December 5 – 11, 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

Debating compact development – Kooshian v. O’Toole

Mobility & Transportation
Congestion, Safety & Driverless Cars (Podcast) – Randal O’Toole, Cato Institute

Privatizing Rest Stops Allows States to Serve Motorists and Increase Revenues – Ron Utt, Heritage

Tolled expressway touted as traffic solution – Cape Coral Daily Breeze, Florida

No Transportation Superprojects? No Problem – Autopia

Obama administration calls for federal regulation of rail lines – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

White House pushes rail safety standards that would affect DART – Dallas Morning News

Pollution from rail feared – Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Transit Agencies Favor Expensive Utopian Schemes Because It Validates Egos and Expands the Agency
– Outcomes, Not Intentions

South Davis light rail long on ideas, short of cash – Salt Lake Tribune

Sacramento Light Rail Expansion Gets $38 Million in House Bill – News10-ABC, California

Muni stabbing suspect is charged in 5th attack – San Jose Mercury News

Light Rail Confuses Drivers, Causes Crashes – KPHO-5, Phoenix

Sacramento light-rail train hits car; 1 injured – Sacramento Bee

Madison County Commission outlaws speed humps and speed tables –, Alabama

Housing & Land Use
The Fed and Asset Bubbles: Beyond Superficiality – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Capping Emissions, Trading On The Future – Joel Kotkin, New Geography

Suburbs See a Challenge as Residents Grow Older – New York Times

Change in N.J. affordable-home rules stymies builders – Philadelphia Business Today

County’s Housing Element is fraudulent – Times-Standard, California

Daley’s Shadow Budget Revealed – NBC-Chicago

Central School still plans suit to stop TIF district –, Illinois

Jackson County threatens TIF lawsuit against Kansas City – Kansas City Business Journal

A Reminder About Eminent Domain And Government Power –

Battle over eminent domain, SeaTac development intensifies – Highland Times, Washington

High court affirms ruling in OSU eminent domain case – Joplin Globe, Oklahoma

Eminent domain ruling will cost Fall River another $2.1M – Herald News, Massachusettes

Freedom & Grassroots
A misunderstanding of the proper role of government – John David Fernandez, Columbia Spectator

Pastors are recognizing the dangers of New Urbanism – Randy Bright, Tulsa Beacon

There’s a transportation crisis, so where’s the outrage? – Tertium Quids, Virginia

Florida’s wrong track – Panama City News Herald

Three Cheers!
Self-Storage King Takes Moment to Savor Victory Over Columbia – New York Times

Lawmaker questions Metro rail finance plan – Houston Chronicle

High Speed Rail
$4.5 Million announced for empire corridor high speed rail –, New York

High-speed rail gets green light from Florida lawmakers –

Florida Senator: No one was pulling a fast one with bullet train stem bucks – Orlando Sentinel

Virginia leaders want another $4 billion for high-speed rail – Richmond Times-Dispatch

World’s fastest train unveiled in China (video) – BBC

Nothing’s New Urbanism
Will New Urbanists Deliver A Home-Win With Miami 21? –Richard Reep, New Geography

Message >From Copenhagen: Climate Plan Must Include Walkable Urbanism – DC Streetsblog

The European Model
The European Model Gets A Makeover – Shane Leavy, New Geography

There is no “Free Market” Housing Solution – Ian Abley, New Geography

Driver in shock as drilling crushes subway train – The Local, Sweden

Not So Sustainable
SunRail Will Produce Few Benefits and Cost Millions – Heartland Institute

Rethinking Green: Save the environment: Don’t take transit – National Post

Plundering California – Steven Greenhut, Wall Street Journal

Council approves transit-heavy budget – Globe & Mail, Toronto, Canada

Across the Tracks

Inside the White House Jobs Forum: Infrastructure’s Long Tail – The New Republic

Seeking to Set an Example on the Climate Express – New York Times

Zoning the Planet – The Faster Times

Official calls light rail solution to region’s traffic woes – WTKR-3, Hampton Roads, Virginia

What is a green leader? – Unconventional Ideas

Eminent domain and the scale of development – Discovering Urbanism

Crowded Decatur street forced to slim down – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Transit Success in Sprawl City – Planning Pool

The Cyclist’s Double Standard – Outcomes, Not Intentions

Small houses go big-time – Oregon Environmental News

Sustainable Transportation: Key to Climate Change Mitigation – Urban Vision
Housing Bust Concerns Environmentalists – Georgia Public Broadcasting

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“A property right is a human right.  Government has become too aggressive in taking from individuals and businesses.” Doris Cassan, who is fighting an eminent domain action by the SeaTac Council to build a parking garage across from a light rail station.

“We’ve far over-emphasized the importance of privacy, to the point that we have a society that has quite a bit of dysfunction, and we’re seeing the fraying at the edges.” Seattle architect Ross Chapin, on packing 500 square foot homes in high density ‘pocket neighborhoods.’

* 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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