less affordable – CNW Group

New Zealand housing affordability worsens: report – Business Finance News

Aussies ‘miss out’ on affordable housing – Sidney Morning Herald

Rural England ‘needs more affordable housing’ – Net-Lettings, UK

Nothing’s New Urbanism
How can Boise grow to attract young professionals? – Idaho Business Review

A love affair with trolleys – Press-Telegram, California

Too True to Be Good
Runaway Spent 11 Days in the Subways – New York Times

TriMet inspects trains after MAX leaves 3-year-old on platform – Portland Oregonian

Across the Tracks
Can New Urbanism Save America? – Huffington Post

A New Urbanism: Neighborhoods linked by public transportation – Naples News, Florida

Instead of suburban sprawl, let’s embrace townhouse living – Washington Post

Proponents Say Transit Should Be a Free Ride – InTransition Magazine

Light rail saved 3.4 million gallons of gas last year – Hudson Reporter, New Jersey

Plan for bikes, peds, transit as well as cars? Heresy! – Greater, Greater Washington

Transbay Plan Offers Vision for Growth and Livable Streets – StreetsBlog San Francisco

Study: Urban Sprawl Delays Ambulance Arrival in the U.S. –

Greenest Place in the U.S.? It’s Not Where You Think – Seeker Blog

Denver Living Streets – Denver-Infill Blog

Parking is the problem, not answer – Winnipeg Free Press

Failing to plan is planning to fail – Naple News, Florida

LRT versus Buses – Why Portland chose light rail – Rail for the Valley

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“To add a smart growth twist to this, we could go after a big sprawl developer with deep pockets and demand some development in our neighborhoods as payback.” From ACORN’s organizing manual, providing advice on how to ‘shake down’ private businesses.

“In fact, some inconvenience for motorists is exactly what we need to begin changing the dysfunctional behaviors that have resulted from the mindset that the only way to get around town is by private motorcar.” DenverInfill Blog, on the effort to retrofit the city’s roads consistent with Complete Streets principles.

“The lesson, though, is clear. Eminent domain must be an absolute last resort, not merely one option on the table. It can only be used for concrete plans, with stable financing. And it should be strictly limited to works that serve an unambiguous public good. Anything else is an abuse of power.” Greenwich Time editorial, on the lessons learned since Kelo.

                * 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 ***

>> Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, Everyone! <<

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