December 19 – 25, 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
Personal Rapid Transit: Twenty-First Century Transport? – Rick Harrison, New Geography

Can Entrepreneurs Drive People Movers to Success? – Executive Education, Harvard Business School

Southern states do a U-turn on toll roads – USA Today

Rising affluence sees Beijing cars pass 4 million mark – Google News

Driving mad! 4 million cars clog Beijing roads – Window of China

Should the Feds take over regulation of rail transit safety? – National Journal

Public Transit Ridership Declines – Green Inc., New York Times

Light rail or bus rapid transit: It’s about costs – Industrial Laser Solutions

Norfolk light rail is over budget, behind schedule –, Virginia

New Jersey communities divided over $800 million light rail line –

Job woes reduce transit ridership – USA Today

Two separate train crashes prove fatal in Palm Beach County – Palm Beach Post

Police identify man killed by TRAX in downtown Salt Lake City – Deseret News, Utah

Man on tracks killed by DART train –, Dallas

Copper heist makes for messy day on Sacramento light rail – Sacramento Bee

Light rail workers to be fired after teen deaths – New York Injury News

U.S. System for Tracking Traffic Flow Is Faulted – New York Times

Officials in jam can’t see the traffic – Washington Examiner

Housing & Land Use

The Suburbs are Sexy – Wendell Cox, New Geography

Ready to burst with regulations – John Hood, Gaston Gazette, North Carolina

Housing costs are a growing burden for many –

Housing costs rising for families – Washington Examiner

Cities seek funds from Metro for development – Portland Business Journal

Not all on board for high-density housing near rail stations – Contra Costa Times, California

Florida Home Sales Improve 61% from 2008 –

County frustrated in trying to limit law that eases western development – Palm Beach Post

Frederick appeals to first-time homebuyers –, Maryland

Metro vows to take care of business as rail grows – Houston Chronicle

Fitchburg Debates Smartness Of Smart Growth – Worcester Business Journal, Massachusetts

Tax district voted down by commissioners – Jackson Sun, Tennessee

Machesney Park may use eminent domain – Rockford Register Star, Illinois

The Worst-Run Big City in the U.S. – San Francisco Weekly

Freedom & Grassroots

The Green Movement’s People Problem – Joel Kotkin,

We are blessed with a pedestrian city – Dave Humphreys,

Growth Management Globally

Evidence that housing prices in Singapore are unaffordable – Furry Brown Dog

Bid to curb suburbia – Tasmania Mercury, Australia

Fighting the spike in housing prices – Taipei Times

The European Model

UK house price gap continues to widen – Times Online, UK

Banishing speed bumps could save British motorists £400m a year –

Not So Sustainable

Santa Clara County bus, light-rail cuts coming – Palo Alto Online

Metro chief proposes cuts to fill $40 million shortfall – Washington Examiner

The Coming Green Sprawl – Enterprise Irregulars

Apartment fire displaces 15 families –, Maryland

Michigan Forces Business Owners Into Public Sector Unions – Wall Street Journal

High Speed Rail

High-speed looting – Sarasota Observer, Florida

High-speed rail a clean win for commuters – Boston Globe

Florida among 4 high-speed-rail finalists – Orlando Sentinel

Are We Getting Railroaded with the CA Bullet Train? – Stuff on Brusimm

Russia’s first high speed train makes maiden journey – China Post

Anger mounts towards Eurostar – Financial Times, UK

Eurostar troubles baffle the rail experts – The Independent, UK

Eurostar Suspends Service Indefinitely – New York Times

Across the Tracks

The Urban Dimensions of Climate Change – Planetizen

New Jersey Embraces Smart Growth to Combat Climate Change – NJ Future

A Decade of Predictions for Green Transit by 2010 –

Americans Still Driving Less – The New Republic

Transit is good for the environment – Corey Burger Blog

FL Governor: Rail projects create jobs Floridians need – News-Press, Ft. Myers

Smart Zoning, Smart Growth – Hartford Courant

The Hitchhikers Guide to Transit Oriented Density – Transit Now Nashville

Andrés Duany slams public participation in city making –

The economics of bike boulevards – Austin On Wheels

UVa study: Sprawl slows emergency response time –

Dream Big, Change Jackson – Jackson Free-Press, Mississippi

Because I Couldn’t Resist

Ready or Not, Stripper Mobile is Coming to Portland – Portland Mercury

Shambles in Copenhagen – The Bullet, Socialist Project

Copenhagen Climate Summit widens rift between local and global approaches to climate change – Foundation for Democracy & Sustainable Development

Quote of the Year Nominees*

“It is more convenient than public transport and I can take my family for excursions.” Mao Chunchun, on her decision to purchase an automobile in China.

            “Governors and mayors … are saying, ‘Look, I’m not getting any help from the federal government. I’m going to bootstrap solving the problem myself. I’m going to go for tolling.'” Pat Jones, on looking at tolling as a means of financing new roads.

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

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