Nov 28 – Dec 4, 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

>> Talk of the Town – Ron Utt, Heritage Foundation <<

Mobility & Transportation
Who is really in charge of the USDOT? – Michael Ennis, Washington Policy Blog

US DOT has $1.5 billion for livable communities – New Urban News

LaHood announces money for transit projects – Associated Press

Getting Real About Transport Costs – Randal O’Toole, The Antiplanner

Cashless Toll Systems Face Potential Customer Backlash – Sam Staley, Reason

Toyota debuts its plug-in Prius for North America – AutoBlog

And the Green Car of the Year is… a Diesel. Again! –

Vanpool Hawaii signs 300th rideshare group – Honolulu Advertiser

Mobility Fees Underway for New Developments in Hillsborough County –, Florida

Metro ridership still falling below budget projections – Washington Examiner

’10-mile, $1.5 billion rail project appeals for federal funding – Houston Chronicle

Will 3rd time be the charm for central Fla. rail? – Florida AP

Short-term jobs, long-term subsidies ride the rails – Penny Herman, Tallahassee Democrat

Minneapolis-to-Duluth rail price tag climbs to $1 billion – Star-Tribune

CTA: Rides cost $7-$9.90, but agency makes about 98 cents for each – Chicago Tribune

‘High time’ for transit transparency – Whistler Question, British Columbia

MAX Train Vandal Caused $18K In Damage –, Portland

Sound Transit to Reduce Light Rail Noise – Seattle Transit Blog

Man in wheelchair robbed at light rail station –, Denver

Woman who shot man at bus stop won’t be charged – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Suspected Muni Stabber Charged In Four Separate Attacks – San Francisco Appeal

3 hurt as light-rail train, van collide in Phoenix – Arizona Republic

Metro trains collide injuring three workers – Washington Post

Williston petition seeks vote on roundabout plan – Burlington Free-Press, Vermont

Parking meter plan strikes a nerve – San Francisco Examiner

Housing & Land Use
The Infrastructure Canard – Wendell Cox, New Geography

The World’s Smartest Cities – Joel Kotkin,

Beyond the sprawl – Financial Times

At the corner of hip and red tape – Washington Post

A slow start for New Urbanism – San Antonio Express-News

Housing policies leave cities behind – Boston Globe

Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a house – CNN Money

Very low-income housing hard to find, study shows – SignOn San Diego

Barriers to Affordable Housing – National Center for Policy Analysis

The case against Accessory Dwelling Units – WestchesterParents, California

Experts have beef with Daley on TIF – Chicago Sun-Times

Bill lets cities borrow against anticipated revenue for redevelopment –

Property Owners Get Dunked On – Wall Street Journal

New York should learn from New London – New York Daily News

Eminent Domain: Can We Define Blighted? – Next American City

Freedom & Grassroots
The curse of politically engineered research

Climategate: Be Skeptical Of Envirojournalism – NC Times Blog, California

The demise of evidence – The Pulse, Australia

A Threat To Home Owners Associations – Rick Harrison, New Geography

In neighborhood beefs, they bring the muscle – Washington Post

Where’s the benefit from light rail? – John Riou, AZ Central

Is ‘smart growth’ really all that smart? –, Maryland

Michigan puts activism before safety in drivers training – Teen Driving Blog

Why the continual push to use public funds for sports stadiums? – San Diego News Network

Three Cheers!
Court Deals a Blow to Columbia’s Expansion Plans – New York Times

Getting around matters – Patrick McIlheran, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Can’t do that on a bus! – YouTube Video

High Speed Rail
Washington’s Newest Gravy Train: High-Speed Rail – Center for Public Integrity

Why the rush to spend rail money? – State Journal-Register, Illinois

Opening High-Speed Rail to the Market – Before the Market’s Even There – The Transport Politic

HSR: Feeding Trough Today, Potential Trainwreck Tomorrow –

Police defend decision to clear displaced anti-rail protestors – China Daily

Florida Guv says it would be ‘catastrophic’ if commuter rail isn’t passed – Creative Loafing

State lawmakers open special session on rail –

Entering the Superproject Void – New York Times

Foreign Suitors Lining Up for U.S. High-Speed Rail Payday – New York Times

Transit advocates seek $4B for high-speed rail projects – New Jersey Biz

High-speed rail route back in limbo – San Francisco Chronicle

Nothing’s New Urbanism
The Smart Growth Manual – Next American City

Light rail will bring riders downtown. What will they see? – Virginia Pilot

Marion gets a plan, charrette – Meridian Star, Mississippi

Tompkins transit plan envisions denser development, fewer car trips – Ithaca Journal

City unveils new transportation plan – Revelstoke Review Times, British Columbia

Growth Management Globally
Housing affordability slides – Globe & Mail, Canada

Poor face housing obstacles – The Observer, Ontario, Canada

Minister alters view on sprawl – The Age, Australia

Not So Sustainable
Alberta cancels funding for ‘green’ transportation –

Corpus Christi Transit predicts $2.5M loss as retail sales slip –, Texas

County kills transit routes – Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, Ohio

Sustainability: An Assault on Economics –

Across the Tracks
2009 National Award for Smart Growth Achievement – EPA

Planners, not scientists, should advocate climate change policies – Next American City

How to make ethical travel choices – The Guardian, UK

Nation needs to provide $15 billion for public transportation – Progressive Railroading

The Myth of the Childless City – Sightline Daily

Taking >From Motorists & Giving to Pedestrians and Cyclists – St. Louis Urban Workshop

Group aims to cut number of lone commuters – Telegraph-Journal, Canada

Transit shift – Gainesville Sun, Florida

Pursuit of cheap gas clogging traffic – San Francisco Examiner

Wasting away – Ottawa Citizen

Be like bike – Business Mirror, Philippines

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“Voting against this would be catastrophic, indefensible.” Florida Governor Charlie Crist, on the state legislature’s consideration of a bill to divert
highway money to commuter rail.

            “It’s always too expensive, that’s no reason to stop.” Republican State Representative Ed Hooper, on the same issue of commuter rail.

“It’s time for government agencies and others to stop dumping these awful uses into the City of El Segundo. We have done our part.” Mayor Kelly McDowell, on his city’s opposition to a proposed light rail maintenance facility.

“Tenants might be able to find a unit that they can barely afford, given the amount of social assistance they receive, but those units aren’t always up to standard.” Legal worker Karen Mathewson, on the lack of both quality and affordability in Ontario’s housing market.

                * 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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